NY DT Visiting Happy Valley

The junior prospect typically stops the run. But Saturday, he'll get his recruitment running, and hit a recruiting milestone, with his first unofficial visit.

Pete Mokwuah considers himself a run-stopper. At 6-foot-4 306 pounds, Mokwuah spent last fall clogging running lanes for 8-2 St. Joseph-by-the-Sea (Staten Island, N.Y.). But this winter, the junior defensive tackle is embarking on a new type of season: recruiting. And while Mokwuah has yet to pick up his first offer, his planned unofficial visit to University Park and Penn State this Saturday will mark his first college visit.

"I want to see what kind of academics they have first of all," Mokwuah said. "And I also want to learn what position they might want me at. I want to learn just general stuff like that."

Mokwuah began hearing from Penn State tight-ends coach John Strollo a few weeks ago, and was quickly invited to Saturday's unofficial gathering of roughly 20 junior prospects. The junior believes the Nittany Lions are looking at him as a defensive tackle, but potentially other positions, as well.

"I communicate with Coach Strollo via email almost daily," Mokwuah explained. "I told him I play either two-technique defensive tackle, and he mentioned about the offensive line. I never really got the chance to play offensive line on varsity, but I'm pretty sure I'm capable of it. I just like defense a lot."

That fondness comes from his ability to not only stop opposing backers, but also trail the line of scrimmage, too, as both areas are ones he considers strengths at this point in his football career.

"I think I'm a big run stopper, and I'm pretty sure teams run opposite or away from me," Mokwuah said. "When they do come to my side, I make the tackle, and I don't feel like many running backs get passed me. Basically, I just clog the hole.

"But I also feel a strength is backside pursuit, and waiting for the quarterback or ball carried to turn back and run into me."

He wouldn't be the first Penn State prospect to come out of the Staten Island program. Former Penn State defensive tackle Ollie Ogbu also graduated from St. Joseph-By-the-Sea before heading to Milford Academy, and Mokwuah says the two have spoken.

"I just got in contact with Penn State two or three weeks ago, but Ollie and I have only talked a couple of times, about school and stuff like that," Mokwuah explained. The junior has heard about the Nittany Lions, though, from Vikings skipper Richard Clark.

"When Coach told me about Penn State, he told me how they have the best defensive line coach in the country in Larry Johnson," Mokwuah said. "He also said that they have great academics. They seem pretty good right now."

Before Saturday's visit, which will bring Mokwuah and his mother to State College, he'll continue his work-out regimen of weight and speed training, which includes a focus on football, as well.

"I do speed training at a gym with a turf field, and a bunch of weight lifting stuff at school. We might add that at the gym, too, just for body weight," Mokwuah said. "I see myself as a good run stopper, so I want to get my pass rush good. Very good, like unstoppable."

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