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Blessed & Honored: 4/27/2021

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This past weekend was the busiest recruiting weekend in Happy Valley since before the COVID-19 pandemic began

Mark Alberti-USA TODAY Sports

VISITORS FLOCK TO HAPPY VALLEY FOR FINAL SPRING PRACTICE

Friday night the Nittany Lions opened up their final spring practice to the public. In a shocking turn of events a large number of Penn State recruiting targets and commits were among those who were able to get tickets.

Among the 2022 prospects on campus were quarterback commit Beau Pribula and Penn State’s top running back target Nick Singleton.

While Penn State holds the lone 247Sports crystal ball prediction for Singleton, his recruitment is one where the Nittany Lions appeared to be spending a lot of time playing catch up. That said, Penn State appears to now be surging in the recruitment of the top 100 in-state running back. This was his second trip to campus in the last month and following this visit he gave a glowing review to Brian Dohn of 247Sports ($). Singleton will officially visit Penn State the weekend of June 11 and they may be able to lock him up that weekend.

Another major 2022 target that was in attendance was defensive back Jaeden Gould.

Gould is a four-star prospects from regional power Bergen Catholic in New Jersey. Gould’s recruitment is another one where the Nittany Lions appear to be gaining steam. He will also take an official visit to Penn State the weekend of June 11, one week after his only other currently scheduled OV which is to USC. Gould’s name is certainly one for Nittany Lion fans to monitor in the coming weeks.

A pair of 2022 defensive end targets — Tyreese Fearby and Micah Wing — were also in attendance on Friday night.

Fearby plays in the Pittsburgh City League while Wing is a Delaware native. Both appear to be defensive ends the Nittany Lions are interested in, but likely want to get on campus after the recruiting dead period ends on May 31 in order to get verified measurables. Both will be players fans should keep an eye on in the summer months as recruiting picks up once again, especially with Penn State’s need at the position. Also, judging by his Tweet, Wing also appears to be a foody which gets him the BSD stamp fo approval.

Joining Fearby on campus was 2023 safety Ta’Mere Robinson. Robinson attends Brashear High School in Pittsburgh and is already a top 100 prospect for 2023. Robinson is a player that Penn State, among plenty of others, has been tracking for quite some time now. He will be close to the top of Penn State’s 2023 recruiting board throughout the cycle and is a player fans should expect to see on campus many times in the 20 months between now and when he signs his letter of intent.

Speaking of top 2023 targets, offensive lineman Alex Birchmeier was also in town.

Birchmeier is a five-star prospect form Ashburn, Virginia. Birchmeier was one of the first offensive lineman offered by Phil Trautwein after he was hired as Penn State’s offensive line coach last offseason. Since receiving that offer Birchmeier has been extremely high on Penn State, and as long as Trautwein is in Happy Valley it’s hard to envision Birchmeier not ending up a Nittany Lion.

Staying in-state, 2024 cornerback Omillio Agard was also in attendance.

Agard attends St. Joe’s Prep in Philadelphia and is quickly becoming one of the top cornerback recruits in the 2024 cycle. Penn State is one of nine Power 5 offers that Agard already holds. St. Joe’s is the same school as former Penn State cornerback John Reid and current 2022 target Keenan Nelson, who the Nittany Lions appear to lead for. Agard is a player who should pop up on campus plenty in the coming months/years and his recruitment is one that should turn into a battle that the Nittany Lions will be in the thick of.

Penn State’s edition of Friday Night Lights also drew a pair of notable 2023 visitors from the state of New Jersey. They were defensive tackle Sydir Mitchell and linebacker/defensive end DJ Samuels.

Mitchell and Samuels both attend Bergen Catholic where they are teammates with Gould. Mitchell is already a borderline top 100 prospect while Samuels is looking like one of the top EDGE players in the region for 2023. Both Mitchell and Samuels hold Penn State offers, and are two names fans will want to monitor as the 2023 cycle begins to heat up.

NEW OFFERS

Rarely during James Franklin’s tenure at Penn State the Nittany Lions have offered few specialists. Late last week, the Nittany Lions did just this when they offered punter Alex Bacchetta.

Bacchetta attends Wesminster School in Atlanta. This is the same school as for Penn State punting great, and currently New Orleans Saint, Blake Gillikin. Bacchetta has previously visited Happy Valley and could pop up for a visit again this summer. It would not be a shocker to see Bucchetta end up in Penn State’s class if they decide to push for a specialist.

Penn State also extended another in-state 2023 offer. Defensive end Kion Wright picked up a Nittany Lion offer last week.

Wright attends Northeast High School in the Philadelphia area. At Northeast Wright is a teammate of 2022 commit Ken Talley, and current Penn State GA Deion Barnes is the former defensive coordinator at Northeast.

2022 DEFENSIVE TACKLE’S TOP 10

Former Michigan commit Alex VanSumeren released his top 10 schools and the Nittany Lions made the list.

VanSumeren is a four-star defensive tackle from Essexville, Michigan. This is one of those recruitments where the Nittany Lions are likely in it more than most people realize. While it is unlikely they will land VanSumeren, this is a recruitment where the Nittany Lions should hang around until the end.