Penn State to host 4-star defensive end from Florida in June
Penn State defensive line coach Sean Spencer talks with defensive end Yetur Gross-Matos after spring practice in Holuba Hall on March 28, 2018.Joe Hermitt | firstname.lastname@example.org
Penn State can host recruits until the dead period arrives on June 25, and the Nittany Lions intend to bring in as many as they can between now and then.
On June 13, they’ll host Florida four-star defensive lineman Derick Hunter, he announced on Thursday.
The 6-foot-4, 276-pound prospect is listed as the No. 13 end in the country, though his frame obviously indicates that he might be able to slide inside one day. Georgia, Florida, and Miami are the front runners according to the 247Sports’ Crystal Ball predictions, but getting him on campus gives the Lions a chance to prop the door open. Further, it’s yet another sign of how strong of a recruiter new running backs coach Ja’Juan Seider is, but line coach Sean Spencer and assistant defensive line coach Phil Galiano are involved here, as well.
Their battle? Convincing a Ft. Myers, Fla., prospect to spurn the sunny south to play up north.
“You don’t hire Ja’Juan unless you’re going to make a recruiting shift,” head coach James Franklin said back then , “and you don’t hire Ja’Juan and not recruit Florida. It doesn’t make any sense.”
“It’s a tradeoff. Most people use [negative recruiting because of weather and distance, among other factors], but too much negative recruiting hurts you more than it helps you. Kids adjust. Every kid wants to play in the NFL, so they get over that weather part of it. The tradeoff is when it’s really hot down there, you get the nice, mild summers here.”
Penn State has eight Class of 2019 verbal commitments already, but none play along the defensive line. According to 247Sports, the Lions have 17 offers out to tackle and 21 at end. Hunter is likely among the top end targets, joined by five-star Zach Harrison and four-stars Adisa Isaac and David Ojabo.
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