Stay updated as Penn State rises toward the top of the recruiting rankings! Don’t miss the coverage from Tyler Donohue, who brings a decade of experience as a national college football reporter and a recruiting department staff member with a Big Ten program. Read his daily notebooks here at 7:20 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, and follow us on Twitter for the latest Nittany Lions recruiting news.
Nana Asiedu earns final spot in Army All-American Bowl
Another Penn State commit is set to compete in a postseason showcase event this winter. Offensive lineman Nana Asiedu, a member of the Nittany Lions class since April 23, is heading to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
This annual matchup features a lengthy list of notable alumni, including Odell Beckham Jr., Andrew Luck, Adrian Peterson and Tim Tebow. The All-American Bowl takes place Jan. 6 at 1 p.m. ET in San Antonio and will be broadcast live on NBC.
Asiedu, a 6-foot-5, 265-pound prospect at North Stafford (Stafford, Va.) High School, is among the most athletic offensive linemen you’ll find in the 2018 recruiting cycle. He is considered a top-10 tackle talent in the 247Sports composite rankings.
— Nana Asiedu (@BigNana_) December 15, 2017
The competition for roster spots in this game is widespread, creating difficult choices for a selection committee filled with industry veterans. Asiedu ended up becoming the final pick, according to All-American Bowl national recruiting director Erik Richards.
This is a designation that also once applied to another notable offensive tackle.
“Last player to be named, just like Michael Oher,” Richards said.
Oher, who became a familiar figure in football following the release of an Academy Award-winning movie based on his rise as a recruit ― The Blind Side ― went on to earn All-SEC honors at Ole Miss. He was a first-round selection in the 2009 NFL Draft.
Richards, a member of the All-American Bowl selection committee, explained that committee members witnessed Asiedu make obvious strides during his senior season.
“The committee just couldn’t ignore the improvement Nana made from the start of the season through North Stafford’s last game,” he said.
RELATED: 2018 Penn State recruiting big board
Asiedu is the first player from his high school program to earn an All-American Bowl invitation. He helped block for heavily recruited 2019 running back Devyn Ford, who rushed for 2,056 yards and 32 touchdowns this fall, according to Inside NOVA.
Penn State picked up his verbal pledge moments before its spring game, which Asiedu attended. He is expected to finalize plans for a future in Happy Valley next week during the early signing period. His offer sheet also includes Auburn, Clemson, Florida State, Georgia, Michigan and Texas.
Asiedu will have an opportunity to further establish himself as a premier incoming collegiate talent in San Antonio as he works against elite defensive recruits. Micah Parsons, a 5-star edge rusher who very well may join him in the Nittany Lions’ class upon a Dec. 20 announcement, is among those participating in practices and game action.
“Really believe that sometimes the last selections for the game have the biggest upside,” Richards said.
Watch highlights of Asiedu here:
Penn State coaches spend time with top targets
It’s crunch time for Nittany Lions recruiting efforts, and the Penn State staff continues to stay busy. James Franklin and his assistants have invested significant time on the road this month visiting valued committed and uncommitted prospects.
The Nittany Lions remain focused preparing for an upcoming Fiesta Bowl matchup vs. Washington, along with establishing synergy within a shuffled offensive staff, but recruiting objectives are never far from the forefront this time of year. That’s increasingly the case, considering the presence of college football’s inaugural early signing day (Dec. 20-22).
Penn State is in excellent position to sign most, if not all, of its 2018 commits next week. Soon afterward at least five of these signees are expected to arrive on campus as early enrollees, including in-state linebacker Nick Tarburton and Texas cornerback Trent Gordon.
With several of these pivotal pieces in place for Penn State, plenty of attention now shifts toward targeted talents who remain undecided about their college choice. The Nittany Lions checked in on a particularly compelling pair during recent days.
Jayson Oweh, a prized prospect from New Jersey, welcomed Franklin and Penn State defensive line coach Sean Spencer to his home Wednesday.
No college football program has hosted Oweh, a defensive end at Blair Academy (Blairstown, N.J.), more than the Nittany Lions. He’s visited Happy Valley five times since March, including an official visit for the team’s final home game.
Oweh, who is also considering Michigan and Ohio State, continues to see increased interest as his decision nears. Alabama and Nebraska are the latest additions to his list of options, and he is scheduled to announce a commitment Jan. 4 at the Under Armour All-America Game in Orlando, Fla.
Oweh referred to Franklin and Spencer as “my guys” following their Wednesday trip to the Garden State, adding they’ve “been there since the beginning”.
— Jayson Oweh (@JaysonOweh) December 14, 2017
Among schools still under consideration by Oweh, Penn State does indeed have an advantage in longevity. Nittany Lions coaches also attended a Blair Academy basketball game earlier this month, and it’s clear Franklin is all-in on this recruitment.
Penn State also has made multiple December visits to Phoenix, where 4-star receiver Solomon Enis is still weighing his options. The Nittany Lions legacy, son of former running back Curtis Enis, spent time with new offensive coordinator Ricky Rahne on Wednesday.
— Solomon. (@SolomonEnis) December 14, 2017
Enis, a 6-foot-4, 190-pound playmaker at North Canyon High School, is also being pursued by a few Pac-12 teams. He previously used an official visit at Penn State the same weekend as Oweh (Nov. 17-19).
There is no public timeline for his decision, but it’s clear the Nittany Lions have identified Enis as a priority. His pledge would provide Penn State with a pair of 6-4 receivers, matching him with 5-star recruit Justin Shorter.
Enis secured 110 receptions for 1,964 yards and 18 touchdowns during the last two seasons, according to MaxPreps.
Nittany Lions offer another Harrisburg standout
Penn State commit Keaton Ellis is no longer the lone 2019 Pennsylvania prospect with a Nittany Lions offer. Franklin added another in-state standout to the board Thursday, offering Harrisburg High School linebacker Andre White.
The 6-3, 200-pound junior played alongside top Penn State target Micah Parsons and Nittany Lions pledge Shaquon Anderson-Butts this season as Harrisburg rolled to an undefeated regular season.
White led the team with 87 tackles, per MaxPreps, recording 10 tackles for loss. He added 4 forced fumbles, 3 sacks and 1 interception.
Other 2019 Penn State linebacker targets to know include Marcel Brooks (Flower Mound, Texas), Shane Lee (Baltimore) and Brandon Smith (Mineral, Va.).
White’s offer list also features Connecticut, Rutgers and Temple. Watch his junior-season highlights here:
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