Defensive tackle remains a key area of need for Penn State’s Class of 2017. Over the weekend, the Nittany Lions had chance to woo 6-foot-3, 280-pound Tennessee three-star DT Ben Hutch.
So how did things go for Hutch during his official visit, which lasted from Friday until Sunday?
"It was great,” he said. “I was very impressed (with) the city, campus, coaches, players, the students, food and the love they showed my family and I this weekend. We were well taken care of."
Hutch watched the Nittany Lions thump previously undefeated and favored Maryland, 38-14. And he paid attention to more than just what was happening on the field.
Though it was a rainy day in Happy Valley, more than 100,000 Nittany Lion backers packed the stands.
"The fans made the game great,” he said. “They were all in for their team for the entire game.”
Hutch had a chance to really get to know defensive line coach Sean Spencer and head coach James Franklin.
“Coach Sean and Coach Franklin spent a lot of time with me,” he said. “One thing both coaches (said) that really stood out is … to become a ‘Wild Dog.’ ”
As most Penn State fans know, Spencer calls his defensive linemen the “Wild Dogs.”
Hutch said the Lions are recruiting him as a one-technique defensive tackle but that he would play wherever the coaching staff put him.
He has narrowed his list to a top six of Louisville, Texas A&M, Penn State, Nebraska, Missouri and Memphis. And the visit to Happy Valley moved the Nittany Lions near the top of that group.
“I now have a top three within my final six schools,” Hutch said. “My new top three is Louisville, Texas A&M and Penn State."
On the visit front, Hutch intends to check out Nebraska later this month. And he did not rule out a return trip to Penn State.
"Depends on how cold the weather is,” he said. “I don't want my mom out in the cold, but it is possible depending on the weather."
Hutch plans to make his college decision sometime in December.