Blue White Recruiting Preview

Penn State has held a few big recruiting weekends this spring and this Saturday's Blue White Game, which marks the conclusion of the spring practice period, marks another one. Get a review here.

A large number of recruits dotting the Beaver Stadium sidelines for the spring finale has become as much of a tradition as any. Saturday's spring game will see this again will again at the first Blue White Game with James Franklin at the program's controls.

The questions on many PSU minds is, 'Will Penn State gain a commitment to close the spring as it did in 2013 when North Carolina receiver and January enrollee DeAndre Thompkins pledged to join the class of 2014?' 'Who are the players to watch?' 'And which prospects may pick up an offer?'

Fight On State breaks down the visitors list, and more, below.

Position Battles

Franklin has mixed a talent (see the end of the class of 2014) and positional (see the early 2015 pledges) approach to begin his recruiting tenure at University Park. In both, the Lions enjoyed high standing when compared to other suitors for prospects at positions of need.

Below, we take a look at one recruit at each position that is expected to attend Saturday and explain why.

QB Nick Johns

The basics: The 6-foot-3, 220 pound Washington, D.C., Gonzaga gunslinger is a three-star.

The lowdown: Time and time again, it has been noted that New Jersey four-star Brandon Wimbush is at the top of the list. He has an offer, but after him, there is a tier of quarterbacks sans one but remain on the radar in case Wimbush goes elsewhere. Johns is one of them, and though Virginia and Maryland are the two biggest players in his recruitment, the Lions are believed to be a program that would jump to the top if they offered.

RB Mile Sanders

The basics: The Pittsburgh, Pa., Woodland Hills 6-foot, 180 pound runner has two offers as a sophomore.

The lowdown: Once rated, Sanders will be one of Pennsylvania's best prospects in the class of 2016. He may be in line to pick up an offer Saturday following a sophomore season that saw him rush for 641 yards and 10 touchdowns on 112 carries according to The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

WR Trevon Diggs

The basics: The Rockville, Md., Wootton four-star is a 6-foot-1, 175 pound sophomore.

The lowdown: Diggs picked up a Penn State offer in late March but will see Franklin's operation run for the first time. The brother of currently Maryland receiver Stefon Diggs, Trevon has six offers and is just beginning to check programs out.

OT Sterling Jenkins

The basics: The Pittsburgh, Pa., Baldwin 6-foot-8, 305 pound blocker is a four-star.

The lowdown: Jenkins will come to Happy Valley fresh off a stop in Columbus, Ohio to check out Ohio State, and he could be on commitment watch. Pennsylvania's top player has said plenty he doesn't want to decide on a visit, but it's hard to see him not having enough background information to commit based on knowledge, not instinct. I would call it a 50/50 proposition with another visit scheduled in May, but it bears watching after Beaver Stadium clears out Saturday.

OT Grant Newsome

The basics: The Lawrenceville, N.J., Prep 6-foot-6, 280 pound junior is a four-star.

The lowdown: Sans a tight end to pick out, we extend our tackle list to two. Newsome has blown up since his junior season ended, and despite Bill O'Brien and his staff departing, he's still showing enough interest in the Lions' staff, and program, to visit. It will be his first trip to University Park this spring, and how it goes could go a long way in determining the Lions' chances with him down the road.

DE Jonathan Holland

The basics: The Potomac, Md., Bullis School 6-foot-5, 225-pounder is a three-star.

The lowdown: Holland is included with a bit of caution, as he has not confirmed previously stated plans to attend this week. Nonetheless, he grabbed a Penn State offer in March and is up to 10, and could be the guy to fit in this class opposite Ryan Buchholz.

DT Adam McLean

The basics: The Gaithersburgh, Md., Quince Orchard 6-foot-2, 280 pound tackle is a four-star.

The lowdown: McLean made a surprise decision to spur a Rivals' camp in New Jersey Saturday to attend Saturday's spring game instead. He told Fight On State he wants to see the Lions in action, namely defensive line coach Sean Spencer. The tackle will get the opportunity to do so while giving Penn State an opportunity to angle itself well. Over 30 other programs are in pursuit.

LB Manny Bowen

The basics: The Barnegat, N.J. 6-foot-2, 206-pounder is a three-star.

The lowdown: Many (including this writer) were surprised when Bowen left University Park Mar. 29 with a Penn State offer but didn't commit. He's a must-watch to do so this weekend, as even though he lists 22 offers, it's been clear that one from the Lions was desired.

DB Ayron Monroe

The basics: The Washington, D.C., St. John's 6-foot-1, 190 pound corner is a three-star.

The lowdown: Monroe has already visited campus once with an offer but without committing. Will he do so again? Time will tell, but the junior has made plenty of visits this spring to compare the Lions if he's at that stage of his recruitment.

Visitor List

Below is the list of visitors we have confirmed as of early Friday morning for Saturday's Blue White Game. Right now, I expect a majority of the class of 2014 commitments to be in attendance and all of the 2015 guys, save for Brandon Polk and Jarvis Miller.

It can be said, yes, that the camp in New Jersey this weekend has trimmed down the size of the list. But, it will be added to, and is a mix of quality prospects.

Class of 2014 (official visitors only)

S Christian Campbell, Phenix City, Ala., Central
DE Torrence Brown, Tuscaloosa, Ala., Academy
WR Saeed Blacknall, Englishtown, N.J., Manalapan

Class of 2015

DE Eric Assou, Washington, D.C. St. John's
OG Ryan Bates, Philadelphia, Pa., Archbishop Wood - verbal commitment
LB Josh Barajas, Merrillville, Ind., Andren - verbal commitment
RB Saquon Barkley, Whitehall, Pa. - verbal commitment
OT Quarvez Boulware, Washington, D.C., Friendship Collegiate - expected per teammate
LB Manny Bowen, Barnegat, N.J. - has offer
DE Ryan Buchholz, Malvern, Pa., Great Valley - verbal commitment
DE Kamonte Carter, Gaithersburg, Md. - verbal commitment
LB Jake Cooper, Philadelphia, Pa., Archbishop Wood - verbal commitment
DT Aaron Crawford, Ashburn, Va. Stone Bridge
CB Daivon Ellison, Ramsey, N.J., Don Bosco
DT Arrington Gipson, Aliquippa, Pa.
OG Steven Gonzalez, Union City, N.J. - verbal commitment
DE Jonathan Holland, Potmoac, Md., Bullis School - has offer
OT Tyler Hudanick, Harmony, Pa., Seneca Valley - has offer
QB Nick Johns, Washington, D.C. Gonzaga
WR Juwan Johnson, Glassboro, N.J. - verbal commitment
OT Sterling Jenkins, Pittsburgh, Pa., Baldwin - has offer
DT Adam McLean, Gaithersburg, Md., Quince Orchard - has offer
CB Ayron Monroe, Washington, D.C. St. John's - has offer
OT Grant Newsome, Lawrenceville, N.J. - has offer
RB Andre Robinson, Harrisburg, Pa., Bishop McDevitt - verbal commitment
WR Scottie Washington, Washington, D.C. St. John's

Class of 2016

DB Trevor Brown, Upper Marlboro, Md., Wise - 2016
WR Trevon Diggs, Rockville, Md., Wootton - has offer
LB Brendan Ferns, St. Clairsville, Ohio
RB/CB Damar Hamlin, Pittsburgh, Pa., Central Catholic
RB/LB Daelin Hayes, Orchard Lake, Mich., St. Mary's
OT Richard Merritt, Washington, D.C. Friendship Collegiate
RB Miles Sanders, Pittsburgh, Pa., Woodland Hills
WR Kobay White, Harrisburg, Pa., Bishop McDevitt

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