This past Friday, Tyriq Blanding, the top Class of 2023 recruit in New York according to 247Sports, committed to Penn State. The 6-foot 2, 280- pound defensive lineman spoke to Nittany Sports Now about why he chose Penn State, where he fits and how his coaches influenced him to pick Penn State.
Blanding said some things that drew him to Penn State were its location and the family vibe he got when he came to campus.
“It was like a family,” Blanding told Nittany Sports Now, “also it was close to home. Syracuse was about five hours away, but Penn State was close to my home.”
What sealed Blanding’s commitment to Penn State, he said, was the rapport he built with defensive line coach John Scott Jr. and graduate assistant Deion Barnes.
Blanding also said he’s looking forward to having a position coach, which he doesn’t currently have at Christ the King High School.
“(Penn State) had been to my school before, and I had been to Penn State multiple times and spoke to coach Scott,” he said. “I feel that I fit in perfectly with their defense. Coach Scott is a good coach, and one thing that we discussed was that I never had a defensive line coach at my high school, and he impressed me.”
Blanding has played all over the defensive line at Christ the King and he described what he believes is his best fit at Penn State.
“I think that I can play both (end or tackle) depending on the situation, but mainly I will be a 3-tech,” Blanding said.
Blanding talked about how his high school coach Jason Brown and Brown’s staff were fans of Penn State and head coach James Franklin. Blanding said Brown pushed him and others to come to Penn State.
“One of my coach’s favorite colleges is Penn State,” Blanding said, “and every player that got a Penn State offer, he pushed him to go to Penn State. Coach Franklin is a black head coach, so he is always pulling for him.”
Brown is also an African American, and Blanding said that his head coach’s relationship with Franklin stretches back to before Blanding was in high school.
“Before I went to high school, we had a kid named Jared, he was interested in Penn State too. That was when (the relationship between) coach Franklin and my school started, and ever since then my coach and coach Franklin have been good.”