TGIF: The latest on four-star 2018 DT Tyler Friday, who has Penn State, Big Ten, in focus
yler Friday, defensive lineman from Don Bosco Prep, NJ, competes during the Opening Regionals in Florham Park, NJ on April 30, 2017. Joe Hermitt | firstname.lastname@example.org
One defensive lineman drew consistent praise from 15-year NFL veteran and multi-time Super Bowl winner Willie McGinest at The Opening Regionals held in New Jersey last Sunday: Tyler Friday.
The 6-foot-3, 260-pound Class of 2018 recruit from Ramsey, N.J., Don Bosco showcased a violent strike facing a blocking bag and then more than held his own in one-on-one work. It didn’t lead to an invite to The Opening, but it certainly explained why Penn State, Michigan, and Ohio State are charging hard after the nation’s No. 2 Class of 2018 defensive tackle, according to the 247Sports’ Composite rankings.
“I feel like I did pretty well, but there’s always things I can work on,” Friday said of his performance.
That’s the case for every junior recruit, and yet Friday has less to focus on than many of his peers. He says he hears from the Buckeyes most, especially line coach Larry Johnson, after visiting Columbus in March.
A month earlier, he visited the Nittany Lions, a trip that indicated for perhaps the first time that the Lions were right in the thick of things.
“It just so happens to be the Big Ten; I have a great relationship with all the great schools, and it’s especially the competition level in the Big Ten that I’m attracted to,” Friday said.
“The Jersey connection, I would say, is a big part for me at Penn State. Lot of Jersey guys there, and Ohio State is overall a great program. All their coaches have great experience, and Coach Johnson, he’s a great coach and I could learn a lot from him, and he’s been around for awhile. Overall, they are great schools.”
Ohio State’s staff tells him “to stay humble, keep my options open, and enjoy the process,” Friday said, adding he talks to them often.
As for the Lions, Class of 2017 signee and fellow Garden State native Corey Bolds adds another layer to the way the Lions are recruiting him.
“He’s a competitor,” Friday said. “Biggest part is, he’s a Jersey guy, and Jersey always carries itself well. I think he can do pretty well next year. He should have a lot of big games coming up.”
Some college recruits like to make their decision the summer before their senior year, while others will focus on narrowing their list to five to plan their official visits, and then make an announcement sometime between December and National Signing Day on the first Wednesday in February.
What’s Friday’s plan?
“The official visits are a big part, but I’m going with the flow, staying open, and seeing what comes,” he said.