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Blessed & Honored: Running Back, Running Back, and Running Back

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The Saquon Barkley effect is real, folks.

NCAA Football: Penn State Blue White Game Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

FORD DOWN TO TWO SCHOOLS

What was once a top six is now down to two programs as four-star RB Devyn Ford will be choosing between Virginia Tech and Penn State on May 18. Ford has already taken official visits to both schools, having visited Blacksburg on April 14 and State College on April 21.

Heading into those weekends, Virginia Tech was the reported leader, but it certainly seems like the Nittany Lions made some headway two weekends ago, as evidenced by Ford’s 247 Crystal Ball. While the Hokies still hold the edge, the tide is seemingly changing for Virginia’s top running back, and it appears that Penn State can (once again) steal a highly-touted back from Virginia Tech’s grasp. Honestly, still payback for Kevin Jones (shoutout to a young Jeff Rice).

IMG FOUR-STAR VISITS HAPPY VALLEY

Noah Cain — you know, the No. 2 ranked running back in the country, not a big deal — made his long awaited trip to Penn State last weekend.

Cain went in-depth about his visit with Tyler Donohue of Land of 10, saying that Penn State moved up his list, and that he plans on getting back to State College at some point in the summer. Cain, a Texas native that’s playing at Florida’s IMG Academy, seems open to a number of schools — Texas, LSU, Ohio State, and Oklahoma all have Crystal Ball predictions for the four-star running back so his recruitment seems relatively wide open. I tend to be cautious when it comes to out-of-region prospects, but I think Penn State will be in the thick of it for Cain, even if the Nittany Lions land Devyn Ford’s verbal a couple weeks from now.

JA’JUAN SEIDER VISITING OHIO STATE COMMIT?

Running backs coach Ja’Juan Seider tweeted last night about hitting the recruiting trail, with his location set from Avon, IN.

Connecting the dots here, but Ohio State running back commit Sampson James is from Avon, and James just so happens to have a Penn State offer. While Avon is one of the better high school programs in Indiana, and Seider could just be making the usual rounds, I think it’s more than likely than James was a big reason for the visit. We’ll see if it’s just gamesmanship, or if Penn State actually feels they have a shot at flipping the Buckeye commit.

QUICK HITTERS

  • Four-star DT Antonio Alfano announced his top three of Alabama, Georgia, and Penn State, which came as no surprise. He plans to announce by August 1.
  • Penn State made the cut for two of the top defensive tackles in the country: Florida’s Derick Hunter (who’s down with #TTP so he’s a five-star in my book) and North Carolina’s Joshua Harris (not Sixers’ owner Joshua Harris). Wouldn’t expect Penn State to be a major player for either, but you never know.
  • Four-star Minnesota OT Quinn Carroll committed to Notre Dame yesterday. He sneaked in an official visit to Penn State in April, but beating the Fighting Irish for Carroll wasn’t going to be realistic.