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Pryor may make official visit to Penn State

February 3, 2008
By Philip Cmor,
According to Terrelle Pryor’s coach, Penn State made progress toward landing the nation’s No. 1 football prospect when it made a visit last week.

The question, with three days left until signing day, is: Will it be enough?

‘‘I think it went well,’’ Jeannette coach Ray Reitz said Saturday.

Nittany Lion head coach Joe Paterno went to Jeannette High School with assistant coaches Jay Paterno and Tom Bradley to visit the 6-foot-6, 225-pound Jayhawk quarterback on Wednesday. There, they met with Pryor, his mother, Toni, father, Craig, Pittsburgh Steeler backup quarterback and Pryor’s advisor, Charlie Batch, and Reitz.

Afterward, they took in Pryor’s basketball game against Apollo-Ridge.

Although Pryor has denied publicly leaning toward any college, the general consensus has been that Ohio State leads Michigan for his services, with Penn State and Oregon jockeying for third place. Reitz gave the impression he believed that to be the case, but that Penn State did give Pennsylvania Football News’ Mr. Football and The Associated Press Class AA player of the year something to think about.

‘‘I think it’s probably a long shot [for Penn State to land Pryor], but he did say he would like to visit there,’’ Reitz said.

That would be difficult because Monday through Thursday are a period in which NCAA regulations prohibit coaches from having contact with prospective recruits, and signing day is Wednesday.

Word began to surface after Penn State’s visit that Pryor might delay his choice until after letter-of-intent day. Unless he does, Pryor is scheduled to sign at 12:05 p.m. in the Jeannette High School gym.

‘‘He may push it back to make a more informed decision,’’ Reitz said. ‘‘It’d be hard to eliminate Penn State and Oregon without actually visiting them.’’

Pryor has been to Penn State numerous times, but never on an official recruiting visit.

The Nittany Lions’ class currently numbers 15 recruits, with Texas defensive back D’Anton Lynn now appearing to be solidly in the fold after flirting with making a visit to Southern Cal last week.

Penn State still might have its work cut out for it to keep all 15 of those players in the fold, though. Michigan has been pushing hard for Trotwood, Ohio’s Michael Shaw, who verbally committed to the Lions back in August. Shaw is rated one of the top 10 running backs in the country by

The Wolverines already have a commitment from one of Shaw’s high school teammates, but that might not carry the weight it would usually suggest, because Shaw only played his senior year at Madison High School.

The Lions have been figuring to wind up with a class of approximately 18 recruits. Among the final uncommitted recruits with whom Penn State is involved are:

n Virginia Beach, Va., Ocean Lakes’ Marcus Davis (6-4, 225): Davis appears to be down to Virginia Tech and Penn State, with the Hokies considered a slight favorite. BlueWhite Illustrated reported that he had cancelled an official visit to Virginia this weekend.

While many see Davis as a wide receiver down the road, the Lions are recruiting him as a quarterback, according to an interview conducted by with his coach, Jim Price. Davis is a dual-threat quarterback in the mold of Pryor and former Nittany Lion Michael Robinson, who came out of Richmond, Va.

n East Stroudsburg’s Corey Lewis (6-7, 292): Lewis committed to Virginia in June, but reported last week that he is unlikely to sign with the Cavaliers. It’s now looking like a Penn State/Illinois battle, with Illinois possibly leading.

Lewis would definitely fill a need in this Lion recruiting class. He took an official visit to University Park in January.

A couple of Penn State targets from Maryland recently announced plans to head elsewhere. DeMatha wideout Kenny Tate picked Maryland over Illinois and Lions last week. Tate will be joined on the Terrapins by defensive tackle Zach Kerr, who liked Penn State but never received a scholarship offer.

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