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Committany Nation: In-Home Visits, C.J. Thorpe Visiting Michigan, and Hippenhammer Offered by Notre Dame

Lots of news and notes on the crootin’ trail this week.


Updated Rivals Rankings

Rivals came out with its final Rivals 250 rankings, and there’s a number of Penn State prospects on the list.

  • CB Lamont Wade: No. 11
  • OG C.J. Thorpe: No. 78
  • DE Yetur Matos: No. 136
  • DT Fred Hansard: No. 137
  • QB Sean Clifford: No. 151
  • CB Donovan Johnson: No. 224

Penn State’s two commits at the Under Armour All-American Game — Wade and Thorpe — were the biggest beneficiaries of the updated rankings. Wade dropped slightly from No. 9 to No. 11, but kept his ranking as No. 1 cornerback in the country. Meanwhile, Thorpe jumped from outside the Rivals 250, all the way to No. 78 overall.

C.J. Thorpe Visits UCLA, Schedules Michigan Visit

Speaking of Thorpe, he just wrapped up his official visit to UCLA. Now, the Penn State legacy will be back in Happy Valley this weekend (along with the rest of the commits), before heading to Ann Arbor for an official visit on January 27.

I find it oddly curious that the two visits outside of Penn State are to schools that have a Penn State connection with his father — UCLA obviously with Tom Bradley, and now Michigan with Mike Zordich Sr. There’s cause for concern whenever a commit visits elsewhere, but the feeling here is that it would be a total shocker for Thorpe not to end up in the Blue and White.

Mac Hippenhammer Lands Notre Dame Offer

Penn State commit and Indiana wideout received a big offer earlier this week, as he landed a scholarship from Notre Dame.

Unlike Thorpe, there’s a very legitimate chance that Hippenhammer flips to the Irish. He does have a great relationship with Josh Gattis and is still scheduled to be back in State College this weekend, so Penn State will have the chance to lock him down. But if he leaves Happy Valley still planning to visit Notre Dame, I’d say that would be a bad sign for the Lions.

Wide Receiver Scholarship Chart

Incoming FR FR SO JR SR
Incoming FR FR SO JR SR
K.J. Hamler Dae'lun Darien Brandon Polk DeAndre Thompkins Saeed Blacknall
C. Sullivan-Brown Irvin Charles Daesean Hamilton
Juwan Johnson

Big picture wise, Penn State does have two other wide receivers committed in Cameron Sullivan-Brown and K.J. Hamler, so the need for another wideout isn’t imperative. But with Georgia commit Mark Webb set to visit Penn State and Josh Gattis sending an offer to Florida wide receiver Josh Palmer, it’s clear that the Nittany Lions would like to add another pass catcher in 2017.

James Franklin Makings The Rounds

The Penn State staff is busy going in-home with prospects, which means said prospects are putting pictures up with James Franklin. Because Franklin stands a robust 6-foot-2(ish), this gives us a great chance to see the size of the incoming recruits.

Here we have Tariq Castro-Fields holding the Big Ten Championship trophy. Castro-Fields will make his announcement on January 23, and his finalists are Alabama, Maryland, and Penn State. It appears to be a Penn State/Maryland battle, as the Crimson Tide probably don’t have room for the lanky defensive back.

Yetur Matos looking a legitimate 6-foot-5. He’s a thoroughbred, folks.

Joe Moorhead visiting with his future quarterback Sean Clifford, and apparently enjoying some ribs.

Fred Hansard got a visit as well. He looks to be in the 6-foot-2 range, which is a solid height for a 1-tech defensive tackle.

No Big Ten Championship trophy appearing in Donovan Johnson’s photo. Also, James Franklin and the rest of the staff taking their shoes off. Doesn’t get much more respectful and classier than that.

Franklin visited Jonathan Sutherland in Virginia at his boarding school, and then made the trek to Canada to visit Sutherland’s parents. That is getting after it on the crootin’ trail.

The enigma of the class, high school defensive tackle turned college linebacker Brailyn Franklin.