3 NJ Prospects Will Visit PSU

The Penn State coaching staff is actively recruiting these 3 talented Division I prospects from the Garden State. Each of the 3 will visit Penn State in March for a Junior Day.

Name: Claude "Turk" McBride
Position: DE / WR
Height: 6'3 1/2"
Weight: 224 pounds
40-yard dash: 4.6
School: Woodrow Wilson High, Camden, NJ

Woodrow Wilson did not lose a game this past season.  The Tigers finished the year 12-0 and won the Group III title.  It was Woodrow Wilson's first undefeated season in over 60 years.

According to Woodrow Wilson head coach Mike McBride, two junior standouts were a big reason for the Tigers' success.  These two players, Claude "Turk" McBride and Preston Brown have already been receiving a lot of attention from Division I schools.

Turk McBride is the son of Coach McBride's older brother.

"In our system, we really don't have tight-ends," Coach McBride said.  "We run a one-back set with 4 wide receivers.  He (Turk) is one of the inside wide receivers.  He and Preston Brown play the inside [wide receiver position].  He had 9 touchdowns and 24 catches for around 490 yards."

Turk also plays defensive-end for Woodrow Wilson.

"Where he's going to make his mark is on the defensive side of the football.  I've coached Jamal Green, who's now the starting defensive end for the Miami Hurricanes.  Turk's just as good, if not better, at the same point of development as Jamal Green."

According to Coach McBride, Turk will probably play defensive-end in college.

"Most of the schools are going to probably put him on the weak-side end.  They'll probably bulk him up to 260 and let him play with his hand on the ground.

"He was named the Defensive Player of the Year by the Philadelphia Inquirer.  That surprised us because normally juniors don't get that. He also made 1st Team All-South Jersey and 1st Team All-Area."

Turk had 57 tackles and 15 1/2 sacks during his junior season.

"We had so many guys that went to the I-A level.  The other defensive end is going to North Carolina (Melik Brown), the free safety is going to West Virginia (Jamil Tyson), and the defensive tackles are going to Wisconsin (Patrick Faulk) and Rutgers (Haines Holloway).  So, everybody did some tackling for us this year."

Turk is especially close to one of those departing seniors.

"Turk is Jamil Tyson's younger brother.  West Virginia's in the mix now because they have his brother."

Turk talks to Jamil and Melik every day.

"He has scholarship offers from Rutgers, Iowa, Syracuse, Maryland, Pittsburgh and Boston College."

West Virginia has also offered Turk.

"As a matter of fact, they sent him his offer letter on signing day."

Penn State is also very interested in the outstanding junior.

"I spoke with Brian Norwood from Penn State earlier today and they want to bring him up there on the 23rd of March for their Junior Day.  I kind of anticipate that they might do the same thing (offer Turk a scholarship).

"We have every intention to go up there to take a look at Penn State."

Coach McBride plans on taking Turk to both the March 23 Junior Day at Penn State and to the April 21 Nike Camp at Penn State.

In which teams is Turk most interested right now?

"[He's interested in ] the Miami Hurricanes, West Virginia and then probably Penn State and Boston College.  He's probably going to end up in the Big East or Big Ten."

Syracuse was also mentioned later as a team in which Turk is interested.

Is Miami interested in Turk?

"Without a doubt," Coach McBride replied.  "Greg Mark, who recruits for Miami up here, has been eyeballing him since he's been a 9th grader."

Would Turk like to attend a school which is close to his family in New Jersey?

"That will probably come into play when he really starts sitting down and weighing the pros and cons.

"If I had my way, we would make our decision in the summer and get it all out of the way.  Hopefully, we'll have the opportunity to sit down with him as a family, make an educated decision and once we make a commitment, stick by that commitment and go from there."

Turk McBride has four scholarship offers in writing.

"I have one from Rutgers, West Virginia, Maryland and Boston College," Turk said.

He also acknowledged that West Virginia has an edge since his brother, Jamil Tyson, recently signed with the Mountaineers.

"Yes, they would be one of my favorites.  Right now, I'm thinking about West Virginia and Miami."

"I wouldn't say they're favorites right now," Turk later added.

Turk plans to attend the Junior Day at Penn State next month.  He has only been to one Junior Day so far.  That one was at Rutgers.

"It was pretty fun."

Turk is contemplating visiting Tennessee on March 9.

Is Turk interested in Penn State?

"Yes, a little bit," he said.  "It's close to home," he said to explain his uncertainty.  "I'm not sure right now if I want to be far away from home or close to home."

Does Turk want to play where the weather is warmer?

"It doesn't matter."

Turk is not sure when he will be ready to make a final decision as to which college he would like to attend.

"I might wait it out.  I don't think I'll verbal early."

Name: Preston Brown
Position: OLB / WR
Height: 6'4"
Weight: 210 pounds
40-yard dash: 4.6
School: Woodrow Wilson High, Camden, NJ

"Melik Brown's younger brother, Preston Brown, REALLY likes Penn State," Coach McBride said.  "He plays outside linebacker and the other inside [wide receiver] slot.

"Penn State is probably up on top."

Preston is also interested in Northwestern and Stanford.

"We have to take him up to Harvard for an early interview.  He got 1100 on the SAT as a junior on the first take.

"He has a Rutgers offer.

"He's made it very clear to us that he wants to play offense at the next level.  He'll probably bulk up and play tight-end, probably a smaller tight-end.  He's going to be really tall, but he'll probably be around 240 or 250 at the tight-end.  He's a 4.6 guy.

"I think he scored 5 touchdowns."

Penn State has expressed interest in Preston.

"They send a bunch of stuff and Coach Norwood and I have corresponded on the phone, but they haven't been in to eyeball him."

Preston has also been invited to the March 23 Junior Day at Penn State.

"Every place that Turk's going to, Preston's is going to, North Carolina, Virginia, all of those places.

"We're going to get those guys on the road within the next few weeks."

It appears as though Preston is not interested in North Carolina, the school to which his brother Melik is heading.

"Preston does not want to go to the same school as his brother.  He made that very, very clear to us."

Name: Elijah Robinson
Position: MLB / FB
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 240 pounds
40-yard dash: 4.6
School: Woodrow Wilson High, Camden, NJ

Coach McBride is also excited about having Elijah Robinson join the team this coming season.

"He just transferred in January.  He's from Camden High School."

Is Elijah a Division I prospect as well?

"You better believe he is.  He is 6'2", 240 pounds of pure muscle.  He's a middle linebacker.  He is a 4.6 guy, but since he's so big, it looks so fast.  He even ran back kickoffs for Camden High School.

"He has a Rutgers offer."

Elijah will also see some time in the offensive backfield for Woodrow Wilson this year.

"If we need short yardage, he's going to get the ball."

Elijah played fullback for Camden.

According to Coach McBride, Elijah is interested in "Virginia, Penn State, Miami and Syracuse."

He will also be at the March 23 Junior Day at Penn State.

"I'm bringing everybody up there," Coach McBride said.

Academics will play a key role in the recruitment of these three players at Woodrow Wilson.

"Without a doubt, without a doubt," McBride said.

"The one thing that we really want to stress to our young people is to make sure they obtain their degrees when they go up to the next level.

"With Turk being a nephew, and the entire family being mainly teachers, that's the one big thing for us.  We know he can play any place in the country, but we want the best academic fit for him.  He's been outstanding in high school.  He better be, or he won't play anything.  If his grades aren't what we want them to be, we won't let him play."

Coach McBride stated that all three prospects will attend the Nike Camp at Penn State on April 21.

Do they plan to attend any summer camps?

"If we do, we're going to target one and take them all there.  Last year, we went to Syracuse, so this year, we're not going to Syracuse."

Attending a camp at Penn State this summer is a possibility.

"It depends on how the boys feel when we go up there and they take a look at everything."

Photo courtesy of Student Sports

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