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Monday, March 11, 2013
Three recruits soon to visit Happy Valley

By Josh Moyer

Three rising seniors plan to visit Happy Valley in the next nine days -- including a defensive lineman with high interest in the Nittany Lions.

Here's a closer look at those players and what they're hoping to get out of the trips:

Defensive tackle Jeremiah Clarke (Alexandria, Va./T.C. Williams)
Visit date: March 20
What he's most looking forward to: "Seeing the campus."

Synopsis: He holds double-digit offers from the likes of Penn State, Virginia and UNC -- and ranks those schools in his top three. His defensive line coach at T.C. Williams played under PSU assistant Larry Johnson, and the Nittany Lions are likely the favorite at this point.

Last season, Clarke played six games with a broken hand -- and still finished with 11.5 sacks. He said he recently weighed in at 272 pounds, which is 54 pounds heavier than this time last year. His stock is definitely on the rise.

Offensive tackle Jermaine Eluemunor (Scranton, Pa./Lackawanna JC)
Visit date: March 15
What he's most looking forward to: "Seeing what college really looks like, since I've never been to a real college. And, going to Happy Valley, I heard their stadium is unreal -- and meeting with Coach [Bill] O'Brien and all the staff. I'm just really excited."

Synopsis: Eluemunor has one of the more interesting stories out there. He moved from London in 2008 or 2009 and played at Morris (N.J.) Knolls but didn't start until his senior high school season. He couldn't even find a Div. II school that was interested in him after high school.

But after one year at junior college? Nearly every major university in the country has come knocking with scholarship offers -- including the likes of Penn State, Alabama, Ohio State, Florida State and USC. Penn State will be his first visit to a four-year school, and it also will be the first time he steps foot inside an FBS football stadium. He's trying to take his recruitment slowly -- and already has official visits with Texas A&M and Ohio State scheduled for October and November -- so PSU likely will become his measuring stick by default.

Quarterback Clayton Thorson (Wheaton, Ill./Wheaton North)
Visit date: March 12-13
What he's most looking forward to: "I'm just looking forward to sitting down with Coach O'Brien and talking with him and meeting the coaching staff and some of the players -- and looking at the campus to see what it'd be like."

Synopsis: He claims an offer from PSU, although he acknowledged it came from QB coach Charlie Fisher instead of O'Brien. Regardless, he's a talented signal-caller who's on the ESPN Watch List because of his accuracy, delivery and athleticism.

He lives in the same town as former NFL quarterback Kent Graham, who has helped coach him up. If Tyler Ferguson or Steven Bench struggle this spring and PSU needs another pocket passer for 2014, Thorson very well could fit that bill. He already boasts a half-dozen scholarship offers -- and that's just counting the Big Ten schools.