Penn State remains undeterred in its fight to finally pull a prospect out of Detroit powerhouse King High.
The Nittany Lions actually received a commitment from King four-star DB Lavert Hill last year, before he changed plans and signed with Michigan. They also made a push for King WR Donnie Corley (who landed at Michigan State), and have welcomed multiple players from the school to camps and games.
Now James Franklin’s team is setting its sights on another four-star DB from King — Class of 2017 standout CB Ambry Thomas. Thomas is considered the No. 1 corner in the Midwest and No. 12 in the country.
He was on campus last Thursday, as the only visitor that day. Thomas had been to PSU in group settings previously, but this was the first time he received more of a personal tour of everything.
“It's was one of the better visits to the places I have been,” Thomas said. “I thought their campus was just (going to be) boring and everything, but it's actually a very exciting place.”
Thomas is already pushing 30 offers, from Big Ten stalwarts like Ohio State, Michigan and Michigan State to schools from around the nation like Oklahoma, Clemson, Auburn and LSU.
Where do the Lions stand among that field?
“Penn State definitely moved up the list,” Thomas said. “… I love everything about Penn State.”
The Nittany Lions have a not-so-secret weapon as they try to break into King High. New safeties coach and co-defensive coordinator Tim Banks is a graduate of the school. Further, while Banks was as an assistant at Illinois, the Illini were among the first programs to offer Thomas.
Predictably, Banks is playing a key role in Thomas’ recruitment.
“I talked to Coach Franklin and Banks the most and they were saying I could come in and play a lot as a freshman,” Thomas said.
Asked if he intends to return to Happy Valley, Thomas replied, “Yes sir."
Scout.com's Allen Trieu and FightOnState.com's Patrick Loney contributed to this report.