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 pledges Nana Asiedu and Ricky Slade reunite during scrimmage
Blue-chip recruits Nana Asiedu and Ricky Slade represent building blocks for the future of a promising Penn State offensive attack. Both Virginia standouts are considered top-10 talents at their respective position, with Asiedu listed No. 7 nationally among tackles and Slade sitting at No. 2 among all-purpose backs in 247Sports 2018 composite rankings.
Though they won’t wear the same uniform until next season, these two have formed a solid relationship like many members of the Nittany Lions class. This tandem reunited Friday, sharing the field for a scrimmage between Asiedu’s team (North Stafford High School) and Slade’s squad (C.D. Hylton High).
— Nana Asiedu (@BigNana_) August 11, 2017
Slade and Asiedu are listed No. 1 and No. 3, respectively, in composite Virginia rankings. Both enter their senior season surrounded by immense expectations.
Slade, who committed to Penn State on Feb. 3, rushed for 1,509 yards and 16 touchdowns in 10 games last fall, according to MaxPreps. He added 25 receptions for 338 yards and 4 scores.
Asiedu, a 6-5, 255-pound lineman who joined the class during his visit to the April 22 spring game, entered high school with basketball ambitions but a transition to football quickly made him one of America’s most sought-after tackles.
“The one constant with Nana’s recruitment is they see future potential NFL tackle,” North Stafford coach Joe Mangano told Greg Pickel of PennLive in April. “USC and UCLA flat-out told us we don’t offer guys on the east coast unless we think there’s first-round draft picks.”
If they both live up to the hype in Happy Valley, Asiedu will spend plenty of reps clearing lanes for electric runs by Slade.
247Sports releases first 2020 rankings, featuring a few Nittany Lions targets
College football recruiting is all about shifting focus toward the future. The fine folks at 247Sports provided an early glimpse at how the 2020 recruiting class is shaping up Thursday, releasing a top-100 list of high school sophomores.
We’ve grown accustomed to college coaches showing interest in recruits based on limited high school experience, so it’s no surprise to see many of these recruits already carrying several offers. Penn State has offered nine players on this initial list, headlined by Virginia running back Chris Tyree and in-state receiver Julian Fleming.
Fleming, a Southern Columbia (Catawissa, Pa.) standout, starts at No. 5 overall, recognized as the top prospect at his position. I’m in agreement with that assessment after watching Fleming compete throughout a mid-June 7-on-7 tournament in State College.
The 6-3, 175-pound playmaker displays outstanding coordination and mid-route adjustment for his age. His eye-opening size is matched by tremendous quickness, and he’s proved himself as an elite prep athlete. Fleming led the Southern Columbia basketball team in points and rebounds as a freshman, then qualified for four events in state track and field championships.
He collected 36 catches for 956 yards (26.6 per reception) and 13 touchdowns in 2016, according to MaxPreps. Fleming picked up a Nittany Lions offer before the aforementioned 7-on-7 tournament, and told Land of 10 his family is filled with Penn State fans.
“It really stands out, especially with the coaches,” Fleming said. “They went way out of their way [at the tournament] just to spend time with my family, bring players over for pictures, and drive me to games on their golf cart. It was a great experience. Penn State is one the top schools right now and I can’t thank them enough for what they did for me.”
— 🃏0J4🃏 (@julian_040) June 22, 2017
Tyree is one spot ahead of Fleming at No. 4 overall, and he tops all running backs. He led Thomas Dale (Chester, Va.) High in rushing yards (716) and yards per carry (7.1), while totaling 8 touchdowns as a freshman, according to MaxPreps.
The scintillating 5-9, 162-pound prospect clocked a 4.44-second 40-yard dash in June while attending camp at Penn State.
“A lot of coaches say I’m dangerous in space, and I definitely use speed to my advantage,” Tyree said. “I can break a long run at any time.”
The Nittany Lions certainly have history with Virginia running backs, ranging from Evan Royster and Tony Hunt to Slade.
Other early Penn State targets who made the list include linebacker Justin Flowe (No. 8), defensive tackle Tre Williams (No. 52), edge rusher Mekhail Sherman (No. 51) and quarterback Drew Pyne (No. 74). Defensive end Bryan Bresee of Damascus (Md.) High is No. 1 overall, and he already holds 19 offers.
5-star Penn State target Micah Parsons named preseason All-USA
Accolades continue to mount for Harrisburg (Pa.) High senior Micah Parsons. The 6-3, 235-pound prospect was named a preseason All-USA selection by USA Today on Thursday.
Parsons, who spent 14 months committed to Penn State before backing off that verbal pledge April 23, has been a wrecking ball on defense since his freshman season. His three-year prep career features more than 40 sacks and 60 tackles for loss.
He helped lead Harrisburg to its first state championship appearance last fall, competing alongside 2017 Nittany Lions DE signee Damion Barber and 2018 Penn State WR pledge Shaquon Anderson-Butts. Both teammates could help influence him to return to the class by National Signing Day.
Parsons continues to explore alternative options, spending time at schools such as Alabama, Nebraska and Ohio State this summer. New Penn Sate defensive tackle commit PJ Mustipher told Land of 10 this week that Parsons is a priority target for him moving forward, and plenty of his classmates feel the same way.
“Micah is a straight-up athlete,” 4-star linebacker commit Jesse Luketa said. “He dominates every position and just wants to be the best he can be. We spoke a little bit on campus [in June] and he’s still interested in Penn State. I really don’t know where he’s leaning at the moment, but Micah understands what Penn State has to offer because he committed to us before.”
The post Penn State Recruiting: Commits Nana Asiedu and Ricky Slade share field, early look at top 2020 targets appeared first on Land of 10.
Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism.