Greg Pickel's PSU Pick Six

Check out a half dozen trending topics on the Penn State recruiting scene. This week we tackle the gridiron and hardwood.

Check out six trending topics from the Penn State recruiting scene.

1. St. Clairsville (Ohio) High linebacker/tight end Michael Ferns stayed two days in University Park last week, coming a day earlier then his scheduled unofficial visit to explore Happy Valley. His father and brother joined him on the trip.

Ferns described it as an academic visit, as he saw most of the campus and football academic center. He also spoke with head coach Bill O'Brian, and assistants Charlie Fisher and Ron Vanderlinden.

“We talked about the position and roles I would play, and they said they could see me as a linebacker or tight end,” Ferns said. “They aren't really sure yet.”

He said O'Brien, the former New England Patriots offensive coordinator, reminds him of Pats' star tight end Aaron Hernandez, “without all the tattoos.”

The staff told Ferns is projects as the motion tight end on offense and outside linebacker on defense.

Aside from football, he said the atmosphere of Penn State impressed him.

“I liked getting to explore the campus because that's the first time I've done it,” he said. “I like that it's a campus town, and it has a home feel to it because it's not like a city. It's all students for the most part.”

Ferns will also visit Michigan, Michigan State and Notre Dame in the near future.

2. On the basketball front, Class of 2013 point guard prospect Isaiah Taylor will be hearing from Penn State in a couple of days. But in the meantime, Taylor is going to continue educating himself about the Nittany Lions.

“They told my coach they are going to watch me during the live period, and they've told me before they are interested in me,” Taylor said.

The junior only has three offers, but said that since transferring to The Village School in Houston he's heard some comparisons to a current Nittany Lion.

“People here tell me that I remind them of Tim Frazier, which is pretty cool,” Taylor said. “I know they are looking for a 2013 point guard, and they are definitely a school I want to learn more about.”

3. New Jersey grid prospect Al-Rasheed Benton will make a return trip to University Park Saturday, when he camps there as a part of Penn State's second Advanced Skill Camp. The senior to be at Malcolm X. Shabazz High (Newark) seems to have Penn State and Rutgers neck and neck, and Saturday could give the Nittany Lions a leg up.

4. Penn State will hold its second Advanced Skills Camp of the summer Saturday. The session is expected to be open to be media, just as the June 2 ASC was. This is the first summer PSU has allowed such wide access to the camps. FOS will be on hand to cover the action so be sure to check the site over the weekend.

5. Central Dauphin (Harrisburg, Pa.) Zayd Issah still is set to visit University Park sometime in the near future after playing wide receiver at the NFTC at Oregon last weekend. It doesn't appear he picked up an Oregon offer.

6. Quick Hitters: Maryland safety Delando Johnson has not heard from Penn State since the first ASC camp, but believes the Lions and Ohio State are close to offering him … Philly tailback David Williams noted his trip to the South was great and that Tennessee and South Carolina stood out to him. … Georgia defensive lineman Rakim Peters has not heard from Penn State, but plans on getting in touch with the Nittany Lions soon to see if they received his transcript and have made a decision on him.

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