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Blessed & Honored: White Out Weekend Recap

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In addition to it being a successful weekend on the field, it was also a successful recruiting weekend for the Nittany Lions

Heather Weikel/Black Shoe Diaries
Heather Weikel/Black Shoe Diaries

The White Out weekend is also the biggest recruiting weekend of each Penn State football season. This past weekend was no different.

James Franklin and his staff hosted over 150 high school prospects on unofficial visits, in addition to a pair of official visitors. While the recruiting highlights of the weekend were the commitments of 2021 offensive lineman Nate Bruce and wide receiver Liam Clifford, there was plenty of other recruiting news from the weekend as well.

COMMITTED VISITORS

A large contingency of 2020 commits were on hand for the team’s 28-21 victory over Michigan. This credited a great opportunity for peer recruiting, and the coaching staff reaped the benefits of that this past weekend.

All three 2021 commits were on campus as well. In addition to the newly committed Bruce and Clifford, four-star Florida tight end Nick Elksnis was also in town.

OFFICIAL VISITORS

Penn State hosted a pair of official visitors over the weekend. They were tight end Theo Johnson and defensive end Sean Martin.

Johnson is arguably the best tight end in the 2020 class, as well as being Penn State’s top remaining target for 2020. The Canadian native has now watched Penn State play three times this fall, he was at the game against Buffalo and officially visited Iowa when Penn State was in town, and has visited Penn State more than any other school. Entering the weekend the Nittany Lions were the team to beat for Johnson, and this official visit seemed to do nothing except further solidify their lead.

Martin unofficially visited Penn State in the spring and the Nittany Lions appeared to be in a good spot. He then surprisingly committed North Carolina a few weeks later, but he then de-committed from the Tar Heels last month. Penn State will likely be a contender in Martin’s recruitment until the end.

While he was in town on an unofficial visit, another 2020 prospect that was at Beaver Stadium for the White Out was former offensive line commit R.J. Adams. Adams has now been to three of Penn State’s five home games this season, including two since he opened his recruitment back up.

Adams’ actions since his recruitment opened back up are that of a player that would like to get back into the fold. As we march toward National Signing Day this will continue to be an interesting story to follow on the recruiting trail. If Penn State has a spot for Adams, it would not be a surprise to see him still sign with the Nittany Lions.

2021 VISITORS

The 2021 group was the strongest that was on campus over the weekend. This past weekend could go a long way toward laying the ground work for a top 10 recruiting class in 2021.

As you can likely decipher from the list above, the Nittany Lions could have an incredible offensive line haul in 2021. Bruce is already in the fold, and Penn State already led for Tengwall and Rucci entering the weekend. Furthermore, following his visit Leigh picked up a crystal ball prediction to the Nittany Lions from Lions247 editor Sean Fitz and 247Sports director of recruiting Seven Wiltfong.

It was also big to get Pryor back on campus. The top-100 running back has visited Penn State more than any other school, but he had not been to Happy Valley since the spring. This visit helped the Nittany Lions get momentum back in Pryor’s recruitment.

2022 VISITORS

Coach Franklin and his staff also host a strong contingency of 2022 visitors over the weekend. Obviously there is a long way to go in the recruitment of any 2022 player, but getting them on campus early and often is the first step toward becoming a major player in these recruitments.

The names from this 2022 group are ones Penn State fans will want to get to know. Sledge is a teammate of Joseph Johnson III at Life Christian Academy in Virginia, while Dennis-Sutton and WIlliams are teammates of Curtis Jacobs at McDonogh in Maryland. McDonogh has become a bit of a pipeline of late for Penn State with PJ Mustipher, D’Von Ellies and now Jacobs.

Following his latest visit, Saunders received a crystal ball prediction for the Nittany Lions from Wiltfong. Talley has been a regular visitor to campus and plays for ex-Nittany Lion defensive end Deion Barnes at Northeast High School in Philly, he also picked up a crystal ball prediction to the Nittany Lions from Wiltfong. As for Sabb and McGaughey, they are shaping up to be two of the top prospects in the state of New Jersey for 2022.

NEW OFFERS

Three prospects on campus walked away with offers this weekend. They were Mines, Oladokun, Sledge, and Sabb.

Over the weekend the Nittany Lions appeared to make a move with Oladokun. As for Sledge and Sabb, with them both being in the region the Nittany Lions should be players in their recruitments. Especially Sledge due to the staff’s strong relationship with the staff at Life Christian Academy.