Penn State recruiting: Top 12 Nittany Lions prospects in Texas

Penn State signed a pair of prospects from Texas in its 2018 recruiting class. Looking to build off that effort, the Nittany Lions continue to target top Lone Star State talent.

Penn State coach James Franklin and his staff have invested time visiting and targeting Texas athletes in the 2019 class. The Nittany Lions signed defensive backs Trent Gordon and Isaiah Humphries from the state this winter, and both players are now on campus as early enrollees.

Texas is always among America’s most talent-laden college football hotbeds, and that’s no different in this latest group. According to 247Sports 2019 composite rankings, 26 high school juniors in the state are considered top-100 overall prospects.

Among those who carry a scholarship offer from Penn State, here are the top 12 according to composite rankings.

12. DB Jeffery Carter

High school: Aledo

Composite ranking: No. 20 cornerback; No. 208 overall

Recruitment status: Uncommitted; contenders include Alabama, Georgia, Oklahoma, Texas, Texas A&M

Jeffery Carter received a Nittany Lions offer last July, and Penn State entered this recruitment relatively early. Ohio State is among the latest to offer this former Oklahoma commit, who backed off his Sooners pledge on Jan. 25. Carter pointed to Penn State is the program pushing hardest for a commitment flip during the 2017 season, according to’s Nick Krueger.

11. QB Roschon Johnson

High School: Port Neches-Groves

Composite Ranking: No. 5 dual-threat quarterback; No. 202 overall

Recruitment Status: Committed to Texas on July 21, 2017

Roschon Johnson was the first 2019 quarterback offered by Penn State. The Nittany Lions entered this mix in February 2017 but the Longhorns staff did a nice job closing his recruitment midway through a highly productive prep career. Johnson has collected 5,236 passing yards, 3,277 rushing yards and 110 total touchdowns during the past two seasons, according to 247Sports.

10. WR Kam Brown

High school: Colleyville Heritage

Composite ranking: No. 23 receiver; No. 127 overall

Recruitment status: Committed to Texas A&M on Feb. 4, 2018

The first of three receiver recruits who appear on this list, Kam Brown committed to Texas A&M earlier this month. Previously pledged to UCLA, he spent time at Notre Dame in January. Brown established career-best statistical production in 2017 by recording 71 receptions for 1,147 yards and 20 touchdowns, per 247Sports.

9. OL EJ Ndoma-Ogar

High school: Allen

Composite ranking: No. 8 guard; No. 167 overall

Recruitment status: Uncommitted; contenders include Alabama, LSU, Oklahoma, Texas, Washington

EJ Ndoma-Ogar spent his sophomore season at IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) before returning to state powerhouse Allen High School last year. Penn State is targeting him as an interior offensive lineman and the 6-foot-3, 305-pound prospect told Land of 10 following an Oct. 4 offer that  he planned to visit Happy Valley. This field has become considerably more crowded during recent weeks, as Alabama, LSU, Michigan, South Carolina and Texas have each offered since mid-January.

8. DB Jalen Catalon

High school: Mansfield Legacy

Composite ranking: No. 8 safety; No. 153 overall

Recruitment status: Uncommitted; contenders include Clemson, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Texas

Jalen Catalon impacts high school matchups, and his offer sheet reflects the value of versatility he can provide a college program depending on roster needs. He tallied 297 tackles and 12 interceptions during the past two seasons, according to 247Sports, adding nearly 2,200 offensive yards and 28 total touchdowns in 2017. The 5-9, 180-pound playmaker projects as a safety.

7. LB Marcel Brooks

High school: Marcus (Flower Mound)

Composite ranking: No. 6 outside linebacker; No. 106 overall

Recruitment status: Uncommitted; contenders include Alabama and LSU

Marcel Brooks told Land of 10 last month he considered Penn State a “dream school” because he developed an appreciation for the program while growing up in Virginia. Brooks mentioned State College among potential destinations on his official visit itinerary. He trimmed things in a big way on Feb. 21, revealing Alabama and LSU as his finalists. Brooks, a 6-3, 200-pound hybrid defender with potential at outside linebacker and safety, is scheduled to announce his choice June 25.

penn state-football-recruiting-marcel brooks-2019 class
A Penn State offer caught the attention of Marcel Brooks but he has indicated he will continue his football career in the SEC. (Tyler Donohue/Land of 10)

6. DT DeMarvin Leal

High school: Judson (Converse)

Composite ranking: No. 7 defensive tackle; No. 103 overall

Recruitment status: Uncommitted; contenders include Alabama, Clemson, Nebraska, Texas, Texas A&M

As the newest Penn State target from Texas, defensive tackle DeMarvin Leal has seen his recruitment accelerate during the past month. Florida and Florida State both offered days before Penn State (Jan. 31), while Georgia, Nebraska and USC have since joined the chase. Leal, a 6-4, 280-pound lineman, secured 66 tackles — 14 for loss — and 2 sacks last season, according to 247Sports.

5. TE Austin Stogner

High school: Prestonwood Christian (Plano)

Composite ranking: No. 2 tight end; No. 102 overall

Recruitment status: Committed to Oklahoma on June 23

Austin Stogner was the first tight end on Penn State’s 2019 target board, and he was one of only two offers at the position for more than seven months. This 6-6. 230-pound prospect reached 20 offers by end of his sophomore year and pledged to Oklahoma soon afterward. Stogner caught 41 passes for 459 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2017, and he’s impressed early on the 2018 camp circuit.

4. WR Arjei Henderson

High school: Fort Bend Travis

Composite ranking: No. 8 receiver; No. 49 overall

Recruitment status: Uncommitted; contenders include Alabama, Oklahoma, Texas A&M

Among America’s most productive high school players at his position, Arjei Henderson attracted a Penn State offer last March. The majority of his prep career has featured a steady flow of Power 5 scholarship opportunities, and last week Henderson cut the list to three finalists: Alabama, Oklahoma and Texas A&M. He recorded 181 receptions for 2,569 yards and 32 touchdowns during the past two seasons, according to 247Sports.

3. DB Lewis Cine

High school: Trinity Christian (Cedar Hill)

Composite ranking: No. 3 safety; No. 37 overall

Recruitment status: Uncommitted; contenders include Clemson, Florida, Michigan, Ohio State, Oklahoma

An unexpected addition to this list, elite safety recruit Lewis Cine is transferring from Everett (Mass.) High School to Trinity Christian for his senior season, reports Brian Dohn of 247Sports. He told Land of 10 in January that Penn State had pulled to the top of his list, but this development makes you wonder what lies ahead. He’s a Florida native who will split his prep career between New England and Texas, and plenty of compelling dynamics are in play here.

lewis cine-penn state recruiting-class of 2019
Lewis Cine poses with Penn State recruiting staff members EJ Barthel (left) and Justin King during a 2017 game-day visit. (Lewis Cine/Twitter)

2. WR Theo Wease

High School: Allen

Composite Ranking: No. 5 receiver; No. 30 overall

Recruitment Status: Uncommitted; contenders include LSU, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Texas A&M

Yet another blue-chip Allen High School product, Theo Wease declared a top-7 list on Jan. 30 consisting of LSU, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, TCU, UCLA and USC. Undeterred, Penn State offered him three days later. Wease, a 6-3, 194-pound talent, caught 53 passes for 852 yards and 14 scores in 2017, according to 247Sports.

1. DB Brian Williams

High School: Bishop Dunne (Dallas)

Composite Ranking: No. 1 safety; No. 13 overall

Recruitment Status: Committed to Texas A&M on Jan. 28, 2018

Penn State didn’t hesitate in targeting Brian Williams, joining the slew of programs that presented an offer during his sophomore year. With nearly 40 offers, he provided new Aggies coach Jimbo Fisher with a big-time recruiting triumph in College Station. Williams totaled 118 tackles and 13 interceptions during the past two seasons, according to 247Sports.

The post Penn State recruiting: Top 12 Nittany Lions prospects in Texas appeared first on Land of 10.

Thank you for reading the Dayton Daily News and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.

Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Dayton Daily News. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.