Linemen Score Offers After PSU Camp

See which underclassmen played well enough to earn verbal scholarship offers from the Lions following the program's last Advanced Skills Camp of the summer.

More than 300 prospects were tested and taught after traveling to University Park Saturday for Penn State's final Advanced Skills Camp of the summer. A few even touted verbal scholarship offers after leaving campus, as well.

From Canadians camping to lineman lockdown, we break it all down in this edition of the Fight On State ASC notebook.

• We'd be remiss to not start with the first offer of the day, which went out to Highland Senior (Pocatello, Idaho) Class of 2015 offensive tackle Tristen Hoge. With good weight but room to fill out his 6-foot-6, 280-pound frame, Hoge and his family smiled from ear-to-ear after the camp. The offer is number five for the junior-to-be, and his enthusiasm rose even more after speaking to strength and conditioning coach Craig Fitzgerald.

“If I was to sum it up in one word, it would be awesome,” Hoge said of the trip to PSU. He was slated to board a plane headed the Midwest early Saturday evening to camp at Notre Dame.

The second offer to go out Saturday was to mammoth 6-4, 280-pound Scotch Plains-Fanwood (Scotch Plains, N.J.) Class of 2016 defensive tackle Rashan Gary. Easily matching his listed frame, Gray routinely bull-rushed and spun away from would-be blockers in the offensive line vs. defensive line drills in the afternoon.

“I didn't expect it at all,” Gary said of the offer. “I knew coming in if I worked hard, I could get one, but I didn't expect it.”

• Five Canadian-born players made the trip to University Park Saturday. Their connection? Class of 2014 quarterback commit Michael O'Connor, of course. A pair, class of 2016 St. Peters (Peterborugh, Ontario) defensive back Patrice Rene and class of 2017 defensive back Jonathan Sutherland, stood out, as each had their moments. The latter broke up a deep pass even though he was a step behind in the morning session, while the former deflected a pass with a leap in the afternoon. The quartet either have trained or currently train with O'Connor, and for Sutherland, he also holds the same goal as O'Connor to join the list of Canadians playing in the NCAA one day.

• Another Class of 2016 prospect, 5-foot-7, 160-pound Glen Allen (Va.) High running back Sylvester Mayer, drew attention from State's staff. The sophomore-to-be chatted with Lions' running backs coach Charles London during drills, and said he took plenty away from the camp. His father, Sylvester Sr., played on Clemson's 1991 ACC Championship team.

“It went great today,” the younger Mayer said. “I had a lot of fun out here with the coaches and players, and overall learned a lot from it. It was great experience.”

• Speaking of Mayer, he lives in the same area as Class of 2015 St. Christopher School (Richmond, Va.) outside linebacker Ricky DeBerry. Mayer said his friend told him Penn State “was beautiful,” a statement he agreed with after seeing it with his own eyes. Slyvester Sr. informed Fight On State that DeBerry, who already holds a Penn State offer, will take an unofficial visit to University Park Wednesday, June 26.

• I was impressed by Old Farms (Avon, Conn.) Class of 2015 tight end Chris Clark. The junior-to-be made a number of strong grabs, and showed soft hands and good burst after catching the ball in traffic. His best moment of the day came in the afternoon, when he grabbed a throw that was a bit high, secured it, made sure his feet were in bounds, and took off down the sideline. He will be a name to monitor for the next cycle.

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