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Blessed & Honored: 6/18/19

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Recapping another busy weekend in Happy Valley for James Franklin and his recruiting staff.

Kent State v Penn State Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

OFFICIAL VISITORS MAKE IT TO CAMPUS

Over the weekend, the Nittany Lions hosted five prospects — wide receiver AJ Henning, running back Caziah Holmes, safety Jordan Morant, offensive lineman Josh Fryar, and safety Makari Paige — on official visits.

For both Henning and Holmes, this was their first visit to campus. While the Nittany Lions may not land either player, they certainly appear to have done a tremendous job with their official visits and have put themselves in the conversation for both players. Henning even took to Twitter after his visit to make it known that the Penn State staff has given him a lot to think about.

Morant was viewed as a heavy Penn State lean entering last fall. As his recruitment carried on though, the Nittany Lions appeared to be losing steam and slipping down his leader board. However, a strong official visit this past weekend should put the Nittany Lions right back in contention.

A factor that benefits the Nittany Lions is that Morant does not plan to announce his college decision until the All-American Bowl in January. This will give Penn State the opportunity to get Morant back on campus again this summer, as well as for a game this fall as they continue to try and peck away.

Indiana’s Fryar also made the trip, and if his tweet means anything, will be back for a game in the fall.

Last, but certainly not least, there is Paige.

Paige’s recruitment is shaping up to be a Big Ten battle between Michigan, Ohio State, and Penn State. Right now it would appear that the Nittany Lions are as big of a threat as anyone to land one of Michigan's best defensive players.

UNOFFICIAL VISITORS/COMMITS IN TOWN

As part of the team’s 7-v-7 Camp II and Lion Elite II Camp over the weekend, the Nittany Lions staff hosted a plethora of unofficial visitors. A noteworthy 2020 visitor was linebacker Cody Simon. He certainly had the attention of the Penn State coaching staff.

Simon attends St. Peter’s Prep in New Jersey, which is a school that has not been kind to James Franklin. However, Simon may be the player that bucks that trend. The Nittany Lions are among Simon’s leaders, and he still has his official visit to Happy Valley left.

Texas QB Garrett Nussmeier and West Virginia OL Wyatt Milum were a pair of notable 2021 visitors on campus.

Nussmeier (yes, Doug Nussmeir’s son) was offered by the Nittany Lions in May. This was his first visit to campus, and he spent time working out with offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Ricky Rahne.

Milum is already one of the top offensive linemen in the country for 2021 so it’s definitely a good thing that this was his third visit to Happy Valley already.

2022 running back Tevin White was also turning heads over the weekend. Despite being a 2022 recruit, White already holds a Penn State offer.

White is the latest Power Five product to come out of North Stafford High School in Virginia. North Stafford is the same school that produced Devyn White and Nana Asiedu. White is shaping up to be one of the best running backs in the country for the 2022 cycle. So getting in on his recruitment early, as well as Penn State’s success at North Stafford, can only help in its standing with White.

Offensive line commits Golden Israel-Achumba and Nick Dawkins were also in town on Saturday.

Dawkins pops up on campus during most big recruiting weekends. It’s always beneficiary to get commits on campus for camp settings where they can work with their future position coach. You best believe that both players also spent time this weekend doing some recruiting with each target on campus, but especially their fellow offensive lineman in Fryar.

Two other pretty good players by the name of Julian Fleming and Caleb Williams were in town for unofficial visits this weekend as well. You can read more about those two and their trips to campus from Patrick Koerbler here.

CAMP STANDOUTS EARN OFFERS

A pair of camp standouts walked away with an offer after their performances this weekend: 2020 JUCO defensive back Ji’Ayir Brown and 2021 defensive tackle Dorien Ford.

White attends Lackawanna Community College, which is quickly becoming a bit of a pipeline for James Franklin and company. The Nittany Lions signed a pair of Lackawanna players last cycle in safety Jaquan Brisker and offensive tackle Anthony Whigan, and already hold a commitment from 2020 Lackwanna wide receiver Norval Black. We’ll see what happens with Brown.

Ford attends Baldwin High School (alma mater of one Sterling Jenkins) in the Pittsburgh Area. He earned his offer after being named the defensive line MVP at camp on Saturday. As is usually the case with in state players, the Nittany Lions should be big players in Ford’s recruitment.