THE OFFICIAL VISITORS
QB Michael Johnson Jr. (Eugene, OR) — With Tommy Stevens now staying, the need for two quarterbacks in the 2019 class isn’t pertinent, but Johnson Jr. might be too good to turn away. He’s an absurd athlete, not just for the quarterback position, but in general. Good size too at 6-foot-3, 192 pounds. He needs some polish as a passer, but the arm talent is there.
Johnson’s dad — Michael Johnson Sr. — is the wide receivers coach at Oregon, so it was widely expected that Johnson would stay in Eugene. But with Oregon transitioning to more of a pro-style attack under Mario Cristobal, Johnson was an odd fit with the Ducks so Cristobal and Co. went in another direction, taking QB Cale Millen instead. Because of that, Johnson Jr. is a bit up in the air, and it seems like he could end up at a number of places. With a good visit this weekend, Penn State could be one of them.
RB Eric Gray (Memphis, TN) — Touched on Gray in last week’s B&H. Smaller running back at 5-foot-10, 191 pounds, which would make him a nice complement to Devyn Ford. Penn State’s a long shot here, as Gray is expected to stay South, but it never hurts to get talented prospects on campus.
WR John Dunmore (Fort Lauderdale, FL) — The Seider Effect in full effect here. The 6-foot-2 Sunshine State wide receiver was committed to Florida while Seider was on the staff, but rescinded his commitment shortly after Seider left. It would still be a shocker if Penn State was able to pull Dunmore — he’s a Florida State lean — but credit to Seider here for even having the Nittany Lions in the picture.
WR John Metchie (Hagerstown, MD via Canada) — While Penn State continues to be the team to beat, this is a hugely crucial weekend. Michigan and Notre Dame remain in the thicks of things, while Josh Gattis and Alabama are starting to become a real threat too. Still like Penn State here, but you’d like to see this one get wrapped up sooner rather than later.
TE Jahleel Billingsley (Chicago, IL) — Billingsley has been all over the map, with Penn State, Ohio State, Illinois, and now Florida taking turns atop his list. This will be Billingsley first visit to Happy Valley since the February Junior Day, when he called the Nittany Lions his leader, so maybe they can recreate some magic from that visit.
LB Lance Dixon (West Bloomfield, MI) — Penn State is surging for the Michigan linebacker, picking up a couple 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions in the last few days. Official visits to Wisconsin and Michigan are set after this, but the Nittany Lions can separate themselves from the pack with a good weekend. Would be a really, really great pairing with Brandon Smith who, by the way, is also taking his official visit this weekend.
DB Lewis Cine (Cedar Hill, TX via Massachusetts) — This is the biggin’. Outside of five-star Zach Harrison, Cine is probably the top overall target of the staff, and with him on campus for the first time since moving to Texas, Penn State will want to re-establish why Cine had (and seemingly continues to have) the Nittany Lions atop his list.
HOKIES NAB KELLY
Four-star Virginia DB Cam’ron Kelly pulled a bit of a shocker on Thursday — not so much in Penn State not being the choice, but rather choosing Virginia Tech even though the Hokies weren’t in his final eight.
Penn State and Kelly had faded away from each other the last couple weeks. It seemed like once Marquis Wilson committed and Kelly continued to take visits (an official to Virginia and an unofficial to Clemson), that the Nittany Lions backed off Kelly, or at the very least, didn’t make him a priority. With four secondary commits already, Penn State seems okay waiting out Lewis Cine.