Shane Lee

Elite 2019s and 2020s rave about Penn State's junior day

Penn State hosted a junior day, but some elite underclassmen showed up as well, and Scout has the reactions from the elite players in attendance.

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Penn State held an elite junior day Saturday, but it was for more than just high-level class of 2018 players.

Several of the areas best players from the 2019 and 2020 classes were at Penn State, and several picked up offers.

Class of 2019 offensive tackle Caeden Wallace of Princeton (N.J.) Hun was offered (story insert), and class of 2020 tight end Bryan Bresee of Damascus (Md.) High was offered.

The day also included offer-holding 2019 prospects Ronnie Hickman, recruited as a safety from Wayne (N.J.) DePaul, inside linebacker Shane Lee of Washington (D.C.) St. John's, receiver DeMarcco Hellams of Hyttsville (Md.) DeMatha and cornerback Nyquee Hawkins of Orange (N.J.) High, and in the 2020 class, Bresee and Ramsey (N.J.) Don Bosco running back Jalen Berger attended.

"It was a nice visit," said Lee, who added an Ohio State offer. "The people were nice, I liked how they pushed academics and how they had prestigious academics. The facilities were top of the line."

Earlier in the week, Hellams was offered as a safety. Plenty of schools already offered him, with an eye toward receiver and the secondary, but he was given the chance to see what Penn State is building from a defensive perspective.

"I saw everything that has to do with the football team, and also the academic side," he said. "I talked with the defensive staff and hung out with them for the whole day. We just chatted about what's in store for the program. I have nothing but good things to say about the time that I had there. The staff is amazing."

One of Hellams' recruiters is assistant coach Tim Banks, who coaches the safeties.

"Coach Banks is a great coach," Hellams said. "We spent most of the day together. We chopped up some film, he gave me some great coaching points and he feels as though he could take my game to the next level and I absorbed everything he had to say."

Hellams also spent time with defensive coordinator Brent Pry.

"The staff as a whole, coach (James) Franklin, Pry, (assistant coach Terry) Smith, Banks, (assistant coach Charles) Huff," Hellams said, "I really appreciate the time the coaches spent with me and the time I had there."

Hickman is being recruited by some programs as a receiver, but he likes what he saw with Penn State's safeties.

"I spent the majority of the day with coach Banks," Hickman said. "He's a great guy. It was my first time meeting him and we spent a lot of time together."

One of the top players in the 2020 class is Berger,  who is yet to grab a Penn State offer but already has three Big Ten offers.

"I really enjoyed the visit," Berger said "It seems like they are really going after really good players in the class of 2018. I got a chance to see some of my teammates (2018 Scout 100 defensive end Tyler Friday visited) and that's always nice. I really enjoyed talking with the coaches. The stadium blew me away they did a great job setting everything up for the visit."

Bresee loved the visit.

"I am extremely excited and overwhelmed," he Bresee said. "I could have never imagined that I would receive all this love from so many schools at such a young age.

"The two coaches I talked to the most were coach Franklin and (defensive line) coach (Sean) Spencer. I really loved the atmosphere and the enthusiasm of the coaches. I also like the academic support they offer their players. All around, I believe the staff really wants what's best for all the players. The coaches liked my size, athleticism and my ability to play the defensive end position."

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