Erie, Pa., Class of 2018 linebacker Jesse Luketa did not land an offer on his recent visit to Penn State. The 6-foot-3, 201-pounder did, however, come away with a great feel for the Nittany Lion program.
"Once I arrived, the coaches embraced me with love,” he said. “I was in the (players’) lounge, where I met some of the 2017 and 2018 recruits. We toured the campus and got a taste of what Penn State had to offer.
“It's an amazing atmosphere,” he added. “I loved everything about the college town. I stopped by a bookstore and bought some Penn State merchandise before we went on to tour to the newly renovated football facility. After that we sat in on Coach (James) Franklin’s speech."
Penn State’s third-year coach and his assistants made a positive impact on the young linebacker. Luketa had previously been to PSU for the Blue-White Game in April, but this time around he got to spend more quality time with the coaches.
"First off, let me say I absolutely love Coach Franklin and the rest of the coaching staff, especially Coach (Joe) Moorhead and Coach (Brent) Pry,” Luketa said. “Coach Franklin and I spoke to each other for quite some time. He left a great impression on me. I can't wait to get back to Happy Valley and compete in the Elite Camp on June 17. Coach Franklin’s speech really got to me.
"Coach Franklin and I talked about football,” he added. “He told me to keep working, and make sure to come down to work with Coach Pry. I told Coach Franklin, ‘I absolutely love Penn State and it's somewhere I want to be.’ "
Luketa has yet to pick up his first FBS offer, but he gets the sense Penn State might come around on that front later this summer.
"They didn't say anything to me about an offer, but they told my coach an offer could be coming my way,” he reported. “My understanding is the staff would like to see me at camp before they decide to offer me."
While that camp visit to Happy Valley is set for next month, there are two other Big Ten schools he might travel to see.
"Northwestern is recruiting me, so I may take a visit there,” he said. “And Illinois called about me, so I may visit them as well."
Luketa said Penn State is recruiting him the hardest and he has a favorite in mind.
"Penn State is somewhere I really want to be,” he said. “When they offer me, I'll have a hard time not verbally committing to PSU. I've been talking to my coach about it and basically, if they offer, I will commit on the spot."