football Edit

Updated Offers Board: Defensive Backs

Despite a busy visit period in December and January, Penn State still holds just three commitments in its Class of 2021, none of whom are currently projected to play defense. Fans were hoping for at least one or two additions before the February dead period, which began last week, but all those visits should set the Nittany Lions up for a busy and rewarding spring once unofficial visits begin again in March. When you add in official visits in April, Nittany Nation should have a much better feel for what the upcoming class will look like before camp season begins in June.

In the meantime, let's take a closer look at where the staff stands with its top targets at defensive backs.


Schools: Penn State, Arizona St., Boston College, Duke, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, LSU, Louisville, Maryland, Michigan, Oklahoma, Pitt, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Virginia Tech

The Latest - 2/14/20 - Barnes just earned an offer from Penn State a few weeks ago, but he already confirmed this week that he's planning to visit for a spring practice on April 4. In January, he checked out both Duke and Georgia, and he's now planning trips to Clemson, Tennessee and Michigan in March and April. Once he visits, we'll have a better feel for PSU's chances, but Barnes is quickly emerging as one of Penn State's top cornerback prospects. It's still unclear if he'll take official visits in May/June or save them for the season.

Schools: Penn State, Baylor, Boston College, Maryland, Pitt, Purdue, Rutgers, Temple, Virginia, Va. Tech, W. Virginia

The Latest - 2/14/20 - Cheek has taken five visits to Penn State, but he hasn't been on campus since October. He did go to Rutgers in January, but that was the only visit he took the past two months. I'm under the impression that Penn State has cooled on Cheek after an up and down season. He will get the opportunity to camp in the summer, so he's still someone to monitor, but PSU needs to see more from him before he can make a commitment.

Schools: Top 14 - Penn State, Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, LSU, Maryland, N. Carolina, Ohio St., Oklahoma, S. Carolina, Texas, Texas A&M, Virginia, Virginia Tech

The Latest - 2/14/20 - Grimes visited Penn State in December and then returned for the Feb. 1 junior day. He also went to Georgia, Jan. 18, followed by Clemson on Jan. 25. Originally, he cut his list to 13 schools in September, but that didn't include Georgia. Now, following his trip to Athens, a few colleagues believe that Georgia may be in the best position. Even if UGA is the team to beat, Grimes continues to stress that he's in no rush to decide. He may take a few official visits this spring, but if he sticks with his Dec. 1 commitment timeline, most of these schools will want him to take an official in the fall. Penn State has already set one of his official visits for the game against Ohio State in October.

Schools: Penn State, Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Colorado, Florida, Florida St., Georgia, Georgia Tech, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, LSU, Maryland, Miami, Michigan, Michigan St., Minnesota, Miss. State, Nebraska, North Carolina, N.C. State, Notre Dame, Ohio St., Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Oregon, Pitt, Purdue, Rutgers, South Carolina, Syracuse, Tennessee, Texas, UCF, USC, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech

The Latest - 2/14/20 - Hancock is one of the hottest prospects in the country. Since visiting Penn State in October, his scholarship count has more than doubled. He can basically pick any school he wants now. Hancock visited both Alabama and Clemson in January, and I expect both Georgia and Ohio State to be serious contenders. Penn State has to get him back on campus this spring.

Schools: Penn State, Arkansas, Boston College, Cincinnati, Indiana, Iowa, Iowa St., Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan St., Missouri, Nebraska, Pitt, Purdue, Rutgers, Syracuse, W. Virginia, Wisconsin

The Latest - 2/14/20 - Kalen and his twin brother, Kobe, returned to Penn State Jan. 18 for a junior day. The brothers spoke highly of the trip and are expected to be a package deal. They've already visited most of the top schools in the Big Ten, but this spring should end up being another busy period for the King family. As of now, it feels like Penn State is on pace to make his top three. Wisconsin is also off to a strong start, as the brothers were back in Madison Feb. 1. Iowa and Michigan are two other schools to keep an eye on.

Schools: Penn State, Cincinnati, Duke, Georgia Tech, Iowa St., North Carolina, Pitt, South Florida, Syracuse, Temple, Virginia

The Latest - 2/14/20 - Oladokun earned an offer from Penn State when he attended the game against Michigan last month. He's still in contact with PSU, although there are a few players that they're pursuing ahead of Oladokun at the moment. Over the past month, nine FBS schools have offered, so he's starting to grab the attention of other programs. As of now, I think he's someone to monitor, but I wouldn't expect him to be back on campus until the summer, once the staff has a better feel for some other players.

Schools: Penn State, Boston College, Cincinnati, Iowa State, Kentucky, Louisville, Minnesota, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Pitt, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech, West Virginia

The Latest - 2/14/20 - Smith visited Penn State early in the season and then earned an offer from the Lions in November. He's always spoken highly of PSU's staff and should return in the spring. He's been speaking with Smith and Franklin multiple times a week. Smith visited Tennessee on Feb. 1 and he's already said that he plans to go to Notre Dame in March. Ohio State is the team to watch here. If the Buckeyes offer, they'll likely become the team to beat. He wants to have this wrapped up by the summer.


Schools: Penn State, Alabama, Baylor, Boston College, Clemson, Duke, Florida, Ga. Tech, Kentucky, LSU, Louisville, Maryland, Michigan, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio St., Oklahoma, Pitt, Syracuse, Texas A&M, Virginia, Va. Tech, W. Virginia, Wisconsin

The Latest - 2/14/20 - Davis is one of Penn State's top overall targets in the Class of 2021. He took his ninth trip to University Park on Jan. 18 and followed that visit with trips to Pitt, Jan. 24, and Ohio State, Feb. 1. Aside from the Lions, he's regularly communicating with Alabama, Clemson, LSU, Notre Dame and Ohio State. I expect PSU to make his top five, but this won't be an easy recruitment for the Lions. Official visits should come this summer.

Schools: Penn State, Boston College, UConn, Michigan, Purdue, Rutgers, Syracuse, Tennessee

The Latest - 2/14/20 - Davis attended the game against Indiana in November and then returned Feb. 1 for the staff's final junior day before the dead period. Coming out of that visit, he said that Tim Banks and Smith are "two down-to-earth coaches who have a lot of insight on the game of football." He also said that he loves everything about James Franklin. Davis took a trip to Rutgers in January, but not much has really changed here. I still believe that Penn State is firmly the team to beat. I haven't officially made a pick for Davis yet, but all signs point towards the Nittany Lions.

Schools: Penn State, Baylor, Boston College, Duke, Florida, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan St., Nebraska, Ohio St., Oklahoma St., Ole Miss, Oregon, Pitt, Rutgers, Stanford, Syracuse, Temple, Tennessee, Texas A&M, UCF, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech, W. Virginia, Wisconsin

The Latest - 2/14/20 - Johnson hasn't talked about his recruitment much, so it's been difficult to get feedback on what he likes about the program. We know he visited twice in 2019 and is a top prospect for the staff, but aside from that, he hasn't opened up much to the media. In addition to Penn State, he's visited Maryland, Rutgers, Tennessee, Virginia Tech and West Virginia.

Schools: Top 8 - Penn State, Buffalo, Central Michigan, Cincinnati, Kentucky, Maryland, Pitt, Toledo

The Latest - 2/14/20 - Mines attended the game against Michigan this season and left with an offer. He raved about the experience, immediately noting that PSU was at the top of his list. Mines then returned Jan. 18 and not much has really changed. It still feels like the Lions are clearly the team to beat here. He's behind a few other safety prospects on the recruiting board, but with just three commitments currently, none of whom play safety, Mines is very much in play.

Schools: Penn State, Boston College, Cincinnati, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa St., Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan St., Minnesota, Nebraska, Ole Miss, Pitt, Purdue, Rutgers, Syracuse, West Virginia

The Latest - 2/14/20 - Reed visited Penn State for the first time Jan. 18. Following the trip, he said that the Lions moved "to the top of my recruitment." Reed also went down to Georgia on Feb. 1, but it does feel as if Franklin and his staff made a major move with Reed and his mother following the visit. Michigan State has also hosted him a few times, but with a new staff in East Lansing now, we'll have to see how that relationship develops. Penn State fans should feel good about Reed, but there's a long way to go still.


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