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Committany Nation: Previewing the Weekend in Happy Valley

Penn State is set to host a number of uncommitted prospects.

NCAA Football: Ohio State at Penn State Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

LB Ellis Brooks Headlines Weekend Visit Slate

Fresh off the heels of Dylan Rivers’ decommitment, Penn State wasted no time in offering fellow Virginia product Ellis Brooks. And now, the Nittany Lions will get the chance to “wow” Brooks, as the linebacker will be visiting Happy Valley this upcoming weekend, according to his 247Sports profile.

Despite both being middle linebackers, Rivers and Brooks are quite different. Rivers was definitely the much more fluid athlete, and had the versatility to play any three of the linebacker spots. Whereas Brooks is much more of an old school linebacker — does his best work in tight spaces, non-stop motor, true run-stopper in the middle of the defense. Really, Jason Cabinda isn’t a half-bad comparison. And like Cabinda, Brooks is going to be a kid that will be ready to play from Day 1.

Thus far, Brooks has visited Maryland, Northwestern, LSU, and Oregon, but this is shaping up to be a Maryland-Northwestern-Penn State battle. It’s probably safe to say that the Terrapins have an edge, but obviously the Nittany Lions will have a lot to sell this weekend.

Other prospects joining Brooks on official visits will be:

  • WR Mark Webb: Currently committed to Georgia. Going to be tough to pull him away from the Bulldogs.
  • WR Henry Ruggs: Five-star prospect from Alabama. You can be sure that Josh Gattis will sell him on replacing Chris Godwin.
  • TE Peyton Hendershot: Currently committed to Indiana. Taking this visit without a Penn State offer, which shows his interest in the Nittany Lions.

Castro-Fields Pushes Back Announcement

Being the overwhelming favorite in the 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions, most Penn State fans expected to see four-star cornerback Tariq Castro-Fields announce his commitment to the Nittany Lions on Monday night. Instead, Castro-Fields pushed back his announcement, and will now be announcing on Signing Day.

Penn State, Maryland, and Alabama remain the finalists. There’s a lot of smoke out there about what could be going on; whether he’s waiting to see if Alabama will have a spot for him, or if he’s just unsure about playing far from home. Regardless of the reason, Penn State’s assistant coaches still have the chance to visit him in-home, so the situation will be cleared up one way or the other.

Looks like we’ll have some Signing Day drama.

2018 LB Luketa Lands Penn State Offer

Although Penn State is still busying figuring out 2017 linebackers, the staff is also focusing on 2018 dudes too.

As you can see from Jesse Luketa’s twitter name, he’s originally from Canada but plays football in Erie at Mercyhurst Prep. The Nittany Lions have had some good success with Canadian prospects in the past — namely Daniel Joseph and Jonathan Sutherland — so hopefully the trend will continue.

On the football field, Luketa’s an interesting prospect. Displays everything you want to see — closing speed, strong attacker off the edge, solid in coverage. Looks very thin, but that’s nothing uncommon for a junior. Has landed some good offers to this point (UCLA, Pitt, West Virginia, etc.), but I think he’ll see his offer list grow.

As for Penn State’s chances, Lions247’s Sean Fitz has already logged his Crystal Ball prediction for the Nittany Lions. Obviously, that’s a good sign.