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Three Recruits High On Penn State’s Wish List

Penn State’s 2019 recruiting class currently features 11 commitments heading into the heart of the summer — good for the 19th best haul in college football.

While numbers will be limited over the next few months, with the Nittany Lions forced to sign a smaller class this cycle (likely in the 18-20 range), these three recruits are near the top of their list:

Zach Harrison

The five-star defensive end from Lewis Center, OH, is a consensus top-five prospect due to his prototypical measurables and freakish speed at 6-foot-6, 245 pounds.

Harrison has already clocked a 10.8 in the 100-meter dash prior to his senior season at Olentangy Orange High School, located just 17 miles from Columbus.

Georgia commit Nolan Smith recently overtook Harrison for the title of the nation’s No. 1 overall prospect in 2019, according to 247Sports. Harrison was on Team Dynamite at Nike’s The Opening in Frisco, TX, with Penn State linebacker commit Lance Dixon.

Harrison used his first official visit of the new spring window to check out Penn State’s Blue-White game in April, where he was the headliner of a huge turnout of recruits.

Ohio State and Michigan appear to have the upper hand on the Nittany Lions for Harrison’s verbal at this point, though, and it’s not often Urban Meyer misses out on his state’s best player.

Lewis Cine

Cine has been on Penn State’s radar for quite some time, receiving his scholarship offer from James Franklin and cornerbacks coach Terry Smith — his primary recruiter of record — in August 2017. 

Cine, a four-star safety originally from Massachusetts, transferred to Trinity Christian School in Cedar Hill, TX, for his senior season, where he has the chance to learn from none other than “Primetime” himself.

NFL Hall of Famer and two-time Super Bowl champion Deion Sanders happens to be Trinity Christian’s offensive coordinator, taking the job in 2017 so he could coach his sons, Shilo and Shedeur.

Cine has racked up 36 offers from the who’s who of college football, including Alabama, Georgia, and Clemson. He took official visits to Penn State, Texas, and Michigan during three consecutive weekends in June.

Cine, who also visited for the Indiana game last fall, would be the fifth and final defensive back of Penn State’s 2019 class should he pick the Nittany Lions, potentially joining Keaton Ellis, Jaquan Brisker, Marquis Wilson, and Tyler Rudolph.

Michael Johnson Jr.

Johnson earned his Penn State offer on Sept. 16, 2017 after transferring from The King’s Academy in Sunnyvale, CA, to Sheldon High School in Eugene, OR.

The four-star dual-threat quarterback is the son of Oregon receivers coach Michael Johnson, but it looks like the Ducks are no longer in the running for his commitment.

Johnson has officially visited Penn State, N.C. State, Miami, and Florida State. A little closer to home, Oregon State is also high on his list. He was in town the same weekend as Cine to check out Penn State’s facilities and tour the campus.

Johnson has tallied 97 total touchdowns (28 rushing) his first three years of high school football. He plays in a run-pass option offense at Sheldon, which would make his transition to Penn State that much easier considering it never takes snaps from under center.

Johnson, an Under Armour All-American, will announce his college decision on Aug. 1. A commitment to the Nittany Lions would give them verbals from two 2019 quarterbacks, as three-star New Jersey native Taquan Roberson shut things down back in October.

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About the Author

Ethan Kasales

Ethan’s a senior journalism major who grew up in Lemont, a few minutes from campus. When he’s not covering Penn State sports, you can usually find him golfing or teaching snowboarding at Tussey Mountain. Feel free to email him at [email protected]

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