Penn State Football Recruiting: The Four Most Interesting Recruits Expected to Attend White Out against Auburn
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Who are the most intriguing Penn State-Auburn recruiting visitors?

Penn State is preparing to host over 100 recruits and their families Saturday for the biggest home game of the year.

The No. 10 Nittany Lions will host No. 22 Auburn at 7:30 p.m. at Beaver Stadium, and per the usual, the White Out game is the only one annually that forces the program to turn some prospects away.

"The White Outs are usually somewhere around 300 and you've got to remember that's the recruit plus their guests," head coach James Franklin said Tuesday. "Some of their guests are teammates that are also recruits. Some are moms, dads, brothers, sisters, high school teammates. We're usually full. We're fortunate here, having a 107,000 seat stadium. Our student section is bigger than most. Our allotment of recruiting tickets is bigger than most, so that helps for games like this.

"You hate to turn people away, but this is a game where we typically have to turn recruits away. This is a game where we typically have to turn high school coaches away because the demand far outweighs the supply."

That is the case again this year, and it takes just one look at our visitor list, which is posted inside of The Lions Den, to understand why.

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Speaking of the list, the latest installment of BWI's recruiting roundtable focuses on just that, specifically four visitors, two on offense and two on defense, that stand out for one reason or another.

Who are they? Ryan Snyder and Greg Pickel make their picks below.

Offense

Snyder: I struggled a bit with this selection because there are a lot of solid choices here. Class of 2022 WR Omari Evans or OL Aamil Wagner coming back for second visits would be an easy pick since the 2023 cycle has a long way to go, but when I look down the list, it's hard for me to not pick one of the elite quarterback prospects expected. Detroit native Dante Moore will make the trip, but I ultimately see him ending up elsewhere, so I'm actually going to go with 2024 QB Jadyn Davis here.

I know, 2024, that's such a long way away, but this young man may very well end up being the No. 1 overall player in the class for that cycle when Rivals ranks the sophomore class in the months to come. Penn State knows they have two good quarterbacks coming in this year, while 2023 quarterback recruiting remains a bit of a toss up at the moment.

For 2024, there's no question who their top target will be, and that's Davis. The Fort Mill, S.C., native actually visited Penn State in July, too, so the fact that he's returning for a second visit in less than two months is a really good sign.

Quarterback recruiting has arguably been Penn State's biggest weakness since Franklin took over the program. Greg and I discussed this in a podcast a few weeks ago (Scroll to 31:15 mark). Maybe Moore will prove me wrong, but when I look at the realistic quarterback prospects out there, Davis is Penn State's next opportunity to land an absolute superstar at the position, and their efforts should be helped greatly with an awesome showing Saturday night.


Quarterback Jaden Rashada

Pickel: I'm going to the Class of 2023 for my pick. It's Pittsburg, Calif., four-star quarterback Jaden Rashada. I bolded where he's from because, while it's not rare for out-of-region prospects to visit for the White Out game, it is when they're from the West Coast. What makes Rashada even more unique is that it's his second unofficial visit to Penn State in just a few months. That signals serious interest since he's paying his own way to make the trip, and it's a good sign for the Nittany Lions as they recruit the nation's 113th-ranked player overall and No. 6 junior signal-caller, according to Rivals.

"Being out here in Cali, I'm used to all the cities and stuff, so going out to the East Coast for the first time, I actually kind of liked it," Rashada told BWI in August.

"I found out something new about myself. I liked all the green in Pennsylvania. That didn't rub me the wrong way at all. I liked it.”

That's another bit of good news for the blue and white as Penn State aims to add more weapons on offense in the next recruiting cycle.

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Defense

Cornerback Lamont Payne

Snyder: I feel like a broken record here, but I can't talk about Lamont Payne being on commitment watch this fall for weeks now and not mention him again here. The Pennsylvania native will be taking his fourth trip to Penn State since June and is clearly leaning towards the Nittany Lions at this stage in his recruitment.

He's seen just about everything he needs to see, too. Back in June, he opened up the month camping with Terry Smith and the defensive staff. He got that always important one-on-one time with Smith to get a feel for what kind of a coach he really is. Payne was also one of very few who were able to stick with Kaden Saunders this summer in coverage. That left a big impression on PSU's staff.

He then returned a little over two weeks later for a Tuesday visit where he was one of only four players on campus that day. That was his opportunity to have that personal visit where he got amble amount of time with the staff to tour facilities, see campus, talk ball, etc. That kind of visit is always important.

He then ended the summer attending the Lasch Bash, which was his opportunity to get to know not only current players, but also those already committed for 2022 and many of the staff's top targets in his class.

So, the only thing Payne really needs to see now is that game atmosphere inside Beaver Stadium, which will come this weekend. The Chartiers Valley prosp may go home Saturday still undecided, but it's clear that the Nittany Lions are the team to beat, which makes him someone to focus closely on. A commitment at any point would not surprise me.


Linebacker Jaishawn Barham

Pickel: Penn State's Class of 2022 is mostly full, but there are still a couple of spots left, which means there will be a small number of seniors taking an official visit to campus this weekend. One of them is Jaishawn Barham, and he's my pick on this side of the ball.

The Nittany Lions have done well at linebacker recruiting this year, with three-star Keon Wylie and four-star Abdul Carter both committed at the position, but I'm not convinced that Carter won't wind up as a defensive end in the future, which makes landing another player at the position important. Even if that doesn't turn out to be the case, PSU is in the 'take the best available player' territory in this cycle, and Barham falls into that category. He is No. 84 overall, No. 8 at his position, and has offers from all over the place.

The Baltimore, Md., St. Frances talent is going to make some college very happy when he finally commits, and Penn State would like it to be it. A good official this weekend could go a long way toward potentially making that a reality, and that's why I select him here.


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