Penn State Football Recruiting Roundup: March 23, 2016

This past weekend was a big recruiting one for Penn State, and it featured both some good and bad news. The Nittany Lions had some of their top targets on campus, and saw a top target commit elsewhere. Anyway, here we go with this week’s recruiting roundup.

Offensive Line Visitors
Over the weekend Penn State hosted over 20 prospects, including two of its biggest offensive line targets. IMG Academy guard/tackle Robert Hainsey and Stow (OH) guard Mike Miranda. By all reports both had great visits, especially Miranda.

After this past weekend, I believe Penn State has become the team to beat for Miranda. Also, Steve Wiltfong of 247 Sports has put in a crystal ball prediction for Miranda to Penn State. Miranda is a very tenacious and physical player, and would be a great addition to Penn State’s offensive line.

According to Scout’s Brian Dohn, Miranda will trim his list down to a group of finalists soon and wants to make a decision before the summer. As I said above, I believe Penn State is in the driver’s seat here. However, they will have to deal with competition from Northwestern and Pitt.

As for Hainsey, things have not changed. I like where Penn State stands with him, but if the Nittany Lions are going to land the four-star stud it will be an absolute war with Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, and possibly Notre Dame.

Hainsey’s IMG Academy teammate Cesar Ruiz was also slated to be on campus, but was unable to make the visit. I believe Penn State is currently running third for Ruiz behind Michigan and North Carolina, and the Nittany Lions really need to get him back on campus if they’re going to make up ground.

Jersey City (NJ) offensive lineman Ben Petrula was also at Penn State over the weekend. The three-star recruit holds Penn State in high regard, but does not hold an offer from the Nittany Lions. If Penn State were to offer Petrula, I’d expect them to very much be in the mix.

Indianapolis Trio Visits
A trio of class of 2018 prospects from Indianapolis also checked out Penn State this past weekend. Offensive lineman Emil Ekiyor, linebacker Hugh Davis, and running back Markese Stepp all checked out Penn State this past weekend. Based on Twitter reactions, all three had a great visit.

Obviously there is a long way to go for class of 2018 prospects, but it never hurts to get in a good standing early on with these recruits. Penn State already has one elite 2018 recruit committed in defensive end Micah Parsons. Even though it will be very difficult to prevent these three from going to Midwest schools such as Michigan and Notre Dame, Penn State should have a shot.

David Adams and Kurt Hinish Commit To Notre Dame
Entering this past weekend Penn State led for Pittsburgh Central Catholic three-star defensive tackle Kurt Hinish. I was told by a source inside PCC that Hinish would have to ‘be blown away and then some’ during his Notre Dame visit to not go to Penn State. Unfortunately, that is what happened.

Following his visit to Notre Dame this past weekend, Hinish committed to the Fighting Irish on Monday night. This came the day after his teammate, four-star linebacker David Adams, also committed to the Fighting Irish.

These are two tough blows for the Nittany Lions, not only are Adams and Hinish both players at positions of need, but it also is bad to lose in-state talent. Linebackers Avery Roberts and Nathan Proctor, and defensive tackle Elijah Conliffe just became that much more important for Penn State.

More Class Of 2018 Notes
Another class of 2018 player to watch is Middle village (NY) defensive back Jarret Paul. Over the weekend, four crystal ball predictions were made for Paul on 247 Sports. Based on that alone, he appears to be a Penn State lean.

Also, based on intel I have gathered, Paul seems to love Penn State. He does not have a Penn State offer, yet. But he is slated to visited Penn State later this month, and, if his measurables checkout, could receive an offer during that visit.

That will do it for this week. As always, stay tuned here at VBR for all the breaking Penn State recruiting news. Especially during the busy spring visit season.