JUNIOR DAY VISITORS
Leading the way for junior day visitors was Penn State’s one current 2024 commit — offensive lineman Cooper Cousins.
Cousins has been locked in to his Penn State commitment for nearly a full calendar year. You will be hard pressed to ever find a recruit who loves Penn State as much as Cousins does. Having him on campus to peer recruit was a huge positive this past weekend.
One of the biggest visitors on campus this past weekend was four-star linebacker Anthony Speca. Following the visit, Speca called Penn State the current leaders in his recruitment.
LB Anthony Speca following PSU's junior day:— Blue White Illustrated (@PennStateOn3) January 15, 2023
'I’d say Penn State is the favorite now. I think the stability and the comfortability I feel there is just different.'
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Speca attends Pittsburgh Central Catholic, and his recruitment has evolved into a Penn State/Michigan battle in recent months. Speca has visited Penn State more than any other school and him now officially naming the Nittany Lions his current leaders should put them in the driver’s seat in this recruitment.
Speca was just one of three big-time linebacker recruits the Nittany Lions hosted over the weekend. Fellow four-star 2024 linebacker Kris Jones was also in town for a visit over the weekend.
For Jones, however, his visit was a bit different. Instead of attending junior day, Jones came to town for a more personal visit on Friday. Getting the Virginia product in town for a personal visit where the staff can focus more time and energy on him certainly doesn’t hurt. Right now, the Nittany Lions are likely the team to beat for Jones.
The third big-time linebacker on campus this past weekend was Mantrez Walker.
Walker is a 2025 recruit from Georgia. He is also shaping up to be one of the best linebacker recruits in the 2025 cycle and he will have every southern school after him. While Penn State is off to a very strong start in Walker’s recruitment and are toward the top of his list right now, well, it’s hard to get too excited about a highly sought after 2025 kid from Georgia. That said, as long as Walker continues to rave about Penn State and make it back to campus the Nittany Lions will remain in the thick of his recruitment.
IMG Academy running back Demitrias Fletcher made it to campus as well.
Penn State has had plenty of success with IMG running backs during JaJuan Seider’s tenure as running backs coach. Despite being a 2024 prospect, Fletcher’s recruitment is one that is just now starting to take off. It will be worth watching to see if he makes it back to campus this spring/summer.
Had a great time at the Penn State Junior day. Thank you for the hospitality! @coachjfranklin @CoachTrautFB @CoachTHowle @chrismahon_ @CoachDScott1 @FB_CoachFitz @CoachOliphant32 @TheLake_FB pic.twitter.com/eH8h99HWpU— Ethan Calloway (@Ethan_LKN) January 16, 2023
Had an amazing time at Penn State this weekend! Thank you to @coachjfranklin @CoachTrautFB @CoachDScott1 and all of the @PennStateFball staff for an amazing time! Can’t wait to be back! pic.twitter.com/aumJN7JNWD— Blake Frazier (@_BlakeFrazier) January 15, 2023
Calloway is a four-star prospect from North Carolina. He was also in town, and this was before he was offered, for Penn State’s victory over Michigan State. He would be offered following that visit.
This was Calloway’s first visit to any campus since he was in town for the victory over Michigan State. When a visit, especially an out of region prospect, makes back-to-back visits to the same the campus, it indicates a strong interest in that program. Right now, the Nittany Lions may be the leaders in Calloway’s recruitment.
While Frazier’s visit may seem odd since he live in Texas, his family is one with Big Ten ties. His dad played in college for Michigan, who may prove to be the team to beat in his recruitment. Regardless, getting a four-star offensive lineman from Texas on campus for a visit that they paid for on their own dime indicates interest in the Nittany Lions.
In-state quarterback prospect Samaj Jones was also in town for junior day.
The St. Joe’s Prep prospect is a very, very good quarterback and a plus athlete. However, there are questions around his size and arm strength. If the Nittany Lions decide to push for Jones this is a recruitment in which they could be difficult to beat.
A final noteworthy visitor was cornerback Willy Love.
Love is the top rated cornerback in New Jersey for the 2024 cycle and one of the best all-around players in the state. He is also one of the top cornerbacks in the region. Love is a prospect that could be popping up on campus with regularity in the coming months.
2023 OFFICIAL VISITOR
The Nittany Lions also hosted one official visitor this weekend. That official visitor was four-star offensive tackle Chimdy Onoh.
Onoh is a Maryland product who took an official visit to Rutgers before the Early Signing Period. He also has official visits scheduled for Michigan State and Ole Miss. Coming out of the visit the Nittany Lions appear to be in a great spot in Onoh’s recruitment, but there are those two remaining OVs to monitor.
There were multiple notable in-state offers extended by the coaching staff over the weekend. Two of them were extended to Steelton-Highspire quarterback Alex Erby and defensive lineman Andrew Erby Jr.
Both of the Erbys are 2024 prospects who have visited Penn State multiple times. Seeing the Nittany Lions move on these two did come as a bit of a surprise due to their being some question about their ability to be legitimate Power 5 level players. Now that they each hold offers they will become prospects to watch as the 2024 cycle carries on.
Mylachi Williams was another in-state 2024 prospect that picked up an offer from the Nittany Lions.
Williams is a Drexel Hill, PA, native. The Nittany Lions join Rutgers and West Virginia as Power 5 programs to offer Williams. Moving forward, it will be worth watching to see how often Williams pops up on campus as he begins to develop as a Penn State target.
Another in-state offer that went out over the weekend was extended to Messiah Mickens.
The Trinity High School product is currently listed as an athlete by recruiting services. A member of the 2026 recruiting cycle, Mickens recruitment is absolutely in its infancy with Texas A&M being his only other offer.