Penn State recruiting: 5-star DT Antonio Alfano puts PSU in top group; Jayson Oweh visits Big Ten rival

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.

5-star DT Antonio Alfano includes Penn State among favorites as decision nears

Much of the recruiting focus for Penn State shifted beyond 2018 class efforts this fall, placing 2019 prospects in a larger spotlight. New Jersey defensive lineman Antonio Alfano is among the most coveted Northeast recruits in the 2019 cycle, emerging as a national target well before his junior season of prep football.

Alfano, a 6-foot-4, 255-pound prospect at Rahway High School, has visited Penn State several times. He’s repeatedly mentioned the Nittany Lions as a long-term contender during discussions with Land of 10.

The 5-star prospect continues to keep close tabs on the program, placing Penn State on a top-12 list released Saturday afternoon:

Along with the Nittany Lions, Alfano included plenty of Power 5 heavyweights in this collection of favorites. The competition features Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Miami, Ohio State, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Tennessee and Virginia Tech.

It’s worth noting Penn State presents a far more stable situation than some of these schools. Florida and Tennessee are dealing with coaching staff changes, while Florida State may soon go through the same transition.

This is particularly notable considering Alfano’s final line of his announcement.

“I will be committing to a school VERY soon,” he wrote.

Listed No. 23 overall in 247Sports 2019 composite rankings, Alfano previously told Land of 10 that Penn State was essentially a lock to land on his list of top collegiate options.

“I can tell you now that Penn State will definitely be in my top [group], unless something dramatic happens with the school or coaching staff,” he said in June.

Alfano explained the Nittany Lions are targeting him as an interior 3-technique defensive lineman. He’s established strong rapport with James Franklin and Penn State defensive line coach Sean Spencer.

“These two guys are just so down to earth,” Alfano said before his junior season. “They really care. Like my dad says, these guys you can sit down with and hang out with. They’ve got your back.”

Alfano sat out the first four games of 2017 following a transfer from Bergen Catholic (Oradell, N.J.) but put together an impressive junior campaign. He finished with 67 tackles — 9 for loss — and 5 sacks in seven games, according to MaxPreps.

Alfano is one of the Nittany Lions’ top-tier defensive line targets in the 2019 recruiting class. Penn State also has sights set on standouts such as Steven Faucheux (West Chester, Ohio), Zach Harrison (Lewis Center, Ohio), Savion Jackson (Clayton, N.C.) and Joseph Weté (Washington, D.C.).

Watch Alfano’s junior-season highlights here:

Nittany Lions target Jayson Oweh spends weekend at Michigan

Penn State remains focused on finishing its 2018 recruiting class in strong fashion, and there is plenty of attention on three top defensive ends. The Nittany Lions are firmly in the mix for a blue-chip trio of Jayson Oweh, Micah Parsons and Tyreke Smith.

Parsons and Smith are both expected to use an official visit in Happy Valley in December, while Oweh spent an official visit at Penn State earlier this month. The 6-5, 235-pound Blair Academy (Blairstown, N.J.) senior traveled to campus for a fifth time since March, attending the Nov. 18 game vs. Nebraska alongside his parents.

He continued to remain busy on the recruiting trail last weekend, journeying to Michigan. The Wolverines extended a scholarship offer in October, well after fellow Big Ten contenders Penn State and Ohio State entered this pursuit.

Michigan immediately attracted Oweh’s attention, and he told Land of 10 this month it was a “game changer”. He didn’t hesitate to reciprocate interest, setting up an official visit in Ann Arbor.

Oweh traveled to Michigan for the program’s regular-season finale vs. Ohio State. He spent some close-up time with Wolverines coach Jim Harbaugh, who will be hard-pressed to make up ground in this recruitment.

Frequent visits to Ohio State and Penn State have helped make those schools his top choices, though Michigan at the very least provides another option to consider. Oweh will also use an official visit at Notre Dame during the second weekend of December.

He plans to announce a commitment Jan. 4 at the Under Armour All-America Game. Oweh, who didn’t play high school football until 2016, is among the true “high-ceiling” recruits in this class and could make an immediate impact for the team of his choice, while continuing to improve a dynamic, raw skill set.

He secured 47 tackles — 8 for loss — and 13 sacks in fewer than five full games this season. Watch his highlights here:

Miss any previous editions of our daily Penn State recruiting notebook? You can find them all here.

The post Penn State recruiting: 5-star DT Antonio Alfano puts PSU in top group; Jayson Oweh visits Big Ten rival appeared first on Land of 10.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.

Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism. Atlanta. News. Now.

Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism. Atlanta. News. Now.