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Blessed & Honored: 6/8/2021

The ‘croots flocked to Happy Valley this weekend

NCAA Football: Penn State Spring Practice Mark Alberti-USA TODAY Sports


With the recruiting dead period finally over recruits flocked to Happy Valley over the weekend. This included a trio of Penn State commits in offensive lineman Drew Shelton, defensive end Ken Talley and JUCO safety Tyrece Mills.

Getting Shelton back to campus for a visit was huge for the Nittany Lions. Since transferring to IMG Academy schools across the country have continued to recruit him hard, making nay time the Nittany Lions can get him on campus a big visit.

Having Talley and Mills on campus over the weekend with countless uncommitted prospects on campus can only be a positive for the Nittany Lions. Some top targets in both the 2022 and 2023 cycles were on campus over the weekend and having the peer recruiting of Talley and Mills can only be a positive for Penn State. Their peer recruiting efforts were also boosted by weekend visits from quarterback Drew Allar, wide receiver Kaden Saunders and athlete Mehki Flowers.

One of Penn State’s top 2022 defensive targets was on campus for an unofficial visit over the weekend in the form of cornerback Keenan Nelson Jr.

Originally Nelson Jr. was not scheduled to visit campus over the weekend. However, following a last second change of plans he wound up in Happy Valley. He is scheduled to take an official visit to Penn State this upcoming weekend and the Nittany Lions appear to be entering the visit as the heavy favorite in his recruitment. The Nittany Lion staff appears to be close to closing on the St. Joe’s Prep star.


Penn State hosted a trio of official visitors over the weekend. Two of these official visitors attend IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. The two IMG official visitors were five-star athlete Keon Sabb and four-star running back Kaytron Allen.

Sabb is a New Jersey native and the Nittany Lions were his first major offer. Due to this, as well as his relationship with James Franklin, the Nittany Lions are comfortably within the top two or three schools on Sabb’s list.

Saba will visit Clemson, Georgia and Texas A&M this month before making his college decision. The Nittany Lions are firmly in this recruitment and will be a program to watch until the end of his recruitment.

Allen appears to be a long shot at best for the Nittany Lions. While he has a strong relationship with running back coach JaJuan Seider, Allen seems destined to remain in the south. That said, the Nittany Lions are in a great place with multiple highly touted running back recruits so the position should be just fine this cycle.

The third official visitor was in-state offensive tackle Ryan Brubaker.

Brubaker is a four-star in-state legacy offensive tackle. Brubaker was also on campus multiple times during the spring before the dead period ended. While this one is not a slam dunk for the Nittany Lions, Penn State does appear to be Brubaker’s leader as he prepares to embark on a busy June visit schedule.

2023/2024 VISITORS

In addition to their list of 2022 visitors the Nittany Lions also hosted a large group of notable 2023 and 2024 visitors over the weekend.

Early on in their recruitments Penn State appears to be the leader for top-100 offensive lineman Alex Birchmeier and four-star offensive lineman Antonio Tripp. Both Birchmeier and Tripp were on campus over the weekend.

Birchmeier attends Broad Run High School in Ashburn, Virginia, the same hometown as Nittany Lion legend Trace McSorley. Tripp attends Penn State pipeline McDonogh School in Owning Mills, Maryland. While there is a long way to go in each of these recruitments it appears Penn State will be the team to beat for both Birchmeier and Tripp.

Penn State also hosted three of the best 2023 prospects from Pennsylvania. These three prospects were safety/linebacker Ta’Mere Robinson, linebacker Josiah Trotter and defensive back Shawn Battle.

Robinson, Trotter and Battle are all shaping up to be among the top prospects not just in Pennsylvania, but in the region for 2023. Robinson may end up a top 50 prospect nationally. Any time Penn State can get them on campus that is a good thing and these are all recruitments they appear to be in great early shape in.

2024 defensive lineman Richard ‘Wink’ James was also in town. A St. Joe’s Prep product, James is shaping up to be one of the top, if not the top, prospect in Pennsylvania for the 2024 cycle. The more that Penn State can get him on campus in the next year or two the better.


Another visitor in Happy Valley over the weekend was JUCO offensive lineman JB Nelson. After working out for the coaching staff on Sunday, Nelson walked away from his visit with an offer.

Nelson attends Lackawanna Community College which has been a bit of a pipeline for the Nittany Lions in recent cycles. There have been few Lackawanna prospects that Penn State has recruited during the James Franklin Era and not landed. With the offer, the Nittany Lions may now be the team to beat for Nelson.