Four-star defensive end prospect announces commitment to Penn State during game

(Scranton) Times-Tribune (TNS)

Penn State got good news on the recruiting front from Orlando on Thursday night.

Penn State

Meanwhile, some future Nittany Lions received a taste of what life was like for Christian Hackenberg and the Nittany Lions offense a few years ago.

Defensive end Jayson Oweh, a four-star recruit and the No. 5-ranked strongside defensive end in the nation according to 247sports, announced he is headed to Penn State after the third quarter of Thursday’s Under Armour All-American Game at Camping World Stadium.

He’ll go down as the first player to join the Nittany Lions’ class since head coach James Franklin’s staff signed 21 players in the early signing period Dec. 20. But Penn State has known for a while Oweh would be heading to Happy Valley. The university announced the 6-foot-5, 240-pound prospect signed his letter of intent during the early signing period, but Oweh asked to hold off making that public so he could announce it during the prestigious high school all-star game.

“It was family,” Oweh told ESPN when explaining his decision. “It felt like the right thing to do, and we’re winning it all next year.”

Once an intriguing basketball prospect who didn’t start playing football at Blair Academy in New Jersey until 2016, Oweh ripped off a 4.46-second, 40-yard dash during a camp at Penn State in July, and followed a seven-sack junior campaign by recording 13 in just five games as a senior.

Oweh was one of a slew of Penn State signees who competed for the Spotlight team in the Under Armour game, but a relentless pass rush from the Highlight team made the Spotlight offense and the Nittany Lions’ hopeful future stars successful only in fits and starts.

Five-star running back Ricky Slade, a candidate to step in as a true freshman for Saquon Barkley, fumbled on his first carry of the game and wound up carrying just four more times. He didn’t gain a yard, but the second-rated running back prospect in the nation by 247sports caught four passes for 27 yards and scored the Spotlight team’s first touchdown on a 14-yard catch and run with 8:53 to go in the third quarter.

Five-star receiver Justin Shorter, who analysts raved about during practices leading up to the game, didn’t catch a pass. But, he was targeted on a throw from quarterback Jack West, a Stanford signee, in the end zone in the final seconds of the first half. With Shorter drawing heavy contact from a defensive back, the pass sailed incomplete. Shaquon Anderson-Butts, a three-star prospect who has committed to Penn State, but was the only commitment who did not sign during the early signing period, also was shut out in the receptions department. But he nearly hauled in a touchdown catch in the third quarter.

Defensive tackle P.J. Mustipher, who signed with Penn State in December, had three tackles for the Spotlight team.

Team Highlight won the game, 23-21.; 570-348-9100, x5368