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Blessed & Honored: 5/26/2020

James Franklin and company are continuing to look for ways to navigate the recruiting trail during the coronavirus dead period

NCAA Football: Cotton Bowl Classic-Memphis vs Penn State Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports


On Wednesday, four-star tight end Moliki Matavao will announce his college decision. Barring some unforeseen change or twist, it appears he will choose either Penn State or Oregon.

Matavao was supposed to visit Penn State in March, but, obviously, that visit did not take place. Despite this, Penn State and tight ends coach Tyler Bowen have made a hug impression on the Nevada native.

Oregon currently holds five of the six 247Sports crystal ball predictions for Matavao. While he appears to be leaning Oregon, this recruitment is likely far from over. It would not be a surprise to see Matavao pop up in Happy Valley for a visit this fall. If he liked Penn State enough to seemingly have them in his final two even without visiting campus, it is hard to envision him not visiting at some point, even if he is committed to another school.


Taylor Stubblefield continues to pepper the country with new 2021 wide receiver offers. The latest was extended to Virginia native Umari Hatcher.

Hatcher now holds eight Power 5 offers. After watching his HUDL film, he appears to be a fairly underrated wide receiver. He looks like a player that would have benefited greatly from the normal spring camp circuit.

This past week the Nittany Lion coaching staff extended a pair of 2022 offers in states they have had great recruiting success in lately. These offers were extended to Virginia defensive lineman Rashaud Pernell and Michigan wide receiver Tayshawn Trent.

Pernell’s recruitment seems to be starting to take off. The Nittany Lions joined Boston College, Maryland and Minnesota as Power 5 programs to have offered the Virginia native, and all four of those offers have come in the last two weeks. With Pernell looking like potentially one of the top defensive linemen in Virginia for 2022, hopefully this early offer from the Nittany Lions will help to make them one of the top schools in his recruitment.

Trent’s recruitment is also one that is starting to take off. In addition to Penn State, the Detroit native has netted offers from Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Syracuse, and West Virginia since May 11. With Penn State success in Detroit in recent cycles, they could end up being a big player in Trent’s recruitment.


Offensive line coach Phil Trautwein has done a remarkable job to get Penn State heavily involved in the recruitments of multiple highly rated offensive linemen since becoming the team’s new offensive line coach. One of these offensive linemen in Michigan native Rocco Spindler. Now, the Nittany Lions find themselves among Spindler’s final five.

Spindler visited Penn State for the Michigan heavy junior day back in January that has already netted the Nittany Lions a trio of commitments. Prior to this visit and the hiring of Trautwein, Penn State was a non-factor in his recruitment. Notre Dame and Michigan appear to be the top two schools for Spindler right now, but Penn State has put up a hell of a fight to even get into this position. If Spindler holds off on his decision long enough to take official visits, then the Nittany Lions should not be counted out in his recruitment.