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Blessed & Honored: Brandon Smith Back in Happy Valley, While Cornelius Johnson Lands Penn State Offer

The Nittany Lions hosted perhaps their top defensive prospect LB Brandon Smith over the weekend.

Brandon Smith

Five-Star LB Back at Penn State

Virginia linebacker Brandon Smith was back in Happy Valley last weekend, which was the final visit of a five-day trip that also included visits to Michigan, Notre Dame, and Ohio State.

I’ve mentioned in the past that I think there’s a chance Smith grows into a defensive end (he’s in the 6-foot-5, 220-pound area), but Smith might just be enough of a freak athlete to stay at linebacker. Toss in Penn State’s need for linebackers, and it’s looking like the second-level will be Smith’s home.

Smith doesn’t appear too close to making a decision, but the Nittany Lions have put themselves in a really good spot thus far. I know those inside Lasch would love a linebacker duo of Smith and Andre White in this class, and that continues to look like a legitimate possibility.

Lions Join Race for Connecticut Wideout

Following some pretty ridiculous testing numbers, the Nittany Lions made the call to offer three-star WR Cornelius Johnson.

Johnson — who was last on campus in February — seemed to be favoring Michigan and Notre Dame, but it’s expected that Penn State will join that group now with an offer.

After taking three wide receivers in both the 2017 and 2018 classes, I think we only see a two-man class this year. John Metchie looks likely to occupy one of those spots, while Cornelius Johnson now joins David Bell as the most likely option to be the second.

Michigan Copies Penn State, Offers David Ojabo

Fresh off an offer from Penn State, New Jersey defensive end David Ojabo landed an offer from Michigan.

I highly doubt this is the last of the big time offers for Ojabo. We mentioned that his recruitment could follow Jayson Oweh’s in terms of blowing up in the spring, and that certainly appears to be the case. Larry Johnson is probably watching Ojabo’s tape as I type this.

Really like where Penn State stands here, but Ojabo is brand new to the recruiting process, and doesn’t seem close to a decision. He mentioned to me at the New Jersey Opening camp that he’ll talk things over with his coaches about figuring out a decision timeline, but that he wants his parents — who live in Scotland — to be involved in the decision.

Penn State in Top Group for Wilson and Hickman

The Nittany Lions made the cut for two of their top targets in the 2019 class, CB Marquis Wilson and DB Ronnie Hickman.

Penn State appears to be pacing on top for Wilson, who will be back in Happy Valley for the Blue-White game with fellow Connecticut DB target Tyler Rudolph. Meanwhile, the Buckeyes will be tough to beat for Hickman, who could end up at safety, wide receiver, and maybe even linebacker. He is a teammate of Penn State QB commit Taquan Roberson so if there is any team that could upend Ohio State, it might just be the Nittany Lions, though I wouldn’t hold my breath here.