Penn State hosted upwards of 40 prospects on campus Saturday for an unofficial visit, and head coach James Franklin managed to pick up commitments from three of them.
The least surprising of the names was three-star defensive end Damion Barber, who was actually expected to commit sooner but chose to do so during his visit with Franklin over the weekend. Barber is a 6-foot-3, 220-pound pass rusher from Harrisburg, and despite a wide range of offers from other schools, it seemed to be Penn State nearly the entire time.
Defensive end Yetur Matos was a more surprising acquisition, because he was expected to make a few other visits before making any kind of decision. Matos was being recruited by Brent Pry and Sean Spencer and received offers from a long list of other programs. Barber and Matos are the third and fourth hard commits for the Nittany Lions’ class of 2017, joining linebacker Dylan Rivers and pro-style quarterback Sean Clifford.
The excitement didn’t end there, as Franklin’s third and final weekend commitment came from defensive end Micah Parsons who is the first to join the program’s class of 2018. Parsons is also from Harrisburg, playing at Central Dauphin High School. Sophomores aren’t normally given official ratings, though Parsons is already being labeled as a five-star prospect. In fact, 247Sports currently has him labeled as the No. 3 overall recruit in the country. He’ll likely be a trendsetter for the Nittany Lions and we’ll start seeing more futures coming through the door.
Regardless, Franklin continues to uphold his promise to ‘dominate the state’ and has the Nittany Lions in a position to claim one of the top classes in 2017. Franklin has received a great deal of criticism for his ability to coach on gameday, and it’s certainly well-founded, but he’s unquestionably one of the most gifted recruiters in the nation.