Penn State held its second Elite Camp of the summer Sunday. As usual, we were on hand to check out the scene.
Here is what we came away with. Remember to click on player names to see their Scout bios, which include offer lists:
• It was a brutally hot day. One again, all camp activities were in Holuba Hall and the outdoor practice fields near Lasch Building. I’m guessing there were about 325 campers on hand — which was slightly bigger than the first camp this year.
• Jordan Clark (above) from Baton Rouge, La., was the top defensive back at the camp. He is a Class of 2019 kid and the son for former NFL safety Ryan Clark. Jordan Clark is a bit on the smaller side at 5-foot-9 and about 170. But he is athletic and was not afraid to get physical. He was really good in one-on-ones until very late, when one of the bigger receivers outmuscled him for a couple of balls. Ryan Clark was watching the camp.
• Another 2019 DB to keep an eye on is Jelani Solomon of Central Valley out in western Pennsylvania. He is being trained by Derek Moye (it was nice catching up with Moye). Solomon transferred from Aliquippa to Central Valley. He missed much of last season with an injury. He’s a good athlete but you can see he has to work on technique. He was in position to make several picks but just did not close the deal. He seems to have a good upside.
• Speaking of sons of former NFL players, New Jersey Class of 2019 DE R.J. Oben was on hand and looked good. He is the son of Roman Oben (who was at camp, too). I’d say the younger Oben is 6-4, 235. He looks kind of skinny. He’s the kind of kid who I bet fills out significantly in the next couple years. He looks really young, too. In an interesting twist, after camp, the older Oben spent a good 10 minutes talking to Dorian Hardy, the New Jersey DE who committed to PSU earlier in the day.
• Speaking of which, Hardy was hanging out for a good part of the day. I forgot how big he is. And his legs are thick for someone that’s as long as he is.
• The surprise DE to me was Julius Welschof (above). He is from Germany and making the camp tour this spring. That is to say, he is not playing high school ball in the United States. He is huge — at least 6-6, 240. And he moves really well. I only saw him take one rep in one on ones, and he blew by an overmatched offensive tackle. He is a Class of 2018 kid. Will be interesting to see if he starts picking up Power 5 offers. I have no idea how he will do in pads. But in these camp settings, he looks good.
• S Khalid Martin was on hand as a visitor but did not camp. Scout has him listed at 6-2, 195, which is great size for a safety. He walked by me and I’d say the size is about right. He pretty much towered over new recruiting assistant Justin King.
• The two highest profile QBs there were 2019 Californian Trent Tompkins (above) and 2018 Pennsylvanian Grayson Kline. Tompkins is a smaller QB but threw a bunch of nice deep balls. Kline is really big. I’d say 6-4, 225. Definitely has a strong arm. Not sure either is the kind of player PSU will offer. But we’ll see.
• The best RB on hand as Chris Tyree, a 2020 kid from Virginia. Charles Huff pulled him out for individual workouts. He is a smaller back but looked really good when Huff put him through some drills to test his vision. Definitely someone to keep an eye on. He already had a nice offer list and Penn State joined the crowd Sunday. James Franklin and Trace McSorley were paying close attention as he worked out (see the photo at the top of the page).
• Huff wanted to see how Tyree did catching the ball. So he yelled out, “We need a quarterback!” Without missing a beat, Franklin said to McSorley, “Trace, don’t you take offense at that,” meaning he was standing right there and they asked for a different QB. It was funny. Of course, McSorley would not have been allowed to throw to the kid. He was not officially working the camp (but a bunch of his teammates were).
• It was not a great LB group. But Jamir Thomas (above) looked legit. Did a nice job of keeping ball-carriers in front of him while I watched. He is a 2019 kid from Massillon, Ohio. He already has a nice offer list. Brent Pry spent time talking to him after LB drills wrapped up.
• The best receivers I saw were Brian Cobbs (above), a 2018 kid from Virginia, and Jose Barbon, a 2018 kid from Lancaster. Cobbs is a bigger guy (6-2, 200) and gave some of the smaller DBs trouble with his physicality. Gattis worked out both guys as camp was ending. Cobbs has some lower Power 5 offers (Maryland, N.C. State). I honestly had never heard of Barbon before.
• Moye spent a lot of time watching the WR and DBs. He said the most consisted receiver he saw was Deion Davis, a 2018 kid from Lower Merion. He has an offer from Army.
• There was an O-lineman there who arrived late. Sounded like he may have been from IMG. I’m trying to figure out who he was. It was not a great group of O-linemen. But this guy had good size and long arms.
• Unsung hero award of the camp goes to PSU D-line coach Sean Spencer. He had knee surgery Friday. Yet he was limping around out on the field putting the D-linemen through their paces.