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Blessed & Honored: 3/16/2021

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It was a busy week in the world of Penn State football recruiting

NCAA Football: Illinois at Penn State Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

TOP GROUPS

A pair of four-star targets released top groups including the Nittany Lions this past week. These two players are running back Nick Singleton and defensive lineman Joe Strickland.

Singleton is a name that we discuss often. The Reading native is Penn State’s top running back target this cycle and a top 50 player according to 247Sports. Singleton recently held a ZOOM meeting with the Penn State staff that garnered positive reviews from the Singleton camp and the Nittany Lions do appear ot be gaining momentum in this recruitment.

Strickland is a native of Indianapolis who recently had a virtual visit with the Nittany Lion coaching staff. While recruiting services list Strickland as a defensive end it is possible that he grows into being a defensive tackle.

While there is a way to go yet in each recruitment, especially Singleton’s, Penn State currently holds the lone 247Sports crystal ball prediction for each player. Both Singleton and Strickland are scheduled to officially visit Penn State the weekend of June 11-13, COVID permitting.

COMMITS EARN ALL-AMERICAN HONORS

One of the many things COVID stole from sports fans this past year were All-American Games for high school seniors. With All-American Games set to return this year, a pair of Nittany Lion commits have been named Under Armour All-Americans.

Offensive tackle Drew Shelton and quarterback Drew Allar are two of the latest UA All-Americans. Wide receiver commit Kaden Saunders had previously been named an UA All-American.

The Under Armour All-American Game is played in Orlando every January. Having Shelton, Allar and Saunders in the game will be a major positive for Penn State. Not only will it give both players the opportunity to compete against some of the best high school football players in the country, it will also be great pub for the Nittany Lions to have a pair of commits in the game, especially a QB commit. It also gives this trio the opportunity to recruit any un-committed targets who may also be competing in Orland come January.

It would not be a surprise to see more Nittany Lion commits earn All-American honors. To be honest, it would be a surprise if this did not happen.

VIRTUAL AND IN PERSON VISITS

Three-star cornerback Avery Powell virtually visited Penn State over the weekend.

Powell recently released a top 6 that included the Nittany Lions. Powell attends New Jersey powerhouse St. Peter’s Prep. As avid followers of Penn State recruiting know SPP is not a school Penn State has had recruiting success at in the past. But with the Nittany Lions looking to take five or six defensive backs this cycle, they will push for Powell to change the trend.

Sticking with defensive backs and virtual visits, Texas native Julian Humphrey had a virtual visit with the coaching staff on Monday night.

The four-star Houston native plans to announce his college decision on April 1. Humphrey’s recruitment is one that the Nittany Lions are a bigger player in than a lot of people may think or realize. While a four-star from Texas will always be a tough pull for Penn State they appear to be firmly in Humphrey’s top two or three schools with a legitimate shot in his recruitment.

As for in person visits, offensive tackle Jacob Allen was in town over the weekend.

While prospects still can not visit with coaching staffs or players while on campus right now it is still a positive to get them on campus. Allen is a four-star prospect who attends The Hun School in New Jersey. Hun is a school Penn State has had success at in the past as it is the alma mater of current defensive tackle Fred Hansard and offensive lineman Caedan Wallace.

Allen is a top 100 prospect and one of the best offensive line prospects in the region this cycle. Following his visit, Adam Friedman of Rivals put in a future cast for Allen predicting him to the Nittany Lions. Penn State appears to have a world of momentum in Allen’s recruitment right now.