Blue White Illustrated

February 2022

Penn State Sports Magazine

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Page 49 of 67

5 0 F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 2 W W W . B L U E W H I T E O N L I N E . C O M J ames Franklin and the entire Penn State football staff took full advan- tage of the January contact period. The two-week period was ongoing when this edition of Blue White Illus- trated went to press, but during that first week, Jan. 15-22, Franklin and his 10 assistant coaches made stops in 12 states — Alabama, Connecticut, Flor- ida, Georgia, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Virginia — as well as Washington, D.C. Those stops were primarily focused on recruiting the East Coast's top pros- pects in the 2023 class. Due to NCAA rules, the visits were primarily with high school coaches. Division I coaches are only allowed to meet with play- ers off-campus and in person during prospects' senior year. The coaches did do a handful of in-home and in-school visits with those in the 2022 class who haven't enrolled yet, but for the most part, Penn State's focus was on 2023 and beyond. The same held true for on-campus visits as well, with the Nittany Lions hosting junior day recruiting events on Jan. 15 and 22. The coaches were also planning to host a third on-campus event on Jan. 29. On the first two dates, 19 four-star players made their way to State College to visit with the coaching staff, as did 10 additional players who hold a three- star rating but have earned a verbal scholarship offer from Franklin and his staff, bringing the total to 29 scholar- ship prospects overall. The Jan. 15 junior day was high- lighted by a handful of important offensive line prospects, including offensive tackle Samson Okunlola of Brockton, Mass. The nation's second- ranked tackle, Okunlola stands 6-foot- 5, 293 pounds and ranks 54th nation- Early Risers Penn State shifts its focus in January to the class of 2023 and beyond RYA N S N Y D E R | S N Y D E R 4 2 0 8 8 @ G M A I L . C O M FOOTBALL RECRUITING Evan Link of Fort Washington, Md., has the versatility to play anywhere on the offensive line. He was in attendance when Penn State held its first junior day on Jan. 15. PHOTO BY RYAN SNYDER

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