JAXON SMOLIK IMPRESSES AT CAMP
Friday night Tulane quarterback commit Jaxon Smolik visited campus and camped for the staff. Smolik impressed Mike Yurcich and James Franklin with his camp performance, leaving campus with an offer.
4 ⭐️ TE and Penn State commit @andrewrappleyea, and Tulane commit and @Elite11 standout @JaxonSmolik worked on details with the coaches at Penn State’s camp yesterday. @Rivals @RWrightRivals @RivalsRichie @PennStateRivals pic.twitter.com/lLQNlqMxNr— Josh Taylor (@JoshTaylorFB) July 30, 2022
Smolik being committed to Tulane is something that should not discourage people. He performed at the Elite 11 earlier this summer. In fact, he outperformed then Penn State commit Marcus Stokes at the Elite 11. This is not to say that Smolik is better than Stokes, it is simply to point put that he has the talent to be a Power 5 quarterback.
Since Smolik’s Elite 11 performance the Nittany Lions are not the only Power 5 program to show interest in Smolik. It appears that Smolik will flip to Penn State, but had it not been the Nittany Lions, after his performance at Elite 11, Smolik would have still wound up playing Power 5 football.
NOTABLE LATE WEEK VISITORS
Prior to this past weekend’s Lasch Bash, there were some notable late week visitors to campus. None were more notable than linebacker Anthony Speca.
LBU was crazy. Gotta get back ASAP @coachjfranklin @Coach_MannyDiaz @CoachTerryPSU @knnysndrs @PennStateFball pic.twitter.com/NGcM4lRds3— Anthony Speca (@aspeca6) July 29, 2022
Speca is a four-star 2024 prospect from Pittsburgh Central Catholic. Speca is arguably Penn State’s top linebacker target for 2024, as well as being the best in-state linebacker for the cycle and one of the best in the region.
After visiting Penn State for a more intimate visit with the staff on Thursdays instead of attuning the crowded Lasch Bash, Sepca attending Michigan’s recruiting BBQ over the weekend. It looks like Speca’s recruitment will primarily be a battle between the Nittany Lions and Wolverines, with Notre Dame potentially being in the mix as well.
Thursday saw another four-star 2024 defensive prospect make it to campus when Kevin Brown-Shuler made it to campus from Georgia.
I had a great visit @PennStateFball @GoPSUsports‼️. Thank you @coachjfranklin @CoachTerryPSU @CoachJScott_DL pic.twitter.com/hEDa0SRPD7— Hevin Brown-Shuler (Hevy Duty) (@HevyDutyBS) July 28, 2022
Brown-Shuler is a top 50 prospect in the 2024 cycle. Obviously, pulling him out of the south would take a monumental effort from Franklin, John Scott Jr., and the rest of the Nittany Lion coaching staff. That said, Bronw-Shuler making a visit to Penn State on his own dime certainly indicates some strong interest in the program on his end.
Thursday also saw linebacker Sam Pilof make it to campus. Following the visit, the Wisconsin native left campus with an offer from the Nittany Lions.
Had a great time at Penn state! @Coach_MannyDiaz @CoachCollins46 @coachjfranklin @CoachRaisbeck pic.twitter.com/HskqQqJ41Q— Sam Pilof (@pilofsam1) July 31, 2022
Pilof picking up an offer after the staff was able to see him in person and get measurable on him certainly indicates that the staff will be interested in Pilof moving forward. Pulling a Wisconsin kid away from the Badgers is never an easy task, so it will be interesting to see if Pilof returns to campus for a visit this fall or not.
As part of Friday’s camp, 2024 twins Deontae Armstrong and Devontae Armstrong out of Ohio picked up offers from the Nittany Lions.
After a great camp and visit, I’m blessed to have earned my 13th D1 offer from Penn State University!! #WeAre @coachjfranklin @CoachTrautFB @CoachCollins46 @CoachDScott1 @DaleRodick pic.twitter.com/7SazLAX0ds— Deontae Armstrong (@DeonArmstrong30) July 30, 2022
After a great visit and talk with Head Coach @coachjfranklin and @CoachTrautFB, I’m extremely excited to announce I’ve earned an offer from Penn State University!! #WeAre @CoachDScott1 @DaleRodick @CoachCollins46 pic.twitter.com/1e2aycai8e— Devontae Armstrong (@Devontae_440) July 30, 2022
The Nittany Lions became the 6th Power 5 offer the twins have earned. As we often times talk about, players earning an offer following a camp performance is always a good sign and typically indicates that the staff his high interest in the players. Moving froward, the Armstrong twins could be two to watch as the Nittany Lions construct their 2024 offensive tackle board.
LASCH BASH VISITORS
An official visitor to campus this past weekend was four-star running back Samuel Singleton.
At @PennStateFball today with @KaylibSingleto3 @EazyE2023 and @10Waayy!!!#WeAre— Samuel Singleton Jr. (@SweetFeet2023) July 30, 2022
Singleton is from Orange Park, Florida. For quite some time now Florida State has appeared to be the team to beat in Singleton’s recruitment. However, JaJuan Seider can never be counted out for a Florida kid he gets to campus for an official visit. The Nittany Lions at least put themselves firmly in the conversation for Singleton following this visit.
One of the biggest 2024 visitors to campus for the Lasch Bash was offensive tackle Kevin Heywood.
Had fun today up in Happy Valley! @coachjfranklin @CoachTrautFB @CoachDScott1 @DBarnes_18 @CoachStubbs @CoachTerryPSU pic.twitter.com/pjRhwPRa3G— Kevin Heywood (@KevHeywood52) July 30, 2022
Heywood is an in-state prospect who attends Archbishop Wood High School, the same school as former Penn State and current Buffalo Bills offensvie lineman Ryan Bates. Since being offered by the Nittany Lions back in June, Heywood has been very high on Penn State. Like Speca, Heywood attending Michigan’s BBQ event this past Sunday, and, also like Speca, this is shaping up to be a Nittany Lions/Wolverines battle.
Wide receiver Mylan Graham is another 2024 prospect who attended the Lasch Bash and left the weekend with an offer.
Extremely blessed and grateful to receive an offer from Penn State University. @coachjfranklin @CoachStubbs @Coach_Elby @Dre_Muhammad @TractionAp @TomLoy247 @SWiltfong247 @NewHavenFB1 pic.twitter.com/6mJTl7AIKx— Mylan Graham (@MylanGraham) July 30, 2022
The four-star Indiana native is one of the best wide receivers in the Midwest for the 2024 cycle. He will not be short on choices for where he wants to play football in college. Hopefully, the Nittany Lions will be able to get him back to campus for a visit this fall.
Penn State also hosted a large contingency of commits over the weekend. This is always a positive for peer recruiting. Additionally, events like the Lasch Bash go a long way toward the families of the class to get to bond and know each other, which is a vital, yet often times overlooked, aspect of recruiting.