Penn State Recruiting: 2017 season begins for commits; Lions expect busy early signing period

Penn State-Isheem Young

Stay updated as Penn State rises toward the top of the recruiting rankings! Don’t miss the coverage from Tyler Donohue, who brings a decade of experience as a national college football reporter and recruiting department staff member with a Big Ten program. Read his daily notebooks here at 7:20 p.m. ET Monday through Friday and follow us on Twitter for the latest Nittany Lions recruiting news.

Penn State commits, targets set for start of 2017 high school season

Rejoice, football fans, action is returning to the field.

While we’re still one week away from welcoming back full-scale college football and two weeks shy of NFL kickoffs, high school games are set to take place across America this weekend. Blue-chip recruits and second-string scrappers alike have waited to compete for victories following a lengthy offseason featuring camps, practices and scrimmages.

Marquee matchups are scheduled in different corners of the country, including a heavyweight collision 90 miles southeast of Penn State.

Harrisburg High School will host Imhotep Charter at 1 p.m. Saturday. This is a notable game for Pennsylvania prep football and Nittany Lions recruiting.

Harrisburg, fresh off its first state championship game appearance in school history, features two players with whom Penn State fans should be quite familiar: Shaquon Anderson-Butts and Micah Parsons.

Anderson-Butts, a receiver, committed to the Nittany Lions on July 15. Just three days later, Imhotep safety Isheem Young joined him in the class, and these two are likely to cross paths plenty in the season opener.

Young is joined by 4-star 2019 talents Tykee Smith and Omar Speights in the Imhotep defensive attack. Smith is considered the No. 19 safety recruit in the 247Sports 2019 composite rankings, while Speights is listed 18th among outside linebackers. Neither holds a Penn State offer yet.

They aim to help Imhotep reach a third straight state title game.

Of course, more eyes than any will focus on Parsons in this matchup. A top-five overall talent in the 2018 composite rankings, he is expected to dominate as an edge defender and running back this season. Parsons, who is considering colleges such as Alabama, Florida State, Miami, Nebraska, Ohio State and Penn State, collected more than 60 tackles for loss and 40 sacks during his first three prep campaigns.

Parsons (No. 1), Young (No. 7) and Anderson-Butts (No. 13) each appeared in Land of 10’s initial Pennsylvania prospect rankings for the 2018 class this week.

I’ll be in attendance Saturday, so be sure to follow along on Twitter for updates. Also expect analysis of the top recruits and reaction to post-game player interviews early next week.

Below is a rundown of where other in-state Nittany Lions pledges will play this weekend, per MaxPreps.

Tight end Zack Kuntz – Camp Hill

At Palmyra (Pa.), 7 p.m. Friday

Linebacker Jesse Luketa – Mercyhurst Prep (Erie)

At Eisenhower (Russell, Pa.), Friday, 7 p.m.

Offensive lineman Fredrick Scruggs – Cathedral Prep (Erie)

Home versus Central Catholic (Pittsburgh), 7 p.m. Friday

Linebacker Nick Tarburton – Pennridge (Perkasie)

Home versus Norristown (Pa.), 7 p.m. Friday

Nittany Lions ‘hopeful’ for a fruitful first early signing period

Penn State is primed to start its season with 23 prospects in the 2018 recruiting class. The Nittany Lions are confident many of these commits will make things official before Christmas.

College football’s first early signing period (Dec. 20-22) remains an unknown commodity, but Penn State director of player personnel Andy Frank is optimistic it will be a beneficial few days for the program and players.

“We’re hopeful that most, if not all, of the class that is committed to us right now will sign on that date,” Frank said Thursday night on the Penn State Coaches Radio Show, according to Mark Brennan of Fight On State.

College football coaches and fans have become accustomed to traditional National Signing Day festivities commanding an expansive spotlight the first Wednesday of each February. However, there has long been a call for an earlier opportunity to finalize recruitments. The December signing period provides it.

The tricky part, in my opinion, will be how post-bowl game coaching changes across college football impact these early decisions. If it’s early January and you’re a pro-style passer who just saw the team you signed with hire an offensive coordinator known for his reliance on dual-threat quarterbacks, what’s the reaction?

These are the questions we’ll navigate later in the cycle.

“Change is always something that’s stressful,” Frank said.

Aside from recruits who enroll in January, the rest won’t arrive on campus until next June.

Along with the intrigue of seeing who signs early, there should be the standard signing day storylines as February nears. Defensive end target Jayson Oweh won’t announce his decision until Jan. 4, while Parsons and 4-star offensive tackle Rasheed Walker may extend the process even deeper into winter.


Penn State commit Jordan Miner will use official visit in October

Members of the 2018 recruiting class will be on the move this season, as the NCAA allots five official visits for each prospect. This annually allows high school seniors and their families to enjoy exclusive multi-day tours of universities without worrying about the expenses that typically accompany travel itineraries.

Pennsylvania prospects, along with players from bordering states, may attend multiple Penn State games — in an unofficial capacity — but a single trip is likely the case for long-distance pledges and targets. Jordan Miner, a 4-star Nittany Lions cornerback commit from Florida, already has his calendar marked.

The Wiregrass Ranch (Zephyrhills) standout intends to use an official visit during the third weekend of October, when Penn State hosts Michigan. His father, John Miner, confirmed travel plans Friday afternoon.

This Oct. 21 matchup figures to be among the biggest Nittany Lions recruiting events of 2017. A “White Out” setting in Beaver Stadium is a tough atmosphere to top in college football and many prospects, ranging from 2018 pledges to recently offered 2020 targets, have expressed interest in securing a seat.

Miner, a 6-foot-1, 183-pound playmaker, committed to Penn State on July 6. He was the first of 10 new Nittany Lions pledges in a five-week span.

His offer list features nearly 30 universities, and Penn State ultimately edged out contenders such as Florida, North Carolina, Oregon and Tennessee.

Check out his highlights from a game against Clearwater Central on Aug. 18. Miner caught 3 passes for 100 yards and 2 touchdowns, while also making an impact on defense and special teams.

The post Penn State Recruiting: 2017 season begins for commits; Lions expect busy early signing period appeared first on Land of 10.

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