Friendship Friends Recap Penn State Visit

A pair of highly regarded offensive linemen visited the Nittany Lions for the start of spring practice Monday. How did it go?

Quarvez Boulware and Richard Merritt didn't leave Penn State with offers Monday. But they did accomplish the mission they set out to achieve.

The Washington, D.C., Friendship Collegiate 2015 guard and 2016 offensive lineman, respectively, had hoped to expand their knowledge base when it came to the Nittany Lions. They did just that while touring campus, meeting head coach James Franklin and his staff, and taking in the program's first spring practice.

"I just started talking to the offensive line coach," Boulware said, referring to Herb Hand. "He just told me to keep working hard, and always, always work on footwork."

Boulware is Scout's 12th-ranked offensive guard, holding offers from the likes of Auburn, Florida State and Miami among a total of 13. The junior took note of the Lions' weight room, calling it "really huge," and Beaver Stadium, which he referred to as "awesome" following a tour of its locker room before he and Merritt walked on the field and rang the Victory Bell.

Hand told Boulware that Penn State is focusing its offensive line recruitment on tackles before expanding to guards and centers, which can be attributed to it already having a commitment from Pennsylvania tackle Ryan Bates and a host of other offers out at the position. That didn't stop the 6-foot-3, 290-pound Boulware from taking in all he could on the visit, though.

"I was watching mostly the offense and defensive line at practice," Boulware said. "They did a lot of the same things we do [at Friendship] so it made me comfortable that the adjustment won't be as bad as I thought.

"We got to see the campus, and though it wasn't very big, it was big enough to hold their 40,000 students."

Merritt, on the other hand, is just beginning his recruiting process. At 6-4, 340 pounds, he's been hard to miss to the seven schools that have already offered.

The Class of 2016 lineman played guard and tackle for Friendship last fall, and decided to visit Penn State with Boulware because Penn State is his second favorite school, he said.

"They showed me love and stuff, and were really nice people," Merritt said. "We went to a meeting with [offensive coordinator John] Donovan and then went to an offensive line meeting with Coach Hand. He was just going over what was going to go on at practice, and then after that, they showed us the campus and stadium.

"I liked the way they practice and the way they are organized. They are very organized and the offensive line does what we do at my school now, so I don't think I would have a problem practicing and getting better at the next level."

Oregon is Merritt's favorite school despite no contact from the Ducks at this point. The sophomore said he has always kept an eye on the program, adding Penn State, and Hand specifically, certainly left an impression.

"I liked him," Merritt said of Hand. "He's a very nice person, and as soon as I got in the building, he said he loved my highlight tape and had seen it. After that, we went to the meetings.

"They said they're not really in the process of offering anyone in the Class of 2016, but that they are interested in me."

Boulware and Merritt are planning on traveling to a host of schools throughout the spring and summer, starting with a potential stop at Wake Forrest Saturday. The duo plans to camp at Penn State, and may camp at West Virginia and North Carolina. They also have a camp date planned at Alabama, where former Friendship coach Aazaar Abdul-Rahim was hired as a defensive analyst in February.

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