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Great Visit for Rivals100 DE

Penn State hosted New Jersey's No. 1 overall prospect, DE Tyler Friday, for his first unofficial visit to Happy Valley this past weekend. What impressed he and his father the most? Learn more!

Friday was named D-Line MVP at the Rivals New Jersey camp last spring.
Friday was named D-Line MVP at the Rivals New Jersey camp last spring. (Nick Lucero/

Four-star defensive end Tyler Friday was arguably the top recruit in attendance at Penn State’s Junior Day this past weekend.

At 6-foot-3, 260 pounds, the Don Bosco Prep prospect has emerged as one of the mid-Atlantic’s top overall players for the Class of 2018, as he currently sits at No. 38 overall in the Rivals100. Penn State has been monitoring Friday’s progress for about a year now, but his trip to State College on Saturday was his first opportunity to see what both the football program and university have to offer.

“We were basically looking for certain things about the school, in relation to the education he would be receiving,” said Friday’s father, Samuel Friday. “Going into the visit, we already knew what Penn State stood for, but when we got there, everything just went so smooth. Everyone was very welcoming. They were all very kind and respectful.

“The whole visit was organized very well. Every question that we wanted to learn more about or ask about was basically answered before we got the opportunity to ask the question. It was a great visit. I would feel very comfortable allowing my son to attend their university.”

In addition to seeing Beaver Stadium and the Lasch Building, Friday and his father also received a tour of the new Morgan Academic Support Center. Education is expected to be a top priority for Friday when he narrows his list and ultimately decides.

“That was one of the places we were able to see,” said Mr. Friday, referring to the academic center. “We had a young lady, Chelsea, take us around and show us the place. They explained everything. They showed us how Ty would go through their program and how he would receive help for anything he needed when it comes to school. If he were to attend, he would be monitored and receive help from tutors, if needed. Everything would be accessible to him.”

Since the fall, Friday and his father have primarily been speaking with tight end coach Ricky Rahne. This visit allowed them to get to know Rahne on a more personal level, as well as head coach James Franklin and defensive line coach Sean Spencer.

“It was good meeting Ricky Rahne, because he’s been the main one that we’ve been in touch with. We actually just got in touch with Coach Spence this past week, before the visit. That was also our first time meeting Coach Franklin.

“Coach Franklin had a lot of great energy. He was very excited to see my child. We always like to see that because that’s one of the major things we’ll be looking for. He’s not going to pick a school because of its name or its status. It’ll be because he’s really wanted.

“So, that’s one of the things we really liked about Penn State. Also, the ride up there was nice. It was pretty easy to get up and back. It’s always accessible to us, so it worked out really well.”

As of the end of February, Friday has earned 16 verbal scholarship offers. Some of the top programs include Alabama, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio State, Tennessee, UCLA, Virginia Tech and Wisconsin. He’s already visited both Michigan and Ohio State and is expected to return to both Big Ten programs in about a month from now. He’ll also visit Rutgers in a few weeks.

“At the end of next month, we’re planning to get back out to Michigan and Ohio (State)," said Mr. Friday. "But, before that, we plan to get down to Rutgers. Once he gets through next month, we’ll begin scheduling some more schools that he can get to.”

In addition to his overall ranking, Friday is currently the nation’s third-ranked strong-side defensive end. He’s also the top-ranked player in New Jersey for his class.