But an announcement never came. Instead, J.P. Urquidez’s recruitment became wide-open.
The junior three-star tackle and Texas native wants to see more before making a pledge. He’ll visit Penn State Saturday for its showdown with Akron, see Maryland play host to West Virginia Sept. 13, and travel back to the Longhorn State to watch Baylor face Kansas later this year.
“Texas and Baylor were the schools I knew the coaches the most at, but my eyes were opened [by other schools],” Urquidez said.
One of them was Penn State, which bombarded him with Twitter messages Sept. 1, the first day college programs could contact juniors. It worked, as the contact from head coach James Franklin and assistants Charles Huff and Herb Hand gave the junior the idea to visit this weekend.
The Lions are one of a few east coast programs that picked up their interest in the junior when he and his family moved from Texas to Maryland earlier this year when his father got a new job.
“I’m looking forward to being back with the coaches,” Urquidez said. “I love the atmosphere, and see why people want to play there. Coach Franklin, he’s a great coach.
“They didn’t have to [send messages],” he continued. “That definitely shows they really want me to be a part of their program.”
The last time Urquidez visited campus, he came with just his family back in July. This time around, he’ll travel north with teammate, classmate and PSU Class of 2016 verbal Shane Simmons.
“He tells me they’re on the rise, and it’s kind of cool because we always talk to each other saying ‘We Are…,’ joking around,” Urquidez said. “Penn State always comes up in conversation. I can’t wait to see it.”
What exactly is he looking for?
“I’m really looking forward to the atmosphere of the game,” he said. “They have a massive stadium, and the fans have been great and showing a lot of support. I’m looking forward to going up there.”
The next week, he’ll stay in-state to visit Maryland. The Terps are just coming onto his radar months after the family moved in.
“They show a lot of interest,” Urquidez said. “I like the program a lot. All of the coaches are great.
“My teammate, Lorenzo Harris, committed [to Maryland)]. That plays a big part. I think the whole team was surprised, but he said he loves it up there.”
Urquidez added he may add more unofficial visits in the future, but those are it for now.