In 2018 Penn state has done an outstanding job, with a current rank of no.3 in the country with 20 commits. The most important position they need to address is the defensive line, at one time they had arguably the best defensive prospect in the nation 5 star DE Micah Parsons, no.5 prospect in the nation by 24/7 and scout. He de-committed and has been on Ohio State’s campus a lot as well as visits to Alabama and an offer from his dream school Oregon. Parsons is still close with a lot of 2018 Penn state commits and they still love Parsons like a brother. Out of the three de-commits this year, Parsons holds closest to coach James Franklin’s heart and he is also the no.1 player in Pennsylvania.
4 star DE Tyreke Smith, 69 by 24/7 and 59 by Scout, is the no.1 player in Ohio. A native of the area, Smith stays on the Ohio state campus but he has a great connection with Penn state and has for a while.
4 star DE Jayson Oweh, 177 by 24/7 and 66 by Scout, is an athletic monster, with speed and strength like no other. Oweh, like those named above is being pursued by Ohio State, as well as Notre Dame…but the Lions are very high on his list.
4 star DT Aneas Hawkins, 248 by 24/7 and 178 by Scout, was very impressed once again by Penn State. At the Lasch Bash he stated “The biggest thing that stood out was the culture” going on to explain that coach James Franklin was a winner and treats you like family.
One thing that the trio have in common is that Ohio state and Penn state are after them and as it stands, both schools are 1 and 2 on their lists. It will come down to a battle of the Lions and the Buckeyes with the trio of DE standouts, a rivalry we have heard way too often. Current PSU commits Shaquon Anderson-Butts and Damion Barber are former teammates of Parsons at Harrisburg high school and could weigh heavily on his decision, but only time will tell.
When I asked Parsons about who is his top choice right now between Penn state and Ohio State he told me it’s a free game between the schools. Oweh has been in an up and down battle on his decision between Ohio state and Penn state. When I interviewed him months ago it seemed like Penn State was the top choice, then after an Ohio state visit it was reported they were the top choice over Penn State. After the Lasch Bash, it seems Penn state is back on top and Parsons says he will decide in January during the Under Armour All-American game. Hawkins has said he will make his decision in the next two weeks. He has come down to two schools as well but another Ohio school is in the running. For him it will be a choice between between Penn State and Cincinnati.
Smith, Like Parsons, Will probably decide at the top 2018 as Smith has no point in rushing but it will come down to Penn State and Ohio State as I have mentioned. Whether the Lions can get all 4 remains to be seen but it is certainly a big possibility as all 4 are very high on the school. At the very least they will get three out of five, yes, I said three out of five.
6-5, 290 lbs, 4 star beast P.J. Mustipher is a name we must not forget. Tennessee, Maryland, and Penn state are the top three schools in the hunt or him. He is considered a Penn state lean as well. There is a big chance Penn state can get all 5 of these guys but the cards would have to fall right in all the player decisions. It will be 3 at the least and 5 at the most, but one thing is for sure, Penn State will have an awesome 2018 class and it is very possible that they reclaim the no.1 spot in the nation for 2018.
Mandatory Photo Credit: Phelan M. Ebenhack via AP Images
Derrick Raheem”Leader” Johnson is one of the fastest rising young talented writers out. He writers for Scout.com for Villanova sports, NBA draft for nbadraftroom.com, and he is the lead college writer or Philly Sports Network. Johnson also does interviews and reports news on his personal blog page on facebook titled Leader Johnson. Johnson was Born in West Philadelphia, PA and was raised in southwest Little Rock, AR, he is known as Mr. 1on1 for always getting many 1 on 1 exclusives with some of the top athletes in high school and college, Leader also started the Success series and Villanova rundown for VUsports.com along with the Prospects Corner and Prospect Watch on nbadraftroom.com. Leader also does 1 on 1’s called the legacy series in which he interviews young athletes who parents were infamous athletes such as NBA great Ron Artest(Jeron and Ron Artest) etc. Leader has recently started the PSN college game balls given to the best performances among the chosen Philly and Pennsylvania schools and PSN NFL game balls given to best philadelphia pro team performers. The name Leader comes from Raheem setting his own standard as a writer while appreciating the writers before him.