Is P.J. Mustipher close to deciding? Four-star DE is a top Penn State target
P.J. Mustipher, defensive lineman from McDonogh, MD, competes during the Opening Regionals in Florham Park, NJ on April 30, 2017. Joe Hermitt | firstname.lastname@example.org
P.J. Mustipher grinned from ear-to-ear after he was invited to The Opening thanks to a strong performance at a regional event in New Jersey last weekend.
The Owing Mills, Md., defensive end had trained for this opportunity since his high school season ended in December, as he mixed college visits to, and phone calls with coaches from, schools like Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan State, Maryland, Notre Dame, Tennessee, and Virginia Tech with workouts geared toward perfecting his craft to land an invite, improving for his senior season, and ultimately, getting ready for college.
Mission accomplished, and now, the goal is to get ready for the premier high school football camp held each summer in Oregon while also potentially picking his college home.
“I don’t know if I can commit now within this month,” Mustipher said. “I need to sit down with my family. If we can commit this month, cool, but I don’t want to rush it, so I might have to take my officials.”
Each college football recruit is allowed to take five 48-hour, most if not all expenses paid trips starting Sept. 1, and for big-time prospects like the nation’s No. 9 defensive tackle according to the 247Sports’ Composite, they can be the best way to see everything that is needed to help make a decision.
Mustipher might not end up needing them, though, as he has a check list that the school of his choice will need to meet either way. Don’t expect him to skimp on it, either; the 6-foot-5, 290-pound Class of 2018 recruit has been motivated by a dream to play football as a career since he knocked out an opponent with a hit from his linebacker position as a 5-year-old, and picking the right college is a major mark on the roadmap to doing so.
“I got to love the people I’m playing with, I got to love my brothers, because the coaching staff might not always be there,” he said. “Definitely the family atmosphere; God forbid, if I ever get hurt, I have to know the people have my back, and also the school; the school isn’t going anywhere, either, so gotta love the school.
“Those are the three components that I feel are definitely most important.”
Penn State, which he visited on April 8, is one of the schools filling up his boxes.
“Oh, Penn State, that’s family atmosphere,” he said. “I went out to dinner, the whole coaching staff and my family and their family, and then the next day, we went out to breakfast.
“It’s definitely a family atmosphere. I know a lot of guys up there from Baltimore, and I have a close relationship with them, since I was a freshman, because they’ve recruited me hard since then.”
The Lions have no defensive lineman committed currently, but Mustipher is surely one of the players at the top of the list. Stay tuned, because he might pick the Lions or rule them out soon.