- Jared Shanker, College Football
Six Penn State commitments trekked to State College this past Saturday, and the Nittany Lions and first-year coach Bill O’Brien are hitting 1.000 with visitors so far. They hope to make it 7 for 7 this coming Saturday with another verbal pledge heading to Penn State over the weekend.
Three-star athlete Zayd Issah (Harrisburg, Pa./Central Dauphin), a Central Pennsylvania product, is visiting Penn State on Saturday.
“I’m going to meet with the coaches and see what they’re thinking and where they feel the program is going to go and make a decision off that,” said Issah, No. 23 in Pennsylvania and No. 102 among athletes nationally. “It’s going to be a different Penn State than the one I committed to. I want to see what it is.”
When the NCAA hammered Penn State last week with a four-year bowl ban and massive scholarship reductions among other sanctions, Issah was at a team camp preparing for preseason practice, which begins in two weeks. He said he has not let recruiting stress him out the last few months, including the last few weeks.
Issah spoke with his recruiter and defensive line coach Larry Johnson when the news came out, but he has yet to talk extensively with the staff, specifically O’Brien. He is interested to see what O’Brien has to sell when he arrives this weekend.
“I know they’re going to have, not a presentation, but they’re going to have stuff to tell me about how they think the program is going to be even with all this stuff, how they see the program shaping up even with the punishments,” Issah said. “Losing the scholarships is big and not having bowl games is going to hurt recruiting. You never know how they’re going to be.”
So far though, the Lions have lost only one commitment due to the NCAA sanctions -- cornerback Ross Douglas. Five of the Nittany Lions’ top commitments -- the nation’s top quarterback, Christian Hackenberg, among them -- were on campus last weekend and reaffirmed their commitments to Penn State. The Lions’ other Harrisburg-area commitments, Adam Breneman and Andrew Nelson, were also among those who visited and solidified their commitments.
Issah has talked extensively with Breneman, the leader of the Lions’ 2013 class. Breneman is trying to keep Issah on board. Issah said it is a positive sign for Penn State that nearly all of its class remains intact.
“I think it definitely does,” Issah said when asked if the 2013 class sticking with the Lions helps their chances of keeping him. “Those are all good guys, and obviously they were comfortable with what the staff said.
“I can’t wait to go up and talk to (the staff) and see what’s up.”
Arizona State, Maryland and Oregon will be high on Issah’s list if he does choose to open up his commitment. The Ducks have not offered, but Issah said he was already committed to Penn State when he visited Oregon while in the area for a Nike camp.
Issah said nearly all the schools that offered have reached out to his coach or him on Facebook, but he has yet to speak to any.
Six Penn State commitments trekked to State College this past Saturday, and the Nittany Lions and first-year coach Bill O’Brien are hitting 1.000 with visitors so far.