McGirt Has Plenty to Think About After Visit

The Durham, N.C., Hillside four-star tackle took an unofficial visit to Penn State Saturday. Will he return?

When Emanuel McGirt arrived at University Park Saturday, he knew a little about Penn State.

The Durham, N.C., Hillside four-star Class of 2015 offensive tackle has been hearing more and more about the Lions of late, thanks to a friend who is cousins with Lions' 2015 commit Brandon Polk.

Polk, a longtime Nittany Lion pledge, had been working to get the tackle on campus. That effort paid off Saturday, and the one-time North Carolina verbal left impressed with what he saw during the Lions’ 31-24 loss to Ohio State.

"It was really good," McGirt said. "I was surprised about the crowd, and the commits are really cool. They have a lot of big time guys, and they need a lot of help on the offensive line.

”I didn't know that until this weekend. They need offensive tackles.”

Penn State head coach James Franklin has stated multiple times in recent weeks that the Lions have an issue: they have just one scholarship tackle in the senior, junior and sophomore classes.

McGirt can't fix that immediately. But the Lions are doing what they can to make sure such a dire situation doesn't present itself again.

"They said I have the size and athleticism, and Coach [Herb] Hand just wants to see me get a little bigger," McGirt said. "I only got to gain a little weight, so by the time I get there, I could contribute when I was a freshman.

"It was just so crazy and there were so many people," he continued. "People were just going crazy, and the fans are crazy. The atmosphere was just amazing, loud, and crazy.

The 6-foot-5, 270-pound tackle stated he was considering the trip just a visit on the way to State College. Now, thanks to the experience and the work of Franklin, Hand and receivers coach Josh Gattis, the Lions are firmly in play.

”I really liked them after the visit," McGirt said. "I'm really going to consider them. It's kind of far, but I talk to the coaches all the time."

A return trip is in the works, too.

"I'll probably take an official up there," McGirt said, adding the Lions' November contest with Temple is currently the date he is considering for that trip.

Between now and then, he'll hear plenty from Penn State's coaches. And Polk.

”He wants me to come," McGirt said.

The senior has no other visits currently planned.

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