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Blessed & Honored: Recapping a Busy Weekend in Happy Valley

The Nittany Lions utilized the opening weekend of spring practice to bring in recruits for a mini Junior Day.

NCAA Football: Penn State at Maryland Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Penn State hosted prospects from the 2019, 2010, and 2021 classes last weekend in what ended up being a quasi-Junior Day of sorts.

Pulling Two Quarterbacks

The headliners of the weekend were probably the QBs: Connecticut four-star Taisun Phommachanh and North Carolina’s Garrett Shrader. The Nittany Lions don’t appear to lead for either — Florida State is the leader on Phommachanh’s 247 Crystal Ball, while Mississippi State and South Carolina are pacing the top for Shrader. Obviously, the struggle for Penn State is convincing one of the two to join Taquan Roberson in a two quarterback class. While “Iron Sharpens Iron” and such are great mantras for the program as a whole, it doesn’t usually hold well with quarterbacks because of the whole “one starter” thing.

That’s not to say either are lost causes, though. I think it’s somewhat conceivable that Penn State could pull one of the two — more so Phommachanh — but I wouldn’t hold my breathe for either. As Penn State fans have learned a couple times in the previous years, quarterback recruiting is sticky enough when just bringing in one; adding another to the equation makes it even more difficult.

Other Top 2019 Prospects Back In Happy Valley

As noted in Sean Fitz’s list, the Nittany Lions also hosted a few other notable 2019 prospects:

OL Jakai Moore: This now makes two visits to Penn State for Moore in the last 7 weeks. The Nittany Lions are sitting well here.

DB Nick Cross: The first known visit to Happy Valley for the Maryland four-star safety. Cross is a pretty highly sought-after prospect; Notre Dame, Ohio State, and Stanford appear to be the other contenders.

DE Adisa Isaac: Super raw, but supremely athletic New York City defensive end. Long way to go in his recruitment, but Penn State is in a solid spot.

OG EJ Ndoma-Ogar: Big time Texas offensive guard. While it’s great they got him on campus for an unofficial visit, will be a tough pull from the usual Big 12 giants.

Delaware OL Lands Offer

Also in town last weekend was three-star Delaware offensive guard Saleem Wormley who walked away from his visit with an offer from the Nittany Lions.

Penn State joins Notre Dame, Boston College, Florida State, Maryland, and a couple of others in offering the 6-foot-3, 320-pound Delaware product. It’s still a bit early to say, but this could be a Notre Dame-Penn State battle.

It still remains to be seen how many offensive linemen Penn State takes in the class. Originally, and I still believe this to be the case, three seemed like the magic number, but a four-man class wouldn’t surprise anybody. Xavier Truss continues to be the top option out at tackle, while Caedan Wallace, the aforementioned Moore, and now Wormley are in the mix on the interior.

Keep an eye on JUCO Anthony Whigan though, who the staff recently offered. He’s a Lackawanna C.C. kid, which is the same school Paris Palmer went to, and fellow JUCO prospect DB Jaquan Brisker attends. Not that Whigan and Brisker are a package deal, but the staff has a good relationship with the folks up at Lackawanna which is always a positive in these situations.

Virginia RB Announces Decision Date

Four-star RB Devyn Ford will be announcing his college decision on May 18, according to Evan Watkins of 247Sports. As Watkins notes, Ford will be taking official visits to Virginia Tech, Penn State, and Ohio State in April leading up to his announcement.

As things currently stand, it appears that the Hokies are in the driver’s seat in this one, but the Nittany Lions have been slowly making up ground the last few months. We’ll see if they can turn the tide when Ford is back on campus for Blue & White weekend.

Penn State Makes Top 5 For Georgia LB

Georgia three-star linebacker Allen Smith announced his top five on Twitter Tuesday afternoon, with the Nittany Lions making the list:

While the “open to better opportunities” phrasing has to make the staff happy, Allen has yet to make it to Happy Valley. We’ll see if he ever makes his way to Penn State, but one would assume Smith stays closer to home in the south.