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Blessed & Honored: White Out Visitors, Ex-Michigan Commit Make Waves

The visitor list for this weekend’s clash with Iowa is starting to grow.

NCAA Football: Minnesota at Penn State Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

One of Penn State football’s biggest recruiting weekends of the year is upon us.

The White Out, in all its chill-inducing and awe-inspiring glory, is arguably James Franklin’s biggest recruiting pitch. It’s hard to be in Beaver Stadium while the team runs out of the tunnel and not want to commit to Penn State right then and there.

“This White Out game, year in and year out, goes a long way towards shaping our future,” Franklin said in 2021. “You think about how many great players that have come to Penn State that talk about the White Out game having a big, significant impact in their recruiting process and in their decision.”

While the past week hasn’t produced any Earth-shattering recruiting news, things are starting to heat up — and the White Out is the catalyst.

White Out Visitor List Slowly Growing

In the past, the Nittany Lions typically have hosted around 300 prospects during White Out weekend. As of Monday, On3’s Ryan Snyder has already pegged about 50 recruits as confirmed attendees.

The list is highlighted by 2024 targets Jaylen Harvey and Ernest Willor Jr., who are yet to close out their recruitment with a commitment. Willor said last week that Penn State has been contacting him more than any other school.

Class of 2026 offensive tackle Maxwell Riley, who 247Sports has slated as a composite four-star recruit, will also be in attendance, per On3 as well as Lions247. Running back Messiah Mickens is currently Penn State’s only verbal commit in that class.

Class of 2025’s Top Prospect Decommits

It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows for Franklin & Co. as four-star offensive lineman Jaelyne Matthews announced he was decommiting from the program.

He’s picked up offers from Arkansas, Texas, and Coach Prime’s Colorado Buffaloes since his announcement on Sept. 12.

Ex-Michigan Commit Tabs October Visit

Three-star Class of 2025 linebacker Mantrez Walker is Happy Valley dreamin’ after decommiting from Michigan on Sept. 11.

Walker announced on Twitter that he’ll be in town for Penn State’s Oct. 28 clash with Indiana. The Georgia product holds offers from the likes of LSU, Ohio State, Texas, and Colorado, among others.

Needless to say, stealing any recruit from the Wolverines would make a big splash.

Ty Howle Praises Offensive Line Recruiting

Nittany Lions’ tight ends coach Ty Howle dished out a tongue-in-cheek compliment to Phil Trautwein’s offensive line recruiting during media availability last week.

Howle, who played at Penn State from 2009-2013, wasn’t exactly a Blue Chip recruit coming out of high school. 247Sports named him a three-star prospect and he came in at 6-foot and 298 pounds. He only had offers from Penn State, East Carolina, and Navy.

He’s right though: Trautwein has really turned on the gas. The Nittany Lions’ top recruits in their 2023 class, J’Ven Williams and Alex Birchmeier, were both linemen. Three four-star linemen are already committed to next year’s class, which is ranked No. 10 in the country.