clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Blessed & Honored: QB Target Returns, Junior Days Continue & More

The Nittany Lion staff wrapped up a whirlwind month of January with a third junior day in as many weekends

Maryland v Penn State Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

While it was a busy junior day weekend in Happy Valley, the visitors for the past weekend truly started on Thursday.


Four-star quarterback Michael Van Buren made it to campus on Thursday.

Van Buren is one of Penn State’s top quarterback targets in the 2024 cycle. While there are some questions about his height, there are no questions about Van Buren’s arm talent and ability as a quarterback.

Van Buren attends regional powerhouse St. Frances Academy in Baltimore, a school Penn State has struggled mightily to recruit. That said, right now the Nittany Lions appears to be in Van Buren’s top two along with Oregon. Could Van Burn finally be the recruit that ends Penn State’s drought at SFA? As a wise man once said, time will tell.


As always on recruiting weekends such as this, peer recruiting is always important. 2024 commits Cooper Cousins and Anthony Speca were on campus to do just that. Additionally, 2025 offensive lineman Jaelyn Matthews, who committed to the Nittany Lions on Monday morning, was on campus as well.

One in-state visitor that the Nittany Lions appeared to make a big move with over the weekend was three-star cornerback Kenny Woseley.

Woseley attends Imhotep Charter in Philadelphia, which is one of the best programs in Pennsylvania. Coming out of the visit the Nittany Lions appear to be the clear cut leaders for Woseley, and this recruitment may have become one where it is a question of when he commits to Penn State and not if.

Another notable defensive target that was on campus was EDGE rusher Jaylen Harvey.

Harvey is one of Penn State’s top EDGE targets for the 2024 cycle. He attends Quince Orchard in Maryland, the same high school as current Nittany Lion pass rusher Chop Robinson, and he has visited Penn State more than any other school. While a decision is unlikely to come before the spring/summer, Harvey committing to Penn State appears to be a question of when, not if.

Staying in Maryland, wide receiver Elijah Moore was also in town.

Moore attends Good Counsel High School, which also produced current Nittany Lion offensive lineman Landon Tengwall. Being an in region prospect at a school Penn State has recruited well in the past makes Moore a prospect worth monitoring.

A big, literally and figuratively, out of region visitor who made it to campus was offensive lineman DeAndre Carter.

The top 100 offensive tackle attends national powerhouse Mater Dei in Santa Ana, California. Obviously, just getting Carter to campus is huge for the Nittany Lions. If there truly is interest on Carter’s end coming out of the visit, then Penn State may be able to get him back to campus for an official visit this spring/summer.

Staying out of the region, linebacker/EDGE prospect Jamonta Waller was also on campus.

This was the first visit to campus for the Mississippi native. It came after he was offered by the Nittany Lions earlier this month. Penn State appeared to make a big impact on Waller, and this is recruitment they may be bigger players in moving forward than you would think.

Four-star Florida defensive end Dylan Stephenson also took in Penn State’s junior day.

As always, any Florida recruit must be taken seriously due to JaJuan Seider’s ties to the Sunshine State. Getting Stephenson to campus on his own dime for an unofficial visit signals interest in Penn State on his end. Now, the Nittany Lion staff will look to get him back on campus for an official visit this spring/summer.

On Sunday, four-star New Jersey safety Vabour Toure made it back to campus.

Toure has visited Penn State more than once during his recruitment. Right now, the Nittany Lions appear to be solidly in Toure’s top two or three and he is arguably their top safety target. His name is certainly one to continue to monitor moving forward.


As is typically the case coming out of weekends such as this one, there were new offers being handed out by the Nittany Lion staff as well. One of these offers went to in-state 2025 cornerback Antwan Black Jr.

Black Jr. attends Laurel Highlands High School in the Pittsburgh area. With Terry Smith’s connections to WPIAL schools, it would not be a surprise to see the Nittany Lions quickly emerge as big time players in his recruitment. Especially with Penn State being his first FBS offer, that type of things tends to carry weight with recruits.

A pair of teammates from Michigan who were on campus walked away with offers. They were 2024 linebacker Jeremiah Beasley and 2025 quarterback Bryce Underwood Jr.

Beasley is a four-star prospect and one of the best linebackers in the Midwest this cycle. As for Underwood Jr., he is currently a top 10 prospect in the 2025 cycle and is shaping up to be one of the best quarterbacks in his class. Getting in on Underwood Jr.’s recruitment early could help the Nittany Lions be a player throughout, especially if Drew Allar performs the way he is expected to this fall.

Another 2024 prospect who picked up an offer was wide receiver Sage Clawges.

Clawges attends St. Thomas More in Connecticut, the same school as former Nittany Lion defensive back Tyler Rudolph and 2023 signee Joseph Mupoyi. The Nittany Lions are the first Power 5 offer for Clawges. Combine this with the relationship James Franklin and his staff have with the staff at St. Thomas More, and this is certainly a recruitment in which the Nittany Lions could become big-time players.