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Blessed & Honored: Another Weekend, Another Junior Day in Happy Valley

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For the third time in as many weekends it was a busy recruiting weekend in Happy Valley

NCAA Football: Outback Bowl-Arkansas at Penn State Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports

VISITORS TO CAMPUS

One of the biggest visitors to campus this past weekend was 2023 linebacker Tony Rojas.

Rojas is one of Penn State’s top linebacker targets for the 2023 cycle and the Nittany Lions continue to appear to be in a great spot for the Virginia native. The Nittany Lions have also continued to recruit Virginia at a high level, and Rojas could be the next Virginia to Pennsylvania player. Rojas visited campus during the season, and after his visit this past weekend the Nittany Lions appear to be the current leaders in his recruitment.

Another notable 2023 visitor was four-star defensive tackle Sydir Mitchell.

Mitchell attends Bergen Catholic in New Jersey and is one of the top defensive linemen in the region. Mitchell has long been high on Penn State and getting him back on campus was big for the Nittany Lions. Moving forward, Mitchell is a name to watch on the defensive line for the Nittany Lions.

Scranton Prep running back London Montgomery also made it to campus.

Montgomery is one of the best athletes in the region with legit speed and home threat ability at running back. The Scranton Prep product does not yet hold a Penn State offer, but if an offer comes the Nittany Lions are likely the team to beat for the talented back. Montgomery’s name is certainly one to watch moving forward.

Recently offered 2023 defensive back Jordan Bass was also on campus.

Bass is a Virginia native whose recruitment has started to blow up in recent months. Safeties coach Anthony Poindexter appears to be high on Bass, especially with him visiting campus quickly after picking up an offer last week. Bass is a name to watch in the coming months.

Pass rusher Jameial Lyons was also on campus.

The Roman Catholic product is one that Penn State has monitored for awhile now. Hailing from Philadelphia, Lyons will be one to watch moving forward. Like Montgomery, if he gets the green light from the Nittany Lions it will be difficult to envision him not ending up in their class.

Penn State also hosted a trio of commits in defensive back Lamont Payne, and offensive linemen Alex Birchmeier and Josh Miller.

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Having these players on campus for peer recruiting is only a good thing for Penn State. This can only help the Nittany Lions with their recruiting efforts on junior day weekends such as this past weekend.

2023 cornerback Antonio Cotman Jr. also made it to campus.

Corman Jr. attends Life Christian Academy in Virginia. Holding a Penn State offer, Cotman Jr. is a defensive back to watch in this cycle. With the Nittany Lion recruiting board pretty wide open at defensive back, Cotman Jr. could become a prime target for the staff.

Penn State also hosted a contingency of players from regional and national powerhouse St. Frances Academy in Baltimore.

The visitors form SFA included 2023 defensive lineman Brian Simms III and Dashawn Womack, as well as wide receivers Lamar Patterson and Ryan Manning, the latter of which was offered following the visit. 2024 linebacker Gabriel Williams, who was also offered during the visit, athlete Darius Jones, safety Edrees Farooq, and quarterback Michael Van Buren were also on campus.

SFA, while being one of the top programs both I the region and the country, is a program that has not been kind to Penn State over the years. James Franklin and his staff has struggled to sign top SFA talent over the years which makes it difficult to get excited over SFA players visiting. That saying, it’s certainly better to get them on campus for visit then to not get them on campus at all.

In addition to the larger contingency of under class men, the Nittany Lions also hosted one official visitor. The official visitor was offensive lineman Vega Ioane.

Ioane hails from the state of Washington and was previously committed to the Huskies. While most signs point toward Ioane re-committing to and signing with the Huskies on Wednesday, he still visited Penn State, and chose to do so over taking an official visit to UCLA, so there is some legitimate interest there from Ioane.

NEW OFFERS

One player who was on campus over the weekend and left with an offer was quarterback Marcus Stokes.

Stokes made the trip to Happy Valley from Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Penn State is the first Power 5 offer for Stokes whose recruitment may be preparing to take off. Mike Yurcich has a proven ability to identify quarterback talent, just look at Drew Allar last cycle, and his quarterback offers should be trusted.

Another 2023 quarterback offer that went out this past week was extended to Iowa native JJ Kohl.

The four-star signal caller is one of the more coveted 2023 quarterbacks in the Midwest. This is a recruitment that the Nittany Lions should find themselves in the thick of. Look for Kohl to pop up on campus for a visit later this spring.

COACHES STILL ON THE ROAD

The Nittany Lion coaching staff was once again busy in the state of Pennsylvania this past week checking in on a pair of top in-state targets in offensive lineman Jven Williams and linebacker/EDGE Ta’Mere Robinson.

Despite Penn State already having a trio of offensive line commits in the 2023 cycle, Williams remains a priority target for the Nittany Lions. Especially with their need for true tackles. At this point Penn State continues to appear to be among the frontrunners, if not the outright leaders for the top 100 offensive tackle.

As for Robinson, this is the second time in as many weeks that Nittany Lion coaches were at his school. Robinson visited for a junior day earlier in January, attended multiple games this past season, and made multiple visits last summer. He also canceled a planned trip to Notre Dame this past weekend. It is not difficult to read the tea leaves in Robinson’s recruitment.