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Blessed & Honored: 7/30/19

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Recapping Penn State’s busy Lasch Bash recruiting weekend

NCAA Football: Big Ten Media Days Jim Young-USA TODAY Sports

WEEKEND VISITORS

As is always the case with the Lasch Bash weekend, the Nittany Lions had a large number of visitors on campus. This group was headlined by 13 of the 20 members of the 2020 class.

Jaden Dottin, Joseph Johnson, Norval Black, and Curtis Jacobs are in the front row. Coziah Izzard, Ji’Ayr Brown, and Tyler Warren join James Franklin in the second row. Bryce Mostella, Nick Dawkins, Cole Brevard, and Fatorma Mulbah are in the back.

Two players not featured here that were also on campus were R.J. Adams and Tyler Elsdon.

An important non-committed 2020 prospect that was on campus was four-star running back Jalen Berger.

The New Jersey native has always had the Nittany Lions among his top schools, but this was his first visit to campus since last spring. So just getting Berger back on campus was a huge step in the right direction for Penn State.

Two other 2020 targets that attended the Lasch Bash were tight end Theo Johnson and wide receiver Malick Meiga. Johnson is arguably the best tight end in the country, and very well could be Penn State’s top remaining offensive target.

As for Meiga, like Johnson, he is a Canadian prospect. While Meiga is extremely raw as a wide receiver, he is also insanely athletic. Wouldn’t be surprised of Penn State pushed more there.

A talented group of 2021 prospects were also on campus, headlined by four-star defensive tackles James Gillespie and Tywone Malone, as well as four-star defensive end Tyleik Williams.

Gillespie is a native of Woodbridge, Virginia, and a teammate of R.J. Adams. He has now visited campus multiple times and the Nittany Lions appear to be among his early leaders. This was the first trip to campus for Malone, who attends Bergen Catholic in New Jersey. Williams hails from Manassas, Virginia, and visited Happy Valley in the spring. Penn State appears to be in a good spot early on for Williams.

2021 Maryland athlete Zakee Wheatley was also at the bash.

Wheatley could play multiple positions at the next level, and the Nittany Lion coaching staff has identified him as one of their top in-region targets for 2021. He’s already visited Happy Valley multiple times, and should be a regular visitor to campus moving forward.

Penn State also hosted a pair of 2022 in-state prospects in defensive end Enai White and running back Nicholas Singleton.

Both White and Singleton already hold Penn State offers, and both are well on their way to becoming major prospects in the 2022 cycle. They are just heading into their sophomore seasons, but definite names to keep an eye on moving forward.

NEW OFFERS

Another part of the weekend was Penn State’s final camp of the summer on Friday night. With their camp performances, multiple players earned Penn State offers, one of which was 2020 offensive tackle Ibrahim Traore.

With the Nittany Lions still searching for another offensive tackle in this class, the offer to Traore is a noteworthy one. The New York City product had a strong performance on Friday night, and becomes a player that Nittany Lion fans should be monitoring over the coming weeks.

Penn State also offered an in-state 2021 prospect on Saturday as Harrisburg offensive lineman Nate Bruce picked up an offer while at the Lasch Bash.

Editor’s Note: Fanny packs are back in.

After Bruce earned his offer, the 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions started to roll in for the Nittany Lions. Harrisburg High has been good to the Nittany Lions in recent cycles with Damion Barber and Micah Parsons, so Bruce may be the next Cougar to join.

After a strong performance at camp on Friday night, 2021 defensive end Kechaun Bennett earned an offer as well.

Bennett is a native of Suffield, Connecticut. Bennett told Tyler Donohue of 247 Sports that he was determined to leave camp with an offer, and he did just that.

One of the stars of Friday’s camp was 2022 quarterback Braden Davis, whose performance led to leaving Happy Valley with an offer.

Davis hails from Middletown, Delaware, and attends Middletown High School which produced former Nittany Lion and current Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin. Penn State joins Alabama, NC State, and Texas A&M as Power Five programs to already offer Davis. All signs point toward Davis being one of the top quarterback prospects in the country for 2022, and it should benefit the Nittany Lions to have gotten involved in his recruitment early on.

Another 2022 offer that went out was to defensive back Jaeden Gould.

Gould attends Bergen Catholic and is shaping up to be one of the best defensive backs in the region for 2022. The Nittany Lions became his 14th Power Five offer, joining schools such as Florida, Michigan, and Notre Dame, among others.

ZURIAH FISHER SET TO ANNOUNCE

Aliquippa linebacker/defensive end Zuriah Fisher will announce his college decision on August 5th. This announcement comes on the heels of Fisher being in town for the Lasch Bash.

Penn State has not landed a player from Aliquippa in a long time, but there is certainly hope that the drought will come to an end next Monday.