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Penn State Football Recruiting

Penn State’s James Franklin and Terry Smith Recruiting Their Way Across Western Pennsylvania

Penn State has a long and successful history of recruiting in Western Pennsylvania.

Over the last few years, James Franklin and Terry Smith have come across the state to successfully sign talent such as Clairton’s Lamont Wade, Central Catholic’s CJ Thorpe, Penn Hills’ Daequan Hardy, North Allegheny’s Joey Porter, Gateway’s Jaquan Brisker, Aliquippa’s Zuriah Fisher and North Allegheny’s Khalil Dinkins.

The WPIAL and teams in the Pittsburgh City League will be producing some primetime players over the next few years so it’s not a surprise that Franklin and Smith were back in the Pittsburgh area looking to recruit more talent back to State College.

Nittany Sports Now has been tracking the stops of those Penn State coaches and here are the stops that we’ve confirmed. Over the last 24 hours, Franklins and Smith have been to these schools in Western Pennsylvania.

Laurel Highlands HS: Rodney Gallagher is one of the top priorities on the Penn State 2023 recruiting board. The four-star wide receiver is rated as one of the top two or three juniors in Pennsylvania, and Penn State will be one of his finalists. This could come down to an in-state battle between Penn State and Pitt.

Courtesy Rodney Gallagher

Chartiers Valley HS: The purpose for this trip is obvious, 2023 four-star cornerback Lamont Payne, who’s already committed to Penn State. Despite being a member of their Class of 2023, the recruiting and relationship building for coaches never stop.

Brashear HS: Ta’Mere Robinson is one of the top linebackers in the country and a priority recruit for Penn State. The 2023 four-star recruit has been to State College a number of times for unofficial visits and will no doubt have Penn State as one of his finalists. Other teams to watch for Robinson are Ohio State, Notre Dame, Michigan and Pitt.

Aliquippa HS: The trip to Beaver County was mainly to check on two players from the WPIAL and PIAA state champion Aliquippa Quips that Penn State was the first school to offer scholarships to: freshman running back Tiqwai Hayes and sophomore athlete Cameron Lindsey. The Quips’ program has other younger talent that Penn State is probably watching but Hayes and Lindsey are the two main targets.

Central Catholic: Like with Aliquippa, Central Catholic has a roster full of talent but Penn State’s top priority at Central Catholic had to have been sophomore middle linebacker Anthony Speca, who holds offers from Penn State, Pitt, Notre Dame, Michigan, Colorado, Purdue, South Carolina and West Virginia. They were also checking on sophomore wide receiver Peter Gonzalez.

Belle Vernon: Quinton Martin is a 2024 four-star athlete and rated as the top sophomore in the state of Pennsylvania. By his senior season, he will likely have an offer from every major university in the country and will no doubt be a nationally regarded recruit. Today, he received an offer from Notre Dame. Last night, Franklin and Smith attended his team’s basketball game against Rodney Gallagher and Laurel Highlands.

North Allegheny: Penn State has swooped in to secure Joey Porter Jr. and Khalil Dinkins in recent cycles, but Franklin hasn’t identified a specific player yet this cycle.

Central Valley: Despite sending a number of players to Division I programs, including defensive tackle Sean FitzSimmons to Pitt this year, Mark Lyons continues to develop talent. The player Penn State was looking into was junior athlete Jayvin Thompson.

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