Urquidez Finds Plenty to Like at PSU

Texas native and new DeMatha Catholic five-star tackle picked up a Lions offer during an unofficial.

The Army brought Julian Urquidez to Washington, D.C., so by default, it brought his family to the DMV, too.

That part of the story isn’t unique to the Major stationed at the Pentagon after time in Texas. But having a talented football playing son just may be.

It’s basically all there is to the story of J.P. Urquidez, a five-star class of 2016 offensive tackle now at Hyattsville, Md., DeMatha Catholic. The next part of the tale is college football, and Penn State is now angling for the chance to join the story after offering the 6-foot-5, 295 pound prospect Tuesday during an unofficial visit.

“They’ve been getting in contact and interested in me since they found out I was coming to DeMatha,” Urquidez said. “They have such tradition, and everyone knows Penn State is a tradition.

“I wanted to go up there and visit because that’s a big part of choosing a school, and it was a top experience.”

J.P. and his family arrived Wednesday to a greeting from the Nittany Lions entire coaching staff. A typical visit preceded from there, with stops at Beaver Stadium, the Lasch Building, and a tour of campus all included.

Conversations with offensive line coach Herb Hand, area recruiter Charles Huff, and head coach James Franklin, who extended the offer, were packed in, as well, before the end of the day.

“I talked to Coach Hand a lot yesterday,” Urquidez said. “And Coach Huff, too; he’s a real nice guy, and, you know, they all seem they care about what’s in the best interest of the players and them.

“It’s a big family environment.”

Penn State was not coy about the opportunity its sanctioned-depleted depth chart would offer the junior right out of the gate. That stood out, the tackle did, as did the new coaching staff’s awareness of the program’s history.

“I wanted to go up there and visit because that’s a big part of choosing a school, and it was a top experience.”

“The biggest thing is the people that come from Penn State, they really shine them and expose them,” Urquidez said. “If you’re successful [at Penn State], you’ll know it, they know it, and everyone knows it. It’s a Penn State legacy.

“The good part is when it’s time for my first year of college football, they’re off the sanction for bowl games and have all the scholarships back. That’s huge, and as far as depth, that’s one thing they brought up. They said no one is going to offer the opportunity to come in and play as a freshman like that.”

Of course, the junior saw plenty he liked to pair with what he heard.

“Everything with the facilities is great,” he said. “The weight room is great, and that stadium is huge. That was something else that was good.”

Just a few more trips dot the talented tackles schedule, as he will fly back to Texas to visit Baylor Thursday and Texas Friday.

The Bears have been on him for some time as one of over 15 programs to extend a verbal offer.

“Baylor is very similar as far as the feeling I get there. It’s similar to Penn State,” Urquidez said. “The family atmosphere feels good, all the coaches are immediately excited to see you as much are to see them, and they want you to play for them just as much.”

Texas will hold a top prospect camp Friday night, and the tackle said it marks an opportunity to meet the Longhorns staff, many of which are new.

“Right now with Texas, the biggest thing is I’ve got to go with Texas,” Urquidez said. “I watched them my whole life. I think when I was born, the first pair of clothes I had was UT gear.

“But the other part of that is I don’t know too much as far as the new coaching staff. I’m just not sure with the new coaching staff, so I felt I need to go down there and talk to all the coaches before I make any decisions.”

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