The newest feature in the East, Midweek Meanderings explores and gives insight into the recruitment of some of the top players in the region.
FSU Or OSU For Nation's No. 1 ILB?
Five-star inside Teradja Mitchell, the No. 1 inside linebacker in the 2018 class, will make his commit June 2 at 7 p.m. at Virginia Beach (Va.) Bishop Sullivan. He is down to Ohio State and Florida State, and the last few months have been a back-and-forth battle between the two giants of college football.
Mitchell visited Ohio State in April, and the visit was huge for the Buckeyes. Getting around the players and the coaching staff was much needed as Mitchell's recruitment became hyper-focused on only a few schools. He followed that visit with a trip to Florida State, and again the trip went well as Mitchell was shown again how comfortable the fit was with the Seminoles.
One of the surprising parts in Mitchell's recruitment is how LSU, which Mitchell called his "dream school," is not factoring into the decision.
Throughout his recruitment, the Seminoles were considered the favorite. However, Ohio State is closing hard, and when Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer gets involved down the stretch of a recruitment, he is hard to beat. Plenty can change between now and June 2, but the trip to see the Buckeyes on the inside was enormous, and now has Ohio State looking good.
End Game As Penn State Tackles Defensive Line Recruiting
Penn State is putting together a stellar 2018 class. It is ranked fourth in the nation, but some tough decisions could be on the horizon. Of course, they are the type tough decisions every program would love to need to make.
Penn State is doing well with a number of defensive line targets, which could make for a first-to-choose situation. Look for Penn State to take four to five along the defensive line, with three likely being defensive ends.
Given four-star P.J. Mustipher of Owings Mills (Md.) Mc Donogh is fresh off a Saturday visit to campus, we shall start there. Mustipher is a defensive tackle who fits in well to Penn State's scheme. Tennessee, Notre Dame, Michigan State, Virginia Tech and Maryland are also involved, but Penn State helped its positioning in a big way during the weekend visit.
Penn State is also a finalist for defensive tackle Aeneas Hawkins of Cincinnati Moeller, but getting him out the midwest could be tough.
However, there is an interesting point when it comes to defensive tackle recruiting. Current linebacker commit Nick Tarburton is expected to grow into a defensive lineman, and with his size and agility, a move to defensive tackle is possible.
Meanwhile, Ramsey (N.J.) Don Bosco's Tyler Friday, the No. 2 player in New Jersey, has the Nittany Lions high among his suitors, which include Ohio State, Michigan and Rutgers. There is also a chance Friday could play three-technique in college.
Now, on the defensive end side, the Nittany Lions have lots of options, but could have two or three slots.
There is Blairstown (N.J.) Blair Academy's Jayson Oweh, who visited Saturday and also has Notre Dame, Wisconsin and Ohio State high on his list. There is Friday, who could be a "swing" guy, as well as Paramus (N.J.) Catholic's Dorian Hardy, Fairmont (W. Va.) High's Dante Stills and Don Bosco's Marcellus Earlington. And that does not even include an out-of-region guy like University Heights (Ohio) Cleveland Heights's Tyreke Smith.
What Will Simon Say?
Scout 300 safety Shayne Simon of Jersey City (N.J.) St. Peter's Prep is gathering his thoughts after a spring of visits, and sorting through some big options.
High on his list are Stanford, Virginia Tech, UCLA, Notre Dame, Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State, but he is not close to a decision. There were some rumblings about not having a great trip to Stanford, but in checking with several people, that was not the case. Everything was fine.
Notre Dame is in a powerful spot because St. Peter's Prep sent quarterback Brandon Wimbush there a few classes ago, and defensive line twins Jayson Ademilola and Justin Ademilola are committed to the the Irish and have access to Simon every day.
However, Simon's strong relationship with the coaches at Michigan, and knowing a few handfuls of New Jersey players went there in the last few classes, put the Wolverines staunchly in the mix. Ohio State is also heavily involved, but a numbers game with the Buckeyes could knock them out.
So, where do things point?
Look for Notre Dame and Michigan to battle it out, but do not be fooled into thinking Penn State is out of it. If the Nittany Lions can get him on campus, particularly for the mid-July Lasch Bash, it would make the Nittany Lions a legit player.
A New Recruiting Road Map In Philly
In the last five years, more and more schools are recruiting Philadelphia, and a big reason for it is the involvement of Alby Crosby, a one-time assistant coach at West Catholic who then won a state title at Imhotep Charter.
Well, after being out of high school coaching in 2017, the uber-connected Crosby has a new gig at Neumann Goretti, so do not be surprised to see a surplus of Philadelphia's top players flock to the school.
In the 2018 class, Crosby coached current Scout 100 safety Isheem Young (he is currently interested in Penn State, West Virginia, Florida, LSU and Alabama) and offensive tackle Justin Johnson (Maryland and Temple are high on his list) at Imhotep in the 2016 season. In the last few classes, Crosby had players sign with Oklahoma, Florida State, Maryland and Penn State.
How locked in is Crosby on Philadelphia-area scene? He had Harrisburg (Pa.) High Scout 300 receiver Shaquon Anderson-Butts (West Virginia, Penn State, Oregon, Alabama and Florida are high on his list) and Harrisburg five-star defensive end Micah Parsons, the No. 2 player in the nation, on his 7-on-7 team this spring.
And an added bonus to the deal?
Dwayne Thomas, the former coach at now-closed Elkton (Md.) Eastern Christian, is joining Crosby as the defensive coordinator. In the last few years, Thomas sent players to Auburn, USC, West Virginia, Syracuse, Maryland, Tennessee, Michigan and Connecticut. His former player at Eastern Christian, four-star running back Leddie Brown, spent last season at Smyrna (Del.) High and is committed to West Virginia.
Scout's Michael Clark contributed to this report