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Blessed & Honored: 6/29/2021

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Penn State capped off their fourth and final big recruiting weekend of June by welcoming their commits to campus for their official visit weekend

Rutgers v Penn State Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

PENN STATE COMMITS FLOCK TO CAMPUS CAMPUS

Every recruiting cycles programs host a big official visit weekend for their commits. This is always an important weekend for cultivating relationships among the commits and engrossing them in the program’s culture. This cycle, this type of weekend is more important that ever due to the extended dead period caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over the weekend, the Nittany Lions held their official visit weekend for their commits. For example, tight end commit Jerry Cross had never even been to campus before this weekend, let alone had the opportunity to spend time around his fellow commits.

With the commits on campus they began to form that bond and brotherhood that is required in the game of football. It also does not hurt that, as we will get to, there were uncommitted visitors on campus. Having uncommitted visitors around a large contingency of commits can only help Penn State’s odds in their recruitments.

Although he was there on an unofficial visit, arguably the most important visitor to campus this past weekend was offensive tackle commit Drew Shelton. Shelton is one of the top offensive tackle commits in the country and this visit comes one weekend after his official visit.

Prior to officially visiting Penn State, Shelton took an unofficial visit to Rutgers and an official visit to Florida. Since he transferred to IMG Academy his recruitment has become a dog fight for the Nittany Lions. However, after getting him on campus in back-to-back weekends, including for a visit that was not originally scheduled, it appears that entering the dead period Penn State has weathered the storm in Shelton’s recruitment. While his recruitment is not over yet, Penn State appears to be in a much better place now than they were at the beginning of the month.

OTHER OFFICIAL VISITORS

One of the un-committed official visitors to campus over the weekend was four-star cornerback Cam Miller.

Earlier this month Miller visited campus unofficially. Any time a player from Florida takes an unofficial visit to Penn State that indicates that they are very interested in the program. When they return for an official visit less than a month later, the writing could be on the wall. Coming out of his official visit, the Nittany Lions appear to be the team to beat for the Fernandina Beach native.

Another four-star official visitor who made their way to campus over the weekend was wide receiver Darrius Clemons.

While Clemons is an Oregon native, this is a recruitment the Nittany Lions find themselves in the thick of. The best relationship he has with any coach is Taylor Stubblefield and he is a close friend of Kaden Saunders.

Entering the visit the Nittany Lions already owned a 247Sports crystal ball prediction for Clemons. Coming out of the visit, the Nittany Lions appear to have done nothing but help themselves. While this is a recruitment that will likely carry into the fall and a recruitment in which Penn State will continue to be in a dogfight in, they are squarely in this recruitment.

Penn State also hosted four-star linebacker Moses Walker for an official visit over the weekend.

Entering the weekend the Nittany Lions were looking to make big move for the NYC native, unfortunately, it appears it will not be enough. Even after a strong visit, Walker still appears to be a Rutgers lean.

UNOFFICIAL VISITORS

A big unofficial visitor over the weekend was JUCO offensive lineman JB Nelson. Nelson officially visited campus earlier in the month and returned this past weekend for an unofficial visit.

Following the visit, the Lackawanna product named the Nittany Lions his leaders. Nelson’s recruitment is one that could end soon. Regardless of when he does announce his commitment, it would be a surprise if the choice is not the Nittany Lions.

Another noteworthy unofficial visitor to campus was wide receiver Omari Evans. Following the visit, Evans picked up an offer from the Nittany Lions.

What Penn State is doing at wide receiver right now is intriguing. They already have three, potentially four depending on which position Mehki Flowers ends up playing, in their class, and continuing to pursue Clemons. With the Nittany Lions looking to throw numbers at the wide receiver position it could be a sign that they are not confident about 2021 signee Lonnie White turning down the multi-million dollar signing bonus he will likely be offered following next month’s MLB Draft, and that they are prepping for White to never make it to campus.

Penn State also hosted a big 2023 unofficial visitor over the weekend in the form on in-state athlete Rodney Gallagher.

Gallagher is a top-100 recruit in football, as well as being a big time basketball prospect. This was the second time this month that Gallagher was on campus. The more the Nittany Lions can get the Uniontown native on campus the better. With Gallagher shaping up to be one of the best players not just in the state but the entire country next cycle, the Nittany Lions have positioned themselves to be among his top schools from now until a college decision is made.

2022 SAFETY’S TOP TWO

Earlier in the month safety KJ Winston took an official visit to Penn State. Now, he has released a top two of the Nittany Lions and Maryland.

Winston’s recruitment remains a battle with no 247Sports crystal ball predictions logged. All in all you have to feel good for Penn State here, especially with the Nittany Lions leading after his official visit to campus earlier this month.