COACHES HIT THE ROAD
With the contact period opening back up this past Friday and Nittany Lions having over a month off between their regular season finale and the Rose Bowl Game, James Franklin and his assistants have been busy on the road for recruiting visits in recent days. This has included visits to both Nittany Lion commits and targets.
Remember, while assistant coaches can make multiple in person visits to players a head coach can only make one in person visit.
One visit that was made to check in on both a Nittany Lion commit and target was to St. Thomas More Prep School in Connecticut.
Franklin was joined by special teams coordinator Stacy Collins in Connecticut to check in on cornerback commit Zion Tracy and defensive end target Joseph Mupoyi. Mupoyi is set to take an official visit to Happy Valley this weekend and the Nittany Lions appear to be in a great spot to wrap up Mupoyi’s recruitment and land a commitment coming out of the visit.
Coach Franklin also got in his home visit with linebacker/EDGE rusher commit Ta’Mere Robinson, with cornerbacks coach/defensive recruiting coordinator Terry Smith tagging along, as well as wide receiver commit Carmelo Taylor with wide receivers coach Taylor Stubblefield also in attendance.
Signing Day around the corner, move in day around the corner… can’t wait to officially be a Nittany Lion Thank you for stopping by! Was a pleasure having you two over @coachjfranklin @CoachTerryPSU #WeAre pic.twitter.com/fJN5Y4gTDI— ᴛᴀᴅᴅᴇʀ ③ (@TaMereRobinson3) December 3, 2022
What a way to jump start your Saturday with a visit from none other himself, your Head coach @coachjfranklin and WR coach @CoachStubbs! Thank you for coming to visit me, my mom, and dad. Goodluck in the bowl game! #WeAre #PSU pic.twitter.com/6Kknt0UJ6n— Carmelo D. Taylor (@hellcatmelo) December 3, 2022
Robinson, a Pittsburgh area native, missed his entire season recovering from knee surgery and is set to enroll at Penn State next month. Taylor will bring game breaking speed and big play ability to Happy Valley from the start of Virginia.
Taylor was not Franklin’s only stop in Virginia, as he and tight ends coach Ty Howle visited athlete Mega Barnwell.
Beyond blessed❤️.— Mega Barnwell (@mega_barnwell) December 4, 2022
Like Robinson, Barnwell is set to enroll at Penn State in January. Barnwell is one of the more intriguing prospects in Penn State’s class as he could play offensive tackle or defensive line at the collegiate level. Watching his progression and development the next few years will be an intriguing storyline.
Penn State assistants were also busy in Florida. Smith was in Venice check in with defensive back commit Elliot Washington. Meanwhile, JaJuan Seider and Anthony Poindexter were in attendance for St. Thomas Aquinas’ playoff game that featured Nittany Lion defensive back commits Conrad Hussey and King Mack.
A packed sideline tonight for St. Thomas Aquinas and Tampa Jesuit. Penn State, Miami, FSU, Michigan State, Kentucky, FAU and FIU all on hand. pic.twitter.com/zmQ0KW6jMT— Andrew Ivins (@Andrew_Ivins) December 2, 2022
While none of these three have given any indication that they are anything other than completely locked in with the Nittany Lions, Florida recruiting is still Florida recruiting. Getting coaches in to visit them with the early signing period less than three weeks away can only help the Nittany Lions push these recruitments across the finish line.
PENN STATE AND THE TRANSFER PORTAL
With NIL now a factor as well this transfer portal season is expected to be unlike any that has come before it. One thing that is not expected to change though is the Nittany Lions being active in the portal.
Offers have started to go out from the Nittany Lion coaching staff to players in the portal. One player who has been offered is Rhode Island offensvie lineman Ajani Cornelius.
Cornelius could end up being one of the top offensive linemen in the portal this offseason. He has already picked up a flurry of Power 5 offers and will have three years to play two. While Cornelius will not be a one-year rental player wherever he goes, he will likely want to go somewhere he can play right away. With Penn State’s offensvie line depth and Ole Fashanu returning next season instead of entering the NFL Draft, it could be difficult for the Nittany Lions to land Cornelius.
Another transfer portal player they have offered is USF wide receiver Jimmy Horn Jr. Penn State has cracked Horn Jr.’s top four. He intends to announce his destination on Christmas Day.
this going to be a special Christmas pic.twitter.com/h8m8m2kcCR— Jimmy Horn Jr (@Tooswiftj5) December 4, 2022
The 5-foot-9 Horn Jr. has gamebreaking speed which is something Penn State’s wide receiver room currently lacks. Horn Jr. finished his USF career with 959 yards and 4 touchdowns, while averaging 14.3 yards per catch. Early indications are Colorado could be the team to beat here.
Dante Cephas is another name to know at wide receiver in the transfer portal.
The Pittsburgh area native was a high school teammate of Daequan Hardy and put up some monster numbers at Kent State. Cephas will likely be one of the most sought after receivers in the transfer portal, but this is one the Nittany Lions have been prepping for and they should be right in the thick of things.
Penn State has also offered former Alabama cornerback Khyree Jackson.
Originally from Maryland, Jackson went to the Crimson Tide via Fort Scott Community College. With Penn State in need of some cornerback depth next season, Jackson would be a nice addition to slot behind Johnny Dixon and Kalen King on the depth chart.
Staying on defense, the Nittany Lion coaching staff has extended an offer to a familiar face in Elijah Jeudy.
Blessed to receive an offer from Penn state pic.twitter.com/bbFcjGGatN— Elijah Jeudy1️⃣6️⃣ (@ElijahJeudy) December 6, 2022
Jeudy is a Philadelphia native who visited Penn State multiple times during his recruitment. His defensive coordinator in high school was Nittany Lion GA Deion Barnes. As he begins to move onto what’s next in his football career after transferring from Texas A&M, it would not be a surprise at all to see Jeudy end up in Happy Valley.