Blue White Illustrated

June 2017 Recruiting Update

Penn State Sports Magazine

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ACer getting off to a fast start, Penn State was bound to slow down at some point as it works to assemble the Class of 2018. That's exactly what has happened in recent months. While the Nittany Lions' class is still ranked fourth nation- ally by, the news lately has been decidedly mixed. On the positive side, the Lions appear to still be in contention for five-star de- fensive end Micah Parsons, who was, for a while, the most highly regarded mem- ber of their class before decommitting in April shortly aCer returning home from the Blue-White Game. Penn State hosted Parsons and his father, Terrance, on June 7 and appears to have made a positive impression. On a more disappointing note, the Lions lost another verbally committed five-star prospect earlier in the week when quarterback Justin Fields an- nounced that he was reopening his re- cruitment. Rated by Rivals as the No. 1 dual-threat quarterback in the Class of 2018, Fields, had been committed to Penn State since December. A resident of Kennesaw, Ga., he had recently made a 99-spot leap in the recruiting rankings, earning a fiCh star from Rivals and soaring into the na- tion's top 10. Nittany Lion offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead had been in attendance at Fields' spring game at Harrison High in May. Fields had also visited Penn State's campus as recently as April when he was on hand for the Blue-White Game. In his statement, released via Twitter, Fields said that his decision "is in no way a reflection of any deficiencies of PSU, its coaches, players or fans. I still believe that PSU is a great academic and athletic opportunity for any student athlete." He added that he has not ruled out rejoining the class, saying that Penn State "will re- main one of the top schools that I would consider." That may be the case, but Penn State will have a lot of competition. Among the schools that will likely make Fields' short list are Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Georgia and Tennessee. In the meantime, the Lions are hoping to persuade Parsons to give them a sec- ond look. A native of Harrisburg, Pa., he committed to head coach James Franklin as a sophomore in February 2016, but he decided this past April that it would be best to open up his recruitment. While that was certainly a major hit to the class, the Nittany Lions have stayed in the hunt, hosting him for two visits in the past week, the second of which included his father. R E C R U I T I N G R E P O R T J U N E 9 N E W S L E T T E R R Y A N S N Y D E R A N D T I M O W E N | B L U E W H I T E I L L U S T R A T E D J U N E 9 , 2 0 1 7 B L U E W H I T E O N L I N E . C O M 1 MIXED SIGNALS Recent losses sting, but PSU's efforts to add top prospects continue Parsons poses with Franklin during a visit to the Lasch Building. The five- star defensive end is considering PSU. Photo courtesy of Parsons family

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