Penn State Football: Ja’Juan Seider offers his thoughts on decommitments

Penn State Nittany Lions. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Penn State Nittany Lions. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

How does the Penn State Football program feel about their recent decommitments? Ja’Juan Seider recently offered some insight.

Not too many Penn State football fans are thrilled about what has transpired this week. This past Sunday night, bad news surfaced about a four-star offensive tackle, who was the first player to commit to the 2020 recruiting class. Grant Toutant, the Michigan native, decided that Penn State was not his desired Big Ten landing spot — instead, it was Ohio State. So he decommitted from the Lions and quickly announced that he will be joining the Buckeyes in Ohio next season.

Not a huge deal, right? There’s plenty of guys still on board as of now. Unfortunately, Aaryn Parks, another four-star offensive tackle, decided to back away from his commitment with the Lions as well. Although Parks hasn’t backed away in order to attend another school, there’s still a small chance he ends up in Happy Valley — especially after some backlash.

It’s unfortunate, but social media can play a part in a players decision nowadays. Regardless of the fact that at the end of the day these just are high school kids, the power of Twitter and other social platforms can make a major impact on their decisions for better or for worse.

The backlash on Twitter for both prospects caused a bit of a stir, but Parks did mention that Penn State is still a target on his list. He just wants to keep an open mind for other schools as well.

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Not too long after the news about Parks came out, Penn State’s coaching staff opened themselves up to the media for some questions. Fans wanted answers from head coach James Franklin, regarding the struggle of the recruiting process.

Unfortunately for those who want an answer, you won’t be getting one. However, Penn State’s running backs coach Ja’Juan Seider did offer some of his insight regarding decommitments.

A take from Seider

"“There are still a few of those kids who commit early who are going to decommit and want to look around, they say, ‘Hey, I rushed my decision.’ We try to tell them, ‘Don’t commit if you’re not ready. What changes now? People are in their ear, or a relative is trying to push them to a school because they grew up liking the school but don’t understand the big picture. So yeah, it’s tougher.”"

Seider makes an interesting point here. Nowadays, it seems as though players are focused on satisfying people around them rather than making a decision for themselves. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but at the end of the day, players shouldn’t commit to schools based off of somebody else’s desire for them to go there. It’s a personal decision, but rarely it gets treated like one.

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Is the Lions’ coaching staff satisfied with what has transpired over the last few days? Obviously not. But PennLive’s Greg Pickle had an interesting statistic, which came from 247 Sports. Apparently, roughly 50 prospects have decommitted so far for the 2020 cycle. All schools are going to have one, and as time moves on, there will most likely be more. Again, two in one week is not ideal for Penn State, but at least they aren’t alone in losing prospects. It happens everywhere.