People who follow Penn State recruiting had been expecting Zion Tracy to commit since mid-August.
Tracy, a three-star Class of 2023 ATH from St. Thomas More High School in Oakdale, Connecticut, went to Penn State at the end of July for the annual Lasch Bash, got an offer the next week and picked up an official offer the first weekend of September.
In between, 247Sports National Recruiting Analyst Brian Dohn placed a crystal ball projection for Tracy to commit to Penn State. Two more projections followed in the first week of September.
This past Wednesday, Tracy dropped his top four, with Buffalo, Rutgers and Syracuse also in the mix.
But Penn State was the favorite, and when Tracy saw Beaver Stadium’s atmosphere for this Saturday’s home opener against Ohio, he knew he wanted to commit, and announced his commitment hours after the game ended.
— 11. (@ZionTracy11) September 11, 2022
Tracy, who spoke with Nittany Sports Now morning after he committed, said the “energy and love from the crowd” helped inspire him to make his decision.
Penn State beating Ohio 46-10 didn’t hurt, either.
Much of the focus of Penn State’s win centers around the team’s offense, particularly a pair of true freshmen in quarterback Drew Allar and Nick Singleton.
Tracy, however, is projected by many do be a defensive back at the next level, and he took note of Penn State’s scheme under first-year coordinator Manny Diaz.
“On third down, they have like 7 DB’s on the field at one time,” Tracy told NSN.
During the game, Tracy spoke with multiple Penn State Class of 2023 commits; London Montgomery, Anthony Donkoh, Andrew Rappleyea, Tariq Blanding and Tony Rojas.
One of the main reasons Tracy joined those five (and 14 others) and committed to Penn State was his relationship with associate head coach and cornerbacks coach Terry Smith.
Tracy described Smith as an “uncle.”
“He’s so straightforward and honest,” Tracy said. “Down-to-earth, no matter what. He’s going to be honest with you, and I respect that as a man.”
Smith was among the coaches that Tracy had dinner with on his official visit, with head coach James Franklin and special teams coach Stacy Collins among the others with him.
Honesty is something that’s important to Tracy, and he saw it from Smith and Franklin and Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano, who was in the mix for Tracy’s commitment.
“They’re similar because, as I said, they’re honest,” Tracy told NSN last month. “No matter what they’re trying to tell you, they’re going to be honest; even if it’s going to hurt, they’re going to be honest.”
Although Tracy projects as a defensive back, he’s capable of playing on offense and special teams.
In 2021, Tracy (5-foot-11, 180 pounds) scored 10 total touchdowns and had 500 receiving yards for Long Island Lutheran High School, where the Hempstead, New York, native played his first three years.
Tracy had planned on taking an official visit to Syracuse the weekend of Oct. 29, when the Orange host Notre Dame. He told NSN that he no longer plans on taking that visit.