Mark Brennan/FOS

PSU Recruiting Easy Board: Defense

Get the lowdown on the Nittany Lions' Class of 2017 defensive commits and prospects in one convenient place.

THE PARAMETERS

• We are only listing known offers to prospects we believe have some level of legitimate interest in Penn State. Since that can be a subjective matter, if you think we should add (or subtract) someone from the list, please let us know.

• For the sake of this board, we will not list offers to players who are committed to other schools unless we believe there is a legitimate chance they will flip.

• Compiled by the FOS staff with input from Scout experts Brian Dohn, Allen Trieu, Michael Clark and Bill Greene.

• Click player cards for more info on each prospect, including videos (where available), stories, analysis and schools of interest. Players are listed by position and in the general order of their Scout rankings.


DEFENSIVE END

Position Notes/Numbers: The Nittany Lions have two talented DEs in the fold already. They'd be happy to land one more — perhaps a bigger end who can grow into a DT. Illinois three-star end Olalere Oladipo recently committed to the home-state Illini. It sounds like he may still make other official visits. If Penn State is on that list, we'll add him back here. Keystone State standout Donovan Jeter recently committed to Notre Dame, so he is off the board.

COMMITTED

http://www.scout.com/player/197693-yetur-matos?s=157

Comments: Holds 20-plus offers from schools across the nation. Committed on Junior Day in late February, along with two other high-profile DEs — Damion Barber (see below) and Class of 2018 five star Micah Parsons.

http://www.scout.com/player/195382-damion-barber?s=157

Comments: Became a PSU target during his freshman season. Is working hard to recruit teammate and 2018 WR Shaquon Anderson-Butts.

KEY OFFERS

With Jeter seemingly out of the mix, we'll do some digging to see who else is in play.


Harvey Levine/Scout

DEFENSIVE TACKLE

Position Notes/Numbers: The Lions would love to land at least two DTs. But are there enough talented players at the position who are extremely high on PSU? We're not so sure. New Jersey four-star DT Fred Hansard recently committed to Florida over the Lions and others.

COMMITTED

None

KEY OFFERS

http://www.scout.com/player/198757-romello-martin?s=157

Comments: Gained a PSU offer in late May. … Said he is eager to make a visit to Happy Valley to learn more about the Lions after receiving the offer from Sean Spencer and Brent Pry. … The Nittany Lions earned a spot in his top 10, but he said Florida and Rutgers were recruiting him the hardest. … Has said he;d like to take official visits to Miami, Tennessee and Florida.

PSU's Chances: Unclear. He does not intend to make any visits until his senior season begins, so until that happens it will be difficult to make a prediction here. It will be interested to see which school still have room for him the longer this process plays out.

http://www.scout.com/player/199966-elijah-conliffe?s=157

Comments: Received an eval visit from PSU in May.  Is still considering making an official visit to Penn State. But…

PSU Chances: Low. He was offered by Alabama July 20 and the news is still pinned atop his Twitter feed.

http://www.scout.com/player/182371-dalyn-wade-perry?s=157

Comments: Was at Penn State's team camp in June. Cut his list to eight school and the Nittany Lions made it that far. … Seemed to be extremely high on Notre Dame and Stanford, but — even though he visited both schools and both offered — it is not clear how high they are on him.

PSU’s Chances: Improving. The vibe he had with Notre Dame and Stanford seems to be cooling.

http://www.scout.com/player/196176-corey-bolds?s=157

Comments: Has said PSU is among the schools recruiting him the hardest. Said he may commit to a school on his birthday, Sept. 28. … Bolds already calls PSU D-line coach Sean Spencer by his nickname, Coach Chaos.” 

PSU’s Chances: Low. Lately he seems to be talking about everyone except Penn State.


Harvey Levine/FOS

LINEBACKER

Position Notes/Numbers: There is some flexibility here, as two of the three current commits could also play safety at the PSU. So if one of the high-profile prospects left on PSU's board wants to commit, the Lions will gladly take him if it still has the space.

COMMITTED

http://www.scout.com/player/195440-dylan-rivers?s=157

Comments: Became the second member of Penn States Class of 2017 when he committed Nov. 11. Listed as an OLB by Scout but will likely play ILB for the Lions. Is tight with PSU LBs coach Brent Pry, who was promoted to defensive coordinator in January.

http://www.scout.com/player/206984-brailyn-franklin?s=157

Comments: Was offered by the Nittany Lions in June, and they quickly moved near the top of his list. … After making three previous visits to Happy Valley, returned for Lasch Bash in July and committed. … Waited until Aug. 2 to announce his decision, though. … Said PSU recruited him as an OLB/S hybrid.

http://www.scout.com/player/199543-brelin-faison-walden?s=157

Comments: Scout.com has him listed as a safety but Penn State recruited him as a linebacker. … Visited PSU for Lasch Bash in July and came away impressed with all aspects of the program. … Committed on the spot but waited until July 20 to announce his decision.

KEY OFFERS

http://www.scout.com/player/193628-drew-singleton?s=157

Comments: Was at Penn State for the Blue-White Game. Has said the Nittany Lion staff has told him he is a priority. … Penn State has made his top 12. … Michigan, Clemson and Alabama are all high on his list.

PSU’s Chances: So-so. Penn State’s biggest issue would seem to be that Singleton has personal connections to Michigan that include a former Paramus Catholic teammate (Rashan Gary) and assistant coach (Chris Partridge).

http://www.scout.com/player/194945-jordan-anthony?s=157

Comments: Maryland native is playing his high school ball at IMG. Has said he has a great relationshipwith the Penn State coaching staff. Has made multiple visits to Happy Valley. Will be making many visits around the country in the coming months and does not intend to make a commitment before January.

PSU’s Chances: A little less than OK. He likes Penn State, but as of this writing has only been willing to admit that Michigan is in his top five.

http://www.scout.com/player/196965-nathan-proctor?s=157

Comments: Is being recruited as a linebacker and defensive end. After a late February visit to Penn State, he came away impressed with James Franklins message that academics are as important as football.

PSU’s Chances: OK. He seems to be wide open at this point, and PSU is right there in the mix. But dont expect anything soon as he intends to announce his decision on Signing Day.

http://www.scout.com/player/203081-andrew-ward?s=157

Comments: Gained a Penn State offer in June. … Visited Happy Valley with his high school team in May. … Penn State will get an official visit.

PSU's Chances: Unclear. Seem like it is still early in the game.


DEFENSIVE BACK

Position Notes/Numbers: Penn State is in great shape at S for this class with the two commits below and the two LB/S combos above. But the Lions can use some more help at CB, and in that regard they are setting their sights high.

COMMITTED

http://www.scout.com/player/187401-jonathan-sutherland?s=157

Comments: Camped at Penn State multiple times and made multiple visits. Canadian who is playing his high school ball in Virginia. … Released a top six in the spring, and Penn State did not make the cut. … Lions clearly made up ground big time over the summer and landed the hard-hitting DB.

http://www.scout.com/player/197681-derrek-pitts?s=157

Comments: Visited Penn State for Junior Day in late February, then was back for the Blue-White Game and later Lasch Bash. … Visit to West Virginia AFTER Lasch Bash went well, and most thought Mountaineers were going to land him. … Surprised many when he announced for the Lions.

http://www.scout.com/player/189213-d-j-brown?s=157

Comments: Visited for the Blue-White Game Penn State assistant Terry Smith began recruiting him in December and Browns interest in the Nittany Lions got stronger and stronger from that point.

KEY OFFERS

http://www.scout.com/player/190852-lamont-wade?s=157

Comments: The top-rated overall recruit on Penn States board. Has made multiple trips to Happy Valley this year, including a visit for the Blue-White Game and team camp. Is close with PSU cornerbacks coach and defensive recruiting coordinator Terry Smith, saying the relationship is remarkable.” … Intends to enroll early.

PSU's Chances: Good. The most competition may come from Pitt, which traditionally has done well with Clairton prospects. 

http://www.scout.com/player/201392-tariq-castro-fields?s=157

Comments: Penn State is among his top six. Visited PSU in the spring. Has mentioned Penn State has a home feelfor him because high school teammate Zech McPhearson signed there in February. Is being recruited as a receiver and defensive back. … Was on hand for the Lasch Bash. … Will make his decision after his senior season.

PSU’s Chances: Good. The Nittany Lions will likely get an official visit and Castro-Fields seems to have a great feel for the school.

http://www.scout.com/player/191337-donovan-johnson?s=157

Comments: Two-way player at Cass who is being recruited as a DB. Picked up a Penn State offer in February. Was named DB MVP at The Opening Columbus.

PSU’s Chances: Better than you might think. As of this writing, he had yet to gain an offer from either in-state Big Ten school. He has said he'll take an official visit to PSU.

http://www.scout.com/player/202711-scott-nelson?s=157

Comments: Was on hand for the Blue-White Game. He holds offers from Michigan and Michigan State, but it is not clear if they are committable.

PSU’s Chances: So-so. If the Spartans really want him, they will likely get him because he has family in the area. If not, it will probably be between PSU and Wisconsin.


Fight On State Top Stories