WR Dunmore picks PSU over Auburn, FSU

For a couple of years, the Penn State football program has been forging a relationship with wide receiver prospect John Metchie, and, for a long time, the Nittany Lions were considered the favorite to land his commitment.

However, when Metchie recently became more enamored with Alabama, the Lion coaching staff showed the value of not placing all of its eggs in one basket and, instead, came away with one of the top pass-catchers in the nation.

Showing off its growing recruiting clout and national footprint, Penn State on Wednesday night landed the pledge of Florida wideout John Dunmore, bringing in a player who didn’t even seem to have the Lions on his radar a couple of months ago. Dunmore announced his commitment on Twitter.

“Done Deal,” Dunmore posted.

Dunmore isn’t just an average recruit from a state that turns out dozens of Power-Five-conference recruits every year, either. Rivals.com rates Dunmore as the No. 47 recruit in the 2019 class regardless of position. In fact, the one-time Florida commit just caught 14 passes and had three touchdown grabs at The Opening Finals in Texas over the weekend.

He’s also been selected to play in the Under Armour All-American Game in January.

Dunmore picked Penn State over Auburn and Florida State, which he called his “dream school” in a recent interview. His other four finalists were Miami, Florida, Ohio State and Michigan.

Those schools can continue to recruit Dunmore, since verbal commitments are not binding. He’s Penn State’s to lose now, though.

“Penn State is Penn State, it’s different from home. The relationships there are tight. I’m cool with the coaches,” Dunmore said in an interview with 247Sports Luke Stampini in advance of his announcement.

A big selling point for Dunmore was the presence of Ja’Juan Seider on the Lion staff. Seider also is from south Florida and recruited Dunmore for the Gators before coming on as an assistant in University Park a few months ago after Josh Gattis left Penn State for Alabama.

Dunmore took an official visit to Penn State the weekend of June 10, and the Lions made a big impression on what many presumed was a courtesy trip for his former recruiting coach.

“Dunmore … was wowed by his recent official visit to the Penn State campus, and what happened on said trip certainly helped seal the deal,” Rivals recruiting analyst Rob Cassidy said.

At 6-foot-2, 172 pounds, Dunmore has excellent size and is a terrific addition to a receivers room that brought in top-15 national prospect Justin Shorter in its last recruiting class. Dunmore draws particular high marks for his footwork, route-running and hands.

“Any way you slice it, this is a massive win for the Nittany Lions. Pulling a top-flight prospect out of South Florida is difficult and made that much trickier when each of the state’s three major programs are in pursuit,” Cassidy said.

Dunmore has transferred back to Chaminade Madonna, one of south Florida’s elite programs, for the coming season. The school won the Florida Class 3A state title last year.

Dunmore is the 11th member of the Nittany Lions’ 2019 recruiting class, which is expected to eventually include about 20 recruits.

Once focused on dominating the state, James Franklin staff continued a trend of expanding their recruiting range by landing Dunmore. In its 2018 class, Penn State signed two players from Florida and two from Texas.

This year, the Lions are considered the front-runner for Oregon dual-threat quarterback Michael Johnson and at or near the top of the list for top-100 running back Noah Cain, who is originally from Texas but now is at IMG Academy in Florida.

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