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Blessed & Honored: 4/16/19

Recapping the busy, and successful, recruiting weekend that was in Happy Valley.

VRBO Citrus Bowl - Kentucky v Penn State Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images


The weekend of the Blue-White Game is the biggest recruiting weekend of the spring for James Franklin and his coaching staff. Due to a late Easter, Penn State’s spring game shared the same Saturday as Alabama, Florida, Notre Dame, Ohio State, and Oklahoma, which made this year’s visitor list less star-studded than past years. Despite this, it was still a successful weekend for the Nittany Lion coaching staff.

Entering the weekend, Penn State’s 2020 class had six commitments. All six of these players were on campus over the weekend, as was 2021 commit Dont’e Thornton. They were joined by offensive lineman R.J. Adams and defensive tackle Cole Brevard, both of whom committed to Penn State on Saturday.

Often times the most successful recruiting is peer recruiting. With the commitments of Adams and Brevard, this is something that the Nittany Lions benefited from this weekend.

There was a familiar name on campus among the uncommitted prospects. 2021 athlete Liam Clifford, the younger brother of quarterback Sean Clifford, was in town.

Despite not holding a Penn State offer yet, the younger Clifford has been to campus multiple times. He currently holds Power 5 offers from Michigan and Pitt, but if the Nittany Lions offer they could be almost impossible to beat due to his family ties and longstanding relationship with this staff.

With Blake Gillikin entering his final year of eligibility, Penn State should have plans take a punter in the 2020 class. Over the weekend, Belle Vernon native Cameron Guess was on campus. Kohl’s Kicking ranks Guess as the No. 5 punter in the country in the 2020 recruiting cycle.

In early June, the Nittany Lion coaching staff will hold their specialists camp on campus. Every year at this camp they will workout multiple punters/kickers and then decide if any offers will be given out or not. Odds are, Guess will be one of the punters working out at this camp.

So far this offseason, the Nittany Lions have added a pair of graduate transfers in wide receivers George Campbell and Weston Carr. Over the weekend, another potential grad transfer was on campus in the form of former Ohio State defensive tackle Malik Barrow. It was Lions 247 that first broke the news.

After redshirting in 2016, Barrow played in Ohio State’s first four games of the 2017 season before suffering a season-ending ACL tear. This was his second ACL tear, and caused him to announce his retirement from football after missing the 2018 season as well. However, he is now healthy and looking to make a comeback. Wherever Barrow ends up, he will have two years of eligibility remaining.


James Franklin and his staff extended a scholarship offer to two players that were on campus over the weekend: 2021 defensive end Elijah Jeudy and 2021 wide receiver Kaden Prather.

Jeudy is a Philadelphia product and is shaping up to be one of the top defensive linemen in the region for 2021. Prather plays for national powerhouse DeMatha Catholic in Maryland. Moving forward, the Nittany Lions should be a big player in both recruitments.


Sunday afternoon Rivals held their Washington D.C. 3-Stripe Camp. Some of the top performers on Sunday included both Penn State commits and targets.

Linebacker commit Curtis Jacobs walked away from the game with LB MVP honors, while offensive line commit Golden Israel-Achumba earned the camp’s Gatorade Award, which is given to the player that shows the most effort throughout the camp.

Sticking with the offensive line, Aaryn Parks — who is arguably the Nittany Lions top remaining offensive line target — took home the OL MVP. Parks is currently slated to commit on May 2nd, and the Nittany Lions control his 247 Sports Crystal Ball.

Due to their performance, all three of Jacobs, Israel-Achumba, and Parks have earned an invite to the Rivals 5-Star Challenge. Offensive line target Anton Harrison also earned a 5-Star Challenge invite. For a more in-depth recap, you can read what the Rivals staff has to say here.


Last weekend, Michigan wide receiver Ian Stewart was in Happy Valley, and he followed that visit up by releasing a top seven that includes the Nittany Lions.

Right now, the in-state Spartans may hold the edge for Stewart. He had a great visit to Happy Valley last weekend though. If Penn State gets him back on campus and pushes in his recruitment, it could become a real threat to the Spartans.