PSU goes to its Delaware pipeline for latest recruit

By Philip Cmor

pcmor@altoonamirror.com

Although it’s a small state, Delaware has turned out some pretty big football talent over the years, like Randy White, Luke Petitgout and Devon Still.

Penn State is hoping its latest football commit from Delaware follows a similar career trajectory to the one that took Still to University Park and the NFL.

Saleem Wormley, a massive 6-foot-3, 317-pound four-star offensive lineman from Smyrna High School, announced on Monday afternoon that he had committed to the Nittany Lions over Notre Dame, Rutgers and Maryland, becoming the 12th member of Penn State’s 2019 recruiting class.

It starts with a bang for Penn State a week that will end with the always much-anticipated “Lasch Bash” recruiting barbeque/meet-and-greet.

“I was really liking Rutgers but with Penn State it was all about where they are as a program, what they are building, and my coach (Mike Judy) trusts it. We talked about it, what they are bringing together in this recruiting class, the coaching staff, and the players that they have around them, it feels like the best fit for me,” Wormley said in an interview with Adam Friedman of Rivals.com, which rates Wormley the No. 103 player in the 2019 class. “I’m extremely confident in the coaching staff and the strength and conditioning staff.

“Coach (Matt) Limegrover is a great coach, and so is Coach (James) Franklin. Everything they’ve done so far has proven what they have going is good.”

Wormley also boasted scholarship offers from Pitt, Florida State, Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, and, if there was any question about his grades, Yale.

The Lions are believed to be in the market for four offensive linemen in this class. Blue-chip New Jersey guard Caedan Wallace already was on board, and it seems likely Lackawanna College tackle Anthony Whigan also will be part of the class.

Virginia’s Jakai Moore, Illinois’ Trevor Keegan and Maryland’s Zachary Franks are considered the best bets to round out that group, but Penn State also has been involved with highly-rated Darnell Wright of West Virginia and Walter Rouse of Washington, D.C.

A former wrestler, Wormley was named the most valuable offensive lineman a The Opening New Jersey Regional combine in April.

“Wormley has good length, his feet are quick and he plays with a nasty streak. He plays to the whistle and does not cheat the effort part of the game,” 247Sports recruiting analyst Brian Dohn said. “In the passing game, Wormley’s initial punch is violent and fast, although he needs to be more accurate with it and also be able to remain engaged with the defensive player.

“Wormley plays with a low center of gravity, and he moves his feet well. He can handle a pass rusher’s change of direction and he slides well to his left and to his right. There are times he reaches and leans forward a bit, but that is more about patience and can be coached out of him quickly when he arrives at Penn State. He is extremely aggressive and he embraces the physical aspect of the position, even in pass protection.”

Not surprisingly, Wormley was a first-team all-Delaware pick as a junior as an offensive tackle. Most scouts project him moving inside in college because of his height, but it isn’t out of the question than he could stay at tackle.

He’s got incredibly long arms. Even as a 6-4 kid, his arms are those of a 6-7 kid. So, he has long levers,: Judy said. “He’s got a wide lower-body, so he’s light on his feet and has great balance. His punch is outstanding, he has quick hands.”

With Wormley’s pledge, Penn State probably is down to about eight remaining scholarships available for this recruiting cycle. That number is expected to decrease by one when four-star Oregon dual-threat quarterback Michael Johnson Jr. announces his college choice next week.

Following Johnson, Penn State is hoping it can pick up a commitment from Ohio defensive end Zach Harrison on Aug. 4. A freakish athlete and one of the top three prospects in this class, Harrison recently has been looked upon as an Ohio State/Michigan battle, but the Lions have been consistently near the top of his list since the get-go, and he’s reputed to have a very strong connection with Franklin.

Before Johnson and Harrison announce, though, Penn State will host the Lasch Bash on Saturday, which should attract several dozen top recruiting targets. Whigan, Franks, Rouse, New York tackle Jared Harrison-Hunte, Virginia defensive tackle Ben Smiley and Indiana wideout David Bell were among the uncommitted 2019 prospects Lions247’s Sean Fitz and BlueWhite Illustrated’s Ryan Snyder have already confirmed are planning to attend.

Four-star running back Noah Cain won’t be able to attend, but his mother and father reportedly will be there to get better acquainted with the coaches.

Perhaps even more important is the list of underclassman prospects who are expected to be there, including Maryland defensive lineman Bryan Bresee, Virginia running back Chris Tyree and Maryland offensive tackle Arryn Parks, all top-100 prospects.

Bresee is rated as the top overall prospect in the country for 2020. National recruiting analyst Steve Wiltfong of 247Sports on Monday said that he considers Penn State the front-runner for Bresee at the moment.

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