Parsons & Smith Trending Toward Penn State
After a choppy couple months, things seem to be turning around for Micah Parsons and Penn State. The five-star Pennsylvania product was back in Happy Valley for the first time this season, taking in the atmosphere of a college football Saturday in State College.
James Franklin with a big hug for 5-star Micah Parsons pic.twitter.com/yWhvbX2xYR— Audrey Snyder (@audsnyder4) September 16, 2017
Since Saturday, a number of 247 Crystal Ball predictions have come in for Parsons to recommit to the Nittany Lions, most notably from Steve Wiltfong of 247Sports and Andrew Lind of Eleven Warriors. Nothing is imminent, but it seems clear that Penn State has retaken the lead for Parsons.
To make things even more interesting, the Nittany Lions are also trending for Ohio four-star defensive end Tyreke Smith. Smith still has 90% of his Crystal Ball predictions on Ohio State, but Wiltfong and Lions247’s Sean Fitz now have Smith ending up at Penn State.
The last time Penn State beat out Ohio State for an Ohio kid? A very long time. If Smith does spurn Urban Meyer for James Franklin, it would unequivocally be Franklin’s most impressive recruiting victory, bar none. Going into Ohio and taking a top three prospect in the state — that’s recruiting at an elite level.
Smith will take his time, though. He’s set up a ridiculous visit schedule for this fall — seeing USC this past weekend, Alabama in October, Penn State for the Michigan game (unofficial visit), Ohio State for the Penn State game, Oregon in late November, and then back to Happy Valley for his final official visit on December 8th.
Oh, Don’t Forget About Oweh
Sean Spencer is a busy man because on top of Parsons and Smith, Penn State remains in pursuit of Jayson Oweh. The New Jersey defensive end played his first game of the season on Saturday, and then made his way back to Happy Valley for kickoff against Georgia State.
Great night in Happy Valley with my Blair Ohana!!! Thanks to the Penn State football staff and especially Coach Franklin. pic.twitter.com/1mxxGUwUGN— Jim Saylor (@SaylorBlairFB) September 17, 2017
Like Parsons, Oweh is fresh off his official visit to Ohio State, so for him to get back to Happy Valley this quickly is a great sign. He’ll return to Penn State for his official visit during the Nebraska weekend, where the Nittany Lions hope to cement their spot as Oweh’s top school.
Penn State could very well be in the driver’s seat for all three of Parsons, Smith, and Oweh. Unfortunately, it’s hard to see the Nittany Lions landing the trio. With the 23 current commits, Penn State sits at 92 scholarship players in 2018 — seven over the 85 limit. Obviously, there’s a certain running back that will be leaving for the NFL draft, which means Penn State is really at 91. Using that number, that means six players will have to leave from the roster just to make room for the current 2018 class, and that’s without even accounting for guys like Parsons or Smith.
There will be attrition along the roster; there always is. But man, James Franklin would have to be a Houdini to be able to fit all three. Fortunately, Penn State does have some time to sort things out, as Oweh and Smith are slated to announce at the Under Armour All-American game, while Parsons has talked about doing the same, but may announce earlier if he’s able to enroll early.
Beyond the defensive ends, I think this just about closes the case on Solomon Enis or Kwantel Raines being viable options. Rasheed Walker might still have a slight opening, but even his spot is no longer guaranteed, which is downright crazy to think about.