Penn State recruiting: Nittany Lions among favorites for big-time prospects Ishmael Sopsher and Kendrell Scurry

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Stay updated as Penn State rises toward the top of the recruiting rankings! Don’t miss the coverage from Tyler Donohue, who brings a decade of experience as a national college football reporter and recruiting department staff member with a Big Ten program. Read his daily notebooks here at 7:20 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, and follow us on Twitter  for the latest Nittany Lions recruiting news.


Top-ranked 2019 DE Ishmael Sopsher keeps Penn State in the mix

Ishmael Sopsher has spent the majority of his high school career hearing sales pitches from college football programs across America. Now midway through a dominant junior season, he’s apparently enjoyed what Penn State coaches have had to say so far.

Sopsher, a 6-5, 279-pound Amite (La.) High School standout, updated his widespread recruitment Friday. He included the Nittany Lions on a top-12 list that features only one other Big Ten team: Michigan.

Along with these conference rivals, the collection is composed of Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Tennessee and Texas. More than half of his top contenders compete in the SEC.

The No. 2 overall prospect in 247Sports composite rankings, Sopsher is considered a 5-star talent. His scholarship offer sheet reached double-digits prior to the 2016-17 school year, when he’d only played one high school season.

Sopsher validated the early attention by becoming a first-team MaxPreps Sophomore All-American. Penn State followed suit with so many others by extending an offer in April.

Considering the crowd of college teams clamoring for his commitment, it comes as no surprise Sopsher’s outlook on the process has fluctuated. He named Alabama, Auburn, Florida State, Ole Miss and Oregon leaders in May during a discussion with Sam Spiegelman of SEC Country. Now, five months later, Crimson Tide and Ducks are no longer listed as particular programs of interest.

Sopsher has the size and skill set to enhance a collegiate defensive front during his first year on campus. He provides tremendous athleticism in the trenches, further evidenced Friday night by an interception return for touchdown.

This projects as an uphill climb for Penn State considering his close proximity to many other contenders, but the Nittany Lions’ inclusion is another positive sign regarding a national recruiting brand James Franklin has built.

Former Tennessee WR commit Kendrell Scurry likes the Lions

Let’s keep the spotlight on SEC territory, as 4-star receiver Kendrell Scurry also listed Penn State in his group of favorites. The Independence (Thompson’s Station, Tenn.) High School junior tweeted his top five options Sunday night.

The Nittany Lions are joined by Louisville, Miami, Ohio State and Tennessee. Scurry previously spent approximately 10 months committed to the Volunteers, dating back to a July 2016 pledge announcement.

Tennessee got off to a strong start in the 2019 recruiting cycle, helped by the announcement from the then-rising sophomore. Scurry ultimately ended that verbal pact in May, departing a class that includes Independence teammate and fellow 4-star receiver TJ Sheffield.

Upon his de-commitment, Scurry made it clear he wasn’t satisfied sticking to one collegiate choice for the long haul.

“I’ve got two more years of high school. I’m going to be on a lot more visits, going to see a lot more things,” he told Barton Simmons of 247Sports. “I don’t really know what’s going on. If I’m committed to one school, other schools aren’t going to want me there.”

Scurry, considered the No. 27 receiver and a top-200 overall recruit in 2019 composite rankings, added a Penn State offer less than four weeks before he re-opened this recruitment. The 6-3, 185-pound playmaker is among 10 receivers on the Nittany Lions’ 2019 target board, according to 247Sports, though three of these are currently committed elsewhere.

Scurry collected 20 catches for 237 yards and 1 touchdowns during the first three games of his junior campaign, per MaxPreps. He’s recorded 78 receptions for 1,214 yards and 17 scores since the start of the 2016 season.

I expect to speak with Scurry this week, so stay tuned to Land of 10 for an update regarding his interest in Penn State. Watch Scurry’s sophomore-season video highlights here:

Miss any previous editions of our daily Penn State recruiting notebook? You can find them all here.

The post Penn State recruiting: Nittany Lions among favorites for big-time prospects Ishmael Sopsher and Kendrell Scurry appeared first on Land of 10.

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