Franklin Going In-Home With Walker
Penn State and James Franklin received some positive news this week as they secured the final in-home visit for Top 100 OT Rasheed Walker, according to his 247Sports profile. The 6-foot-6, 300-pound four-star was previously visited by Virginia Tech head coach Justin Fuente on Tuesday night, and then welcomed Urban Meyer, defensive line coach Larry Johnson SR, and offensive line coach Greg Studrawa from Ohio State last night. Now tonight, James Franklin will have his chance to leave the final impression on Walker before he makes his commitment next Wednesday on National Signing Day.
As mentioned in the Eleven Warriors article, Franklin and Meyer were both trying to be Walker’s final in-home visit, so it’s a big deal that Franklin was able to beat out Meyer in that regard. I’ve maintained for a couple weeks now that I like where the Nittany Lions stand with Walker, and Franklin getting the last visit only strengthens my belief that Penn State will be the pick. While Ohio State turned up the heat over the last six weeks or so, Walker’s relationship with Penn State — from the staff to the players to the commits — is stronger, and in the end, that should be the deciding factor.
Local Kicker Staying Home
With a wide open kicking battle on tap, Penn State continues to bring in walk-on kickers, this week adding Hollidayburg’s Vlad Hilling.
Hilling is rated as a five-star kicker by Kohl’s Kicking, good enough for No. 19 in the country. For reference, Kohl’s has Penn State commit Jake Pinegar as the No. 9 kicker overall, so Hilling appears to be a quality walk-on.
2019 North Carolina Linebacker Lands Offer From Lions
Charlotte linebacker Osita Ekwonu has had quite the week thus far, receiving offers from Ohio State, Michigan, Notre Dame, North Carolina, Louisville, and Virginia in the past three days. The Nittany Lions joined that group, offering the Carolina backer on Tuesday.
Ekwonu is currently unranked by the recruiting services, but at 6-foot-2, 220 pounds and with that offer list, that shouldn’t be the case for too long.
I do find it interesting that he landed — or at least tweeted about — his offers from Penn State and Ohio State within six minutes of each other; the Nittany Lions at 2:21, and the Buckeyes at 2:27. While it’s obvious that schools piggyback off each other with offers, the time difference in that one is too close for any piggybacking to happen. It kind of leads me to believe Ekwonu (or his coach) reached out to those schools on his own, which would show that Ekwonu has some genuine interest in the Big Ten.