College football coaches around the country are hitting the road Thursday. The final push to National Signing Day is on.
The dead period concludes Wednesday, and just 21 days separate it from the day high school seniors around the country will sign their Letters of Intent. The dead period was fairly dead for the Lions, who gained some momentum off a 31-30 Pinstripe Bowl victory but saw top target Christian Wilkins head to Clemson.
That brings us to the dates — and names — Penn State fans need to know over the next three weeks. Keep in mind that all info here is subject to change and we will note adjustments on our premium forums.
Jan 16-18: At least one prospect is expected on campus this coming weekend. As of last check, Brooklyn, N.Y., Grand Street three-star defensive tackle Kamaal Seymour, a Rutgers verbal, was still expected to visit Penn State. Currently, he’s the only known visitor for the weekend, which features a Penn State hockey game Saturday at Pegula Ice Arena and a men’s basketball game at the Jordan Center.
Jan. 23-25: This is the big weekend for Penn State, in terms of official visitors. I have yet to find a verbal commitment who doesn’t plan to attend, and at least five other prospects are expected to join them. Penn State plays at home in both hockey and men’s basketball, so there will be plenty of non-football activities to check out.
Tyler Howell: Maybe the biggest name left on the board, this JUCO prospect could be an immediate contributor, especially now that Donovan Smith is off to the NFL Draft. It will be a difficult pull for the Lions, but it starts with a good officially visit.
Shareef Miller: Three-star Philadelphia defensive end (shown at the top of this page) has had the Lions on top, but a new offer from Florida could throw a kink into things if a trip to see Miami, Florida — or both — pushes back his Feb. 1 announcement date.Johnny Petrishen
Johnny Petrishen: The Pittsburgh Central Catholic three-star safety is still on the Lions radar, and his top grouping of Pittsburgh, Penn State, Virginia and now Maryland has not changed for some time. This one will come down to the wire.
Nick Bowers: The Pittsburgh verbal and tight end has been quiet since Paul Chryst left and Pat Narduzzi arrived at Pittsburgh. Bowers is still expected to visit Penn State officially, and his decision should come shortly afterward. How much will the early departure of Jesse James to the NFL impact his plans? We’ll see.
Robert Windsor: The Wisconsin three-star defensive end was the contingency plan when Wilkins suddenly picked Clemson. His quick desire to visit should equate to plenty of Lions’ interest, and opportunity, as well.
Jan. 30-31: Wake Forest transfer Cory Helms will officially visit, and it will not be a surprise if a number of other prospects —2015 verbals, 2016 pledges and some uncommitted prospects — are on campus this day. I would be surprised if it ends up just being Helms.
Feb. 4: National Signing Day. Penn State is expected to be able to sign up to 25 prospects. In other words, as things stand, the Lions have five spots remaining.