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Blessed & Honored: 6/30/20

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New offers, top groups, commitment dates, and more!

Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic - Memphis v Penn State Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

RECRUITING DEAD PERIOD EXTENDED... AGAIN

In an expected move, the NCAA dead period has been extended another month. It will now run through August 31.

The majority of August is a dead period anyway. So, in reality, this does not change very much. However, whether or not there will be visits in the Fall does now appear to be in question. This is far from a guarantee. If there are no visits this Fall, that will lead to a much more subdued flip season than what was originally anticipated. Additionally, it will lead to a lot of players signing with schools they have never visited.

CHRISTIAN VEILLEUX OFF TO A HOT START AT ELITE 11

On Monday, this year’s Elite 11 competition got underway in Nashville. On the opening night, Penn State commit Christian Veilleux was one of the top performers.

Obviously, it is great to see Veilleux off to a hot start in Nashville. I have said it before and will say it again: Veilleux is better than the three-star 88 rating he has on 247Sports and his .8972 composite rating. If Veilleux continues to perform well this week, you can expect to see him receive a well deserved ratings bump.

NEW OFFERS

Defensive line coach John Scott Jr. and graduate assistant Deion Barnes were busy in the past week extending offers to players from the 2022 cycle. This included a member of the all-name team as Indiana defensive end Popeye Williams picked up a Nittany Lions offer.

Penn State was the first Power 5 offer that Williams picked up. Since then, Kentucky and Wisconsin have joined the fold. Whenever schools are able to host recruits again, the Nittany Lions will likely look to get Williams on campus for a visit. Hopefully, the coaching staff will have plenty of spinach on hand in an effort to make a good impression.

Fellow 2022 defensive end Justice Finkley was also offered by the Nittany Lions.

Finkley, a four-star player out of Alabama, has a recruitment that has already started to take a national turn to it. In addition to Penn State, Alabama, Auburn, Florida State, LSU, and Texas A&M are among the schools to have offered Finkley.

In the 2023 cycle, Tampa Bay defensive back Norris Davis Jr. has picked up an offer.

Led by Florida recruiting ace JaJuan Seider, Penn State is the first offer for Davis Jr. Hopefully, getting in on his recruitment this early will give the Nittany Lions a leg up throughout the duration of it. If nothing else this should get him to campus for a visit at some point. Which, as we have seen with players such as John Dunmore, TJ Jones, Caziah Holmes, and Keyvone Lee, some times one visit is all it takes to win a recruiting battle.

A PAIR OF OFFERED 2021 PLAYERS SET COMMITMENT DATES

Three-star Philadelphia cornerback Tyreek Chappell has released his top 9 schools, as well as his intentions to commit this Saturday, July 4.

While the Nittany Lions are among Chappell’s top 9 schools, he does not appear to be a take for the Nittany Lions right now. In fact, Penn State is likely not the only school in his top group this applies to. That said, if space opens up between now and National Signing Day, Chappell could be a player the Nittany Lions look to get on campus for a visit this season. That is, if visits are allowed.

The other offered 2021 prospect that has set his commitment date is four-star defensive end George Wilson. The Virginia native will announce his commitment on July 12.

Penn State offered Wilson back in March and quickly became a big player in his recruitment. In fact, for a period of time, despite Wilson having never visited campus, due to his relationship with Scott Jr. the Nittany Lions appeared to be the clear cut leaders for the four-star defensive end.

Unfortunately, after North Carolina offered in mid-May the tide began to turn in Wilson’s recruitment. The fact North Carolina was able to get him on campus before the shutdown and Penn State was not probably played a large role in this. The Tar Heels being red hot on the recruiting trail did not hurt things, either.

Defensive end continues to be a big need for the Nittany Lions this cycle. However, they also continue to struggle to find any momentum on the recruiting trail at the position. After he was offered and showed great interest in the Nittany Lions, Wilson quickly became one of their top overall defensive targets for the cycle. But, as of now, signs point toward him committing elsewhere on July 12 and Penn State heading back to the drawing board at defensive end.