There are always a host of prospects interested in the program to the east though, and one of the newest is defensive tackle Ryan Stout, who took in Bill O'Brien and company's third spring practice Saturday.
My dad and I visited, and we kind of got there late, so we didn't get to do the whole tour, Stout said. We watched the spring practice, and got to talk to the coaches and some other recruits, and check everything out. It was a very nice campus.
The 6-foot-4, 245-pound junior made more than 80 stops a year ago, 12.5 of which went for loss for Jim Mayzes' Southview High (Sylvania) program. The head coach informed Stout of Hixon's interest this winter.
It wasn't just Hixon the FOX Sports NEXT three-star spoke to Saturday, though. He also spent time talking to defensive line coach Larry Jonson, offensive line coach Mac McWhorter and O'Brien.
I talked to Coach Hixon first, and he introduced me to Coach Johnson, who told me what the defense was about, and what they're recruiting me as, Stout said. And then I got to talk to Coach McWhorter and Coach O'Brien, and that was nice.
O'Brien didn't offer Stout Saturday, but did ask him to return to attend one of State's two Advanced Skill Camps this June, which the junior said he plans to do if he can line up a trip. But Stout already has received feedback on his game from the PSU staff.
They told me they like my general body type, and that they are recruiting me to play defensive tackle, Stout said. I've heard from coaches that they like that I use the full advantage of my length, and that my strengths are getting off blockers to make plays, and also my reach and moving to the ball and changing directions, too.
Despite the late arrival last weekend, Stout enjoyed checking out practice and downtown State College.
It was very exciting to watch the offensive line and defensive line do some one on ones, he said. They were getting excited and going hard, and it was cool that everyone was getting into it. The environment was really interesting and fun to watch.
We also got to talk to some people afterward when we went to eat, he added. Everyone seemed very loyal to the program, and supported each other. It just seems like a family, and that was pretty neat.