Camp Preview: Lion Strong 7-on-7 & Big Man Challenge
Penn State is set for its Lion Strong 7-on-7 & Big Man Challenge Friday, and just like in previous years, we’re expecting a deep group of schools from all across the Mid-Atlantic region to attend.
With more than 50 high school teams registered to attend, there will be no shortage of Division I talent. Some of the top programs expected to be in town include three of the top programs in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference - DeMatha, Gonzaga, Good Counsel - as well as three of Philadelphia’s top programs in Imhotep Charter, Neumann Gorretti and Roman Catholic. Add in a dozen quality schools from all across Pennsylvania, plus a few top programs from Maryland and Virginia and there will be plenty for Penn State’s staff to scout throughout Friday afternoon.
At one point or another, Penn State extended scholarship offers to nine rising-seniors who play for the teams expected to attend. We know one of them won’t be there in DE Enai White from Imhotep Charter. He'll begin an official visit at Ohio State later that day. There will be two Penn State commits in attendance in QB Beau Pribula (Central York) and WR Anthony Ivey (Manheim Twp.), both of whom actually camped at Penn State this past weekend. Three other notable players include Saf. KJ Winston (DeMatha), LB Keon Wylie (Imhotep) and DB Raleigh Collins (Neumann Goretti). Both Winston and Wylie took official visits to Penn State this month, and the Nittany Lions are believed to be the favorite with both. Collins camped with the staff a few weeks ago and had a very good showing, running a 4.5-second 40 and 4.4-second shuttle.
There will also be a few solid 2022 prospects who haven’t earned an offer from PSU yet, beginning with WR Kevin Thomas (Neumann Goretti). He was expected to take an unofficial visit with the staff and do a private workout earlier this month, but he never made the trip. Cornerback Zilan Williams (DeMatha) just camped with Penn State this past weekend, and he didn’t disappoint during testing, running a 4.3-second 40-yard dash. Linebacker J.R. Strauss (Exeter Twp.) also impressed at the Whiteout Camp back on June 6, running a 4.5-second 40 and a 4.3-second shuttle. We expect the staff to watch those two players closely.
We also expect a few prospects who are currently committed elsewhere, including future North Carolina OL Treyvon Green (Life Christian Academy), Rutgers LB commit Anthony Johnson (Neumann Goretti), Marshall RB commit AJ Turner (Life Christian Academy), Army Saf. commit Jamir Reyes (Imhotep) and Coastal Carolina OL commit Franklin Richardson (Gettysburg).
There should be eight scholarship prospects in the Class of 2023 participating tomorrow. DL Jason Moore (DeMatha) is the highest-ranked prospect in that group. If Joshua Miller (Life Christian Academy) participates - he said he’ll definitely visit, but was unsure about participating last week - a matchup against Moore would be one that the staff watches closely. OL Evan Link (Gonzaga) is also expected to participate in the Big Man Challenge. Out on the intramural fields, Ath. Rodney Gallagher (Laurel Highlands) should receive plenty of attention. He’s actually on campus today to visit with both the football and basketball staff. A few other notables include QB Neeo Avery, CB Shawn Battle (Neumann Gorett) Saf. Rahmir Stewart (Imhotep Charter), Ath. Nyckoles Harbor (Archbishop Carroll) and CB Braylon Johnson (Highland Springs).
Other Division I prospects expected to participate include DT Isaiah Neal (Gonzaga), who’s up to eight offers now. TE Joey Schlaffer (Exeter Twp.) has earned 13 offers, including Arizona State, Michigan State, Nebraska, Pitt, Rutgers, Tennessee and West Virginia. He’s the younger brother of former Penn State OL Michal Menet. OL Michael Crounse (DeMatha), DE Dylan Gooden (Good Counsel), DB Dante Lovett (DeMatha), DE Jameial Lyons (Roman Catholic), CB Antonio Cotman Jr. (Life Christian Academy), RB Jaheim White (York) and OL Michael Dincher (State College) have all claimed offers from Football Bowl Subdivision schools.
Penn State has extended two scholarship offers to rising-sophomores who are expected to attend. WR Tyseer Denmark (Roman Catholic) is on pace to be one of the next top prospects from Philadelphia, with 13 schools already offering. Boston College, Maryland, Michigan State, Ole Miss, Pitt, Texas A&M and West Virginia have all offered, among others. OL Kyle Altuner (Good Counsel) also claimed an offer from the Nittany Lions after just two games of his freshman season back in March. He’s up to six offers already, with Boston College, Maryland, Ole Miss, Pitt and Rutgers joining the Nittany Lions.
As you would expect, many of these teams also have a host of young talented players coming through the ranks. Here are a few players to keep an eye on in the years to come: Saf. Ronnell Davis (Roman Catholic), QB Alex Erby (Steel-High), DL Andrew Erby Jr. (Steel-High), WR Elijah Moore (Good Counsel), DB Mikey Preston (Roman Catholic), DL Koren Robinson (Neumann Goretti) and CB Kenneth Woseley (Imhotep Charter).
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