Defensive Line Decommits, Penn State Edition
By now you know that Penn State's 2016 recruiting class suffered a big loss (literally) on Thursday night, when three-star North Carolina defensive tackle Christian Colon decommitted from the Nittany Lions. It was certainly an unexpected move, as Colon had said that he wanted to enroll early at Penn State. Colon announced his decommitment via a letter on his Twitter account, which you can read here.
Colon is the No. 798 player in America, the No. 54 defensive tackle in the country, and the No. 38 player in the state of North Carolina in the class of 2016, per 247. Despite being ranked rather low, he boasted one heck of an offer sheet, with 14 schools offering him a scholarship, including Miami, Notre Dame, UCLA, and West Virginia.
Hey, speaking of UCLA...
Defensive Line Decommits, Elsewhere Edition
I don't mean to alarm you, but Oluwole Betiku has decommitted from UCLA.
Even if you don't follow recruiting, odds are you have heard about Betiku because of his relationship with LaVar Arrington, who is credited with bringing Betiku to the United States by way of Nigeria and acting as his guardian. While there are rumors about the current state of Betiku and Arrington's relationship, nothing has been confirmed. Regardless, Betiku reopening things could be huge for Penn State, as the Nittany Lions recruited him hard for a long time.
The bad news is that nothing indicates that Penn State is still among the favorites. Since committing to UCLA, Betiku has taken officials to Florida State and Texas A&M, according to 247, and some of the other schools in play are Florida and Notre Dame (along with the Nittany Lions). There's also the chance that Betiku could recommit to the Bruins, plus USC is always lurking, as Betiku's high school has sent plenty of students there in the past.
Hopefully Penn State can get back in on Betiku, as he is a five-star prospect, the 11th best player in the country, and the No. 1 player in the state of California. Penn State has a ton of talent at defensive end in this class, but players with the upside of Betiku don't come around very often.
Defensive Line Targets, Penn State Edition
So now that Colon has decommitted, Penn State has a potential need at defensive tackle. Sure the Nittany Lions will boast plenty of talent at the position, especially if Austin Johnson decides not to go pro. Even if he does, the current roster has Antonie White, Parker Cothren, Robert Windsor, and Kamonte Carter, while the 2016 class has Karamo Dioubate, Ellison Jordan (who we'll get to in one second), and Michael Dwumfour.
Still, getting more talent at the position is always nice, and the Nittany Lions have a few potential DT targets on the board. Most notably, there is the No. 1 player in America in Rashan Gary, who you should not get your hopes up over, as there is no indication that he's coming to Penn State, but it would be cool as heck if he committed. Other players who aren't committed and Penn State is interested in are three-star Virginia native Sulaiman Kamara and three-star junior college prospect Tyrell Chavis, while three-star 5b commit Rashad Wheeler could potentially become a target. I base this on nothing other than the fact that I want Penn State to flip someone from the Nard Dawg.
Defensive Line Targets Who Are Currently Committed To Penn State
Fortunately there's not much to mention here, other than a school from down south is reportedly starting to put a lot of pressure on Ellison Jordan. There's not too much to worry about – and you can find out what school it is behind this paywall – as there's no indication that Jordan is going to flip.
Before We Go, A Very Important Update On Lavert Hill And Quinn Nordin
Lavert Hill and Quinn Nordin are both still committed to Penn State. Normally this bit is done facetiously, but this is actually kind of a big deal today. As you know, the pair took consecutive unofficial visits to Michigan over the last two weeks. From a logical standpoint, this was horrifying, because that means there is a ton of interest in both prospects in the Wolverines. Hell, we even pre-wrote "Oh, Goodbye" posts for both of them because we thought there was a great chance that they'd leave.
And yet, six days later, they're both still committed to James Franklin. This is kind of big. The farther we get away from the two of them taking unofficials, the more we all like Penn State's chances, especially with Hill still planning an official visit to Happy Valley next month for the Michigan game. Hopefully things stay that way, because Lavert Hill and Quinn Nordin are studs.