The high school season is underway for Penn State commits and recruiting targets. Check Land of 10 every Sunday as we spotlight the top performances of potential Nittany Lions.
High school football programs across America have entered a pivotal period of the 2017 season, as mid-October matchups go a long way toward determining which teams qualify for playoff action. Penn State prospects, both pledges and those who remain undecided about their collegiate destination, continue to shine during this crucial stretch.
These dominant performances range from elite defensive prospects to offensive playmakers, while there are always examples of athletes making a major impact on both sides of the ball. Here is our latest look at the standout efforts from players on Penn State’s recruiting board:
- Class: 2018
- High School: Harrisburg (Pa.)
- Size: 6-foot-3, 235 pounds
- 247Sports composite ranking: No. 1 weakside defensive end; No. 5 overall
- Recruitment status: Uncommitted; offers include Nebraska, Ohio State, Oklahoma and Penn State
Micah Parsons repeatedly has expressed interest in getting reps on offense during his college career, mentioning Penn State among programs open to the idea. Though he belongs under consideration as America’s most-impressive defensive prospect, the former Nittany Lions commit arguably is the best senior running back in Pennsylvania.
He showed off his offensive abilities again Saturday afternoon during a 51-28 win over State College. Parsons, who visited Happy Valley for a game Sept. 16, had 5 total touchdowns to help his Cougars remain unbeaten.
His performance featured 224 rushing yards and 4 scores on only 11 carries, according to the Centre Daily Times. He added a 70-yard kickoff return for a touchdown — a rarity among prospects expected to play on the defensive front.
- Class: 2018
- High School: Brooks School (North Andover, Mass.)
- Size: 6-foot-5, 250 pounds
- 247Sports composite ranking: No. 9 tight end; No. 194 overall
- Recruitment status: Committed to Penn State on Aug. 16, 2016
Penn State must prepare to replace All-American tight end candidate Mike Gesicki after the 2017 season, as the senior standout is set to make a leap to the NFL after his final campaign in Happy Valley. The Nittany Lions are primed to sign a pair of top-10 tight end recruits this winter, including Pat Freiermuth.
Considered the No. 1 overall prospect in Massachusetts, he put his versatility on display Saturday afternoon. Freiermuth did his typical damage in aerial efforts, recording a 28-yard touchdown reception in a 38-7 win over Middlesex, according to the Eagle-Tribune.
He also shined on defense, returning a fumble 35 yards for a touchdown and delivering a 56-yard pick-6.
- Class: 2018
- High School: South Brunswick (N.J.)
- Size: 6-foot-4, 215 pounds
- 247Sports composite ranking: No. 3 receiver; No. 12 overall
- Recruitment status: Committed to Penn State on Aug. 26, 2016
Justin Shorter broke through with his first 100-yard receiving game of the season Friday night when South Brunswick hosted Sayreville. The 5-star talent tied his season high with 6 catches, resulting in 121 yards and 1 touchdown, per MaxPreps.
His latest output included a 56-yard touchdown reception. He also contributed to the Vikings passing attack, tossing a 17-yard score in the 27-14 win. Shorter, who attended Penn State’s victory over Michigan on Saturday night, has 8 total touchdowns through six games.
— Jersey Sports Zone (@JSZ_Sports) October 21, 2017
- Class: 2020
- High School: Southern Columbia (Catawissa, Pa.)
- Size: 6-foot-2, 180 pounds
- 247Sports composite ranking: No. 1 receiver; No. 5 overall
- Recruitment status: Uncommitted; offers include Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State and Syracuse
Less than half way through his high school career, Julian Fleming is well on his way toward making a case for consideration as one of Pennsylvania’s all-time great playmakers. He impressed again Friday night, recording his sixth 100-yard receiving performance of a sensational sophomore season.
Fleming caught 6 passes for 111 yards and 1 touchdown in a 42-0 victory over Central Columbia, according to MaxPreps. He’s been a largely unstoppable force for undefeated Southern Columbia through nine games, collecting 40 receptions for 945 yards and 17 touchdowns.
Since his varsity arrival last fall, Fleming has 76 receptions for 1,901 yards (25 per catch) and 30 scores. He’s added 4 special teams touchdowns along the way.
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