PA Class of ’17 Star Wading Into Recruitment

Penn State target Wade has piled up offers but is in no rush to narrow the field.

Though only a sophomore at the time, Clairton (Pa.) High's Lamont Wade rushed for a WPIAL record 2,762 yards last season. So why was he working out at cornerback at Nike's recent Opening event in Columbus?

Players do not wear pads at these summer camps and there is no tackling. So if he was not going to be able to make people miss, Wade thought it would be more fun to showcase his aggressiveness on the defensive side of the ball.

“I'm energetic. I'm elusive. I play with a lot of energy,” Wade said. “If you're at the game, everybody will know who I am. I definitely play hard. I don't give up, I don't stop, I don't take plays off.”

Wade was stepping in for as many live reps as he could in Columbus, and showed off quick feet and good speed as a corner. And when he gave up a couple of short passes underneath, he quickly reacted. If it had been full contact, at least two receivers would have been leveled.

But Wade has not been quite so aggressive when it comes to his recruitment because, well, he does not have to be yet. The 5-foot-9.5, 185-pounder All-State pick will only be a junior next year.

“Right now, I'm just trying to take my visits, get out to different schools,” he said. “I've been to Penn State many times. I'm just starting to get to O-State a couple times (and) Pitt. … I'm just trying to get out and see different schools and see how everything is going.”

He will be back in Happy Valley next week to participate in Penn State's June 20 7-on-7 camp. He also intends to be on hand for the “Lasch Bash” recruiting event in July.

Penn State assistant coach Terry Smith is heading up Wade's recruitment. Wade said he has known Smith since the latter coached former Clairton starting receiver Tyler Boyd in 7-on-7 tournaments a few years ago, and that he has a “strong bond” with Smith. The junior-to-be also talks to PSU RB's coach Charles Huff.

His overall take on Penn State?

“I actually liked the energy Coach (James) Franklin brought to the program,” he said. “I think it's definitely going to kick up, boost up with the good recruiting classes they're getting. I definitely think things will be picking up the next couple years.”

Wade said he'll probably start thinking about narrowing his extensive offer list after his junior season. For now. “Ohio State, Penn State, Maryland, Pitt, West Virginia and Virginia Tech,” are showing the most interest.

“I do want to commit before my senior year, like probably in exactly a year from now, so my senior I don't have to worry about all the recruiting stuff,” he said.

But he has some pressing business to take care of before then. Last season Clairton stormed its way to the PIAA A state championship game in Hershey, Pa. Though Wade accounted for 298 total yards, the Bears lost a 19-18 heartbreaker to Bishop Guilfoyle.

“It just motivates you to go get it,” Wade said. “We've got to work harder -- work two times harder on the field, in the weight room and at practice. We've just got to get back up there and bring one home.”

As for his own game, Wade would like “to get better and to do better. Last year, I had 2,700 rushing yards. If I can't get 2,700 rushing yards, maybe I can get 1,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards. I'm just always trying to get better.”

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