Penn State Gains Momentum For Ohio Defensive End
Slowly but surely, the Nittany Lions continue to chip away at Ohio product Tyreke Smith. While rumors have been out for some time now that Penn State may actually be in front, it’s starting to show on the 247 Crystal Ball as well. Steve Wiltfong and Sean Fitz flipped their predictions to Penn State back in mid-September, and six other writers have followed their lead since. The Nittany Lions now own 38% of the 21 predictions for Smith, a big change considering the Buckeyes had every single prediction heading into the fall.
The Nittany Lions will have a chance to extend their lead, as Smith will be back in Happy Valley when he unofficially visits Penn State for the Michigan game next Saturday.
Checking In on the Commits
RB Ricky Slade
Penn State’s four-star running back commit went off last night Friday night, to the tune of 353 rushing yards, five rushing touchdowns, one receiving touchdown, and two kickoff returns that went for touchdowns. If you do a little bit of quick math, that’s eight touchdowns.
Eight. Touchdowns. In. A. Single. Game.
It’s one thing to just be faster than everybody. If you have 4.4-speed like Slade has, it’s so easy at the high school level just to bounce every carry to the outside and outrun some poor defender. But as you can see above, Slade does much of his damage in between the tackles, and even shows some underrated power from his 185-pound frame.
Slade is on the brink of 247 Composite five-star status, sitting at No. 27 overall. If he keeps up his play on the field and shows out at the Under Armour All-American game, it’s very likely that Slade will finish a five-star prospect.-star prospect.
WR Justin Shorter
Penn State’s five-star wide receiver commit also put up some highlights of his senior season.
Obviously, his high school’s Wing-T offense doesn’t utilize him to the best of his capabilities, but it’s clear to see that Justin Shorter is going to be a problem for the rest of the Big Ten. He’ll be a plug-and-play kid right away next season, and let me tell you folks, lining him up opposite Juwan Johnson is going to create some real mismatch opportunities.
WR Daniel George
Maryland wideout Daniel George joined the gang in putting up his senior highlights, too.
George might not be at Shorter’s level, but the kid can play ball. At 6-foot-2 with long arms, George has the making of a prototypical wide receiver. Also, you can see his defensive prowess, picking off a number of passes. If for whatever reason wide receiver doesn’t work out, it looks like George would make a heck of a safety.
DE Dorian Hardy
Last but certainly not least, New Jersey defensive end Dorian Hardy also uploaded tape from his first couple games at Paramus Catholic.
Hardy won’t be mistaken as a speed rush demon like Shaka Toney, but he’s going to be a complete defensive end. Great size at 6-foot-5, and has the frame to comfortably play at 270-plus. Great first step, and even when dropping back into coverage, shows the instincts that are necessary for a strong-side defensive end. He’ll also be able to slide inside on passing downs, giving Penn State an added pass rushing presence on the interior.