First, the elephant in the room: if you haven't seen the photo in THIS thread, it confirms without a shadow of doubt that Rutgers four-star receiver commit Saeed Blacknall was on campus today, as was Ashburn (Va.) Briar Woods three-star quarterback and Vanderbilt commit Trace McSorley. Both prospects' high schools are closed Monday in observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, so we'd expect the pair stayed overnight on officials, but have yet to confirm that.
As we've noted multiple times, this coming weekend, Jan. 24-26, will be the largest recruiting weekend of the cycle for the program. Assuming all the verbal commitments make it up, plus uncommitted prospects, the list should swell into the 20s.
One named we learned of that could be making the trip Sunday night is that of Bishop McNamara (Forestville, Md.) four-star offensive tackle Damian Prince. Penn State RB commit Mark Allen said Sunday that he intends to bring Prince with him to University Park after the tackle finishes his SAT's next Saturday, and thus we will be keeping an eye on him throughout the week. I'm going to try to get an update Monday morning from Prince's head coach on who exactly ended up visiting the prospect last weekend, but I think it's safe to say Penn State will make a fairly big push for him down the stretch.
Cumming (Ga.) South Forysth class of 2014 longsnapper Davis Winkie was hearing from James Franklin at Vanderbilt, so perhaps he shouldn't have been surprised to receive a phone call from the head coach over the weekend. He was anyway, and the special-teamer is now planning a trip to University Park. The staff wants him to come the 24th, but he's unsure if he can make it then, so he and RB coach Charlie Huff will speak Monday to put a plan in motion. Winkie added Penn State offered him a walk-on spot, as did Vanderbilt Sunday, while Yale and Colgate have extended scholarship offers. He plans to visit Vanderbilt Jan. 31. "The PSU offer was a surprise, honestly," Winkie wrote in a message. "It felt amazing to know I have an opportunity to play for such a historic program."
The curious case of Rahway (N.J.) linebacker commit Donte Raymond continues to be one of the oddest things I've come across in some time. As Brian Dohn has reported and relayed on a few separate occasions, whether or not the prospect himself considered himself a Penn State commit seemed up in the air, and he nor his coach have responded to multiple attempts to learn more about the situation. The key is if he is not committed, it obviously frees up another scholarship. I'll be working on it again Monday, but just another item on a long list of reasons that pinning down an exact number of spots left is difficult.
As we reported Sunday morning, Penn State linebackers coach Brent Pry trekked to Phoenix City (Ala.) to see class of 2014 safety Christian Campbell, who is slated to visit Vanderbilt Jan. 31 but hasn't been offered by the Commodores. He said Penn State didn't offer him Sunday, either, but added he's under the impression the program will let him know this coming week whether or not he will receive one. He was asked to visit, but hasn't decided yet if he will. My guess is he will if he receives an offer, and will not if he doesn't, which isn't exactly a long limb to go out on.
With Josh Gattis set to travel to Florida in the early part of the week, another assistant, QB coach Ricky Rahne, confirmed a different Sunshine State prospect was still on track to visit. It's Jacksonville (Fla.) William M. Raines three-star corner Lamont Simmons, who spoke with Rahne to make sure he was still good to visit Jan. 31. He is, and assuming the visit being planned equals his Penn State offer still being on the table, he's another secondary name to watch coming down the stretch.
One thing I forgot to add but realized while looking through my phone for something entirely unrelated to recruiting is what appears to be a Junior Day scheduled for Feb. 15. Had a few class of 2015 guys mention that to me Sunday. By the way, I'll get back to hitting and updating the class of 2015 as soon as possible, but right now, Penn State simply hasn't reached out to many of them, and until they do, these kids won't have much to say about the Lions new staff. So, if you have 2015 questions, by all means please leave them, but updates may be sporadic. If he doesn't come before hand (and even if he does) I'd expect Warminster (Pa.) linebacker Jake Cooper to be in attendance, and plenty more, as well.