Penn State Football Recruiting Roundup: September 20, 2017

STATE COLLEGE, PA - SEPTEMBER 16: James Franklin celebrates a 35 yard touchdown pass with Saeed Blacknall
STATE COLLEGE, PA - SEPTEMBER 16: James Franklin celebrates a 35 yard touchdown pass with Saeed Blacknall /

Welcome back to the weekly look at all things Penn State football recruiting here at Victory Bell Rings – the weekly recruiting roundup.

As the 2017 football season is now in full swing, things are really starting to heat up on the recruiting trail for the Penn State Nittany Lions. Currently, there may not be a program in the country with more momentum on the recruiting trail than Penn State. This bodes extremely well for a recruiting class that is already the third best in the country according to 247 Sports.

Last weekend’s 56-0 routing of Georgia State turned into a surprisingly big recruiting weekend for the Nittany Lions. Also in the past week, the recruitment of two of Penn State’s top remaining 2018 targets appear to be shifting.

Let’s get rolling with this week’s Penn State Football recruiting roundup.

Recapping the Georgia State visitors

As was said above, this past weekend turned into a big recruiting one for the Nittany Lions. Class of 2018 commits Charlie Katshir, Jesse Luketa, Shaquon Anderson-Butts, and Zack Kuntz were all in town. As was class of 2019 commit Keaton Ellis.

Class of 2018 visitors

The Nittany Lions also hosted two of their top remaining class of 2018 targets in five-star defensive end Micah Parsons and four-star defensive end Jayson Oweh.

Both Parsons and Oweh were coming off official visits to Ohio State. For both of these players their visits were unofficial visits and each will officially visit Penn State down the road.

After Parsons de-committed from Penn State back in April he seemed like an Ohio State lean. In fact, many people, myself included, thought Parsons committing to the Buckeyes was a question of when and not if.

However, things may end up coming full circle here. Thanks to his behavior on Twitter, it is not a given that Parsons is still a take at Ohio State. In fact, many people believe that Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes will not take Parsons now.

Micah Parsons would like to enroll early at whatever school he chooses. Due to this, he plans to announce his college decision in November or December. Right now it appears the Nittany Lions are back in the driver’s seat for the top-five prospect.

As for Jayson Oweh, the Nittany Lions also appear to be the current leaders in this recruitment. Oweh is in just his second season of playing football and has an unlimited ceiling. Odds are, he will be a five-star prospect before things are all said and done.

While this was far from Oweh’s first visit to Penn State, it was his first time attending a game at Beaver Stadium. By all accounts, the visit could not have gone better.

Penn State’s biggest hurdle to landing Oweh might be space and timing. Penn State’s 2018 recruiting class is nearly full and Oweh does not intend to commit until the Under Armor All-American Game on January 4. Of course, Oweh could also alert the coaching staff of the school he wishes to attend of his intentions before that date and go public on January 4.

The race for the final few spots in Penn State’s 2018 class appears to be between Parson, Oweh, Tyreke Smith (discussed more below), and top-100 offensive tackle Rasheed Walker who is set to officially visit Penn State later this fall.

Watching the Nittany Lions fill out the rest of their 2018 recruiting class is going to be fascinating to watch. It will also be a lot of fun for Nittany Lion fans as they will be added at least two more top-100 level players.

One final note on Parsons and Oweh is that it can not be overlooked that they both decided to take originally unplanned visits to Penn State this past weekend. Especially with both players coming off an official visit to Ohio State who appears to be the Nittany Lions’ top competition for at least Oweh.

Class of 2019 and 2020 visitors

The Nittany Lions also hosted an impressive collection of underclassmen on Saturday night.

Five-star defensive lineman Antonio Alfano, top-100 defensive lineman Steven Faucheux, four-star defensive back Cam’Ron Kelly, and three-star wide receiver John Metchie highlighted the uncommitted class of 2019 prospects in town on Saturday night.

It would not be a surprise to see any of these four players end up in Penn State’s 2019 recruiting class. Right now, the Nittany Lions appear to be the leaders for both Alfano and Metchie. Also, they are in a great early spot for Faucheux.

As for the class of 2020, Penn State hosted two of the top five prospects in the country in running back Chris Tyree and wide receiver Julian Fleming. The Nittany Lions appear to be the very early leader for both. With Fleming being from Southern Columbia, that one should be close to a shoe in for the Nittany Lions.

Penn State taking the lead for a top-100 defensive lineman?

For a long time now top-100 defensive lineman Tyreke Smith has appeared to be a heavy Ohio State lean. Smith being an Ohio State lean has been mentioned in the recruiting roundup countless times. However, what has also been mentioned is that if any program could beat the in-state Buckeyes for Smith’s services it would be James Franklin and Penn State.

Well, it appears that Franklin and the Nittany Lions may just be doing that.

More from Victory Bell Rings

This past weekend Smith took an official visit to USC. He will also officially visit Alabama (Oct. 14), Ohio State (Oct. 28), Oregon (Nov. 25), and Penn State (Dec. 8) before announcing his college decision at the Under Armor All-American Game on January 4. Penn State is the lone school Tyreke Smith will also take an unofficial visit to. This unofficial visit will occur when the Nittany Lions host Michigan on October 21.

Over the weekend, both national recruiting analyst Steve Wiltfong of 247 Sports and Lions247 editor Sean Fitz logged crystal ball predictions for Tyreke Smith. Previously, both Wiltfong and Fitz had Smith crystal balled to the Buckeyes but now they both are projected Smith to be a Nittany Lion.

Stealing Tyreke Smith away from the in-state Buckeyes would be an incredible recruiting victory by James Franklin and his staff. While Smith plans to announce his commitment in January if he indeed does wish to be a Nittany Lion he may have to announce before that due to space. That could potentially occur during his official visit in December, which will be the same weekend as Penn State’s 2018 commits officially visit Happy Valley. This is certainly a situation to keep an eye on moving forward.

Next: PSU depth chart vs Iowa

That will do it for this week. As always, stay tuned here at Victory Bell Rings for all of the latest news in the world of Penn State football recruiting.