3-star defender coming to Happy Valley for football
It came a few days later than anticipated, but the Penn State football team has finally gotten a commitment from Amani Oruwariye.
Oruwariye, the 3-star cornerback from Gaither High School in Tampa, Fla., went public with his pledge to the Nittany Lions on Thursday afternoon, the Tampa Tribune first reported. A one-time Vanderbilt recruit, Oruwariye has been linked to Penn State almost since James Franklin came from the Commodores to take over the Lion program and had been expected to commit during a visit to University Park last weekend but held off.
Oruwariye also had Rutgers and Central Florida in his finalists and just got a scholarship offer from Missouri, adding to a list that included Nebraska, Michigan State, Arizona, Louisville, Georgia Tech and about 15 other schools.
A rangy cornerback at 6-foot-1, 180 pounds with 4.5 speed, Oruwariye had four interceptions, nine pass breakups and three blocked punts and was voted first-team all-Hillsborough County by the Tampa Bay Times. He had 12 career interceptions and blocked six punts over the last two seasons.
The Times ranked him as the ninth best prospect in its area.
Some schools were looking at Oruwariye as a safety, but it’s believed Penn State will look at him first as corner.
Oriwariye’s announcement gives the Lions 24 recruits in this class, including five defensive backs and three cornerbacks. It’s believed Penn State has room for just one more addition to the class.
It appears the Lions aren’t looking at any particular position for its remaining scholarship, instead aiming for the best player they can land at whatever the position. They are scheduled to host Jacksonville, Fla. cornerback Lamont Simmons this weekend and internet reports have speculated that they might be taking a final shot at Aliquippa defensive back Dravon Henry or Gateway safety/wide receiver Montae Nicholson – Henry is committed to West Virginia, Nicholson to Michigan State.
An Arkansas recruiting website on the 247Sports network also is reporting Penn State is one of four finalists for Arizona four-star offensive tackle Andrew Mike along with the Razorbacks, Florida and Vanderbilt and is scheduled to announce his choice on Monday. Mike has been to Penn State, and Franklin tweeted on Tuesday that he was on the recruiting trail in Tucson, leading many to believe he was visiting Mike – by NCAA rule, coaches are not allowed to comment on specific recruits until their signed letter-of-intent has been received or they’ve enrolled.
Signing day is Feb. 5.