Penn State Football: 5 2015 Commits Who Dominated Nike Football Training Camps
Nike Football Training Camps were held last weekend in both New Jersey and the D.C. area, and Penn State was represented well at both versions.
With nine of the 12 players currently committed to the Nittany Lions hailing from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland, these camps were in James Franklin's primary hunting ground and featured several Penn State commits and even more of the top targets on the coaching staff's radar.
Here's a look at the Penn State commits who shined over the weekend at the NFTCs.
WR Juwan Johnson
Johnson, the fifth-ranked receiver prospect in the country, showed up at the New Jersey NFTC and measured in at 6'5", 209 pounds—amazing for a player with his speed.
StudentSports.com was on hand and had this to say about Johnson's performance:
Johnson led the way on a strong day for Penn State verbal commits. The long 6-5 receiver took CB’s to task all day and went up to make some pretty spectacular catches at the Atlantic Health NY Jet’s Practice facility that might remind some of former Jets’ WR Keyshawn Johnson.
Except he might already be faster than Keyshawn ever was.
Johnson earned an invite to The Opening, a Nike camp held in Oregon each July reserved for the top 150 prospects in the country.
DE Ryan Buchholz
The 6'6" Pennsylvania product is already focusing on adding weight, showing up to the Jersey NFTC at 240 pounds.
While still lean, Buchholz is in a good spot heading into the summer before his senior year, and 247Sports National Recruiting Analyst Steve Wiltfong thinks adding weight won't be a problem, stating Ryan has "tremendous physical potential on his athletic frame."
Buchholz ran a 4.65-second shuttle drill and recorded a 26-inch vertical jump.
This kind of camp setting is perfect for a prospect like Buchholz to learn where he stands among the region's elite.
DT Adam McLean
McLean was Penn State's only committed prospect at the D.C. camp, but he gave the Nittany Lions a formidable presence.
At 290 pounds, Penn State's top-rated recruit edged out Nittany Lion-target 5-star defensive tackle Tim Settle for defensive line MVP en route to an invite to The Opening.
Onlookers agreed that McLean's speed/quickness is his most astonishing attribute.
"McLean has a knack for getting off the ball so quick he leaves offensive linemen in their stance as he blows by," Wiltfong wrote, while StudentSports.com added that he "was just too quick off the ball for most of the Northeast’s best guards."
McLean could be a player to watch this summer as ratings change and new prospects are awarded that coveted fifth star.
RB Saquon Barkley
If McLean wasn't Penn State's top performer over the weekend, Barkley may have been.
After showing up at a stout 6', 205 pounds, the 4-star Barkley went on to be named New Jersey's top performer at running back.
Wiltfong observed, "He quickly stood out going through position drills with his quick cutting ability around the bags," adding, "In linebacker pursuit drills he torched everyone on the field."
StudentSports.com added: "The Nittany Lions’ are getting a big back (6-0, 205) with elite change of direction."
#PennState RB commit Saquon Barkley is the NJ NFTC RB MVP.— Greg Pickel (@GregPickel) April 27, 2014
LB Jake Cooper
An under-the-radar prospect, Cooper showed his versatility over the weekend by showing up at 230 pounds, then running a 4.60 laser-timed 40-yard dash.
Wiltfong sees Cooper as an inside backer, calling him "a throwback type player, very cerebral, that will plug the middle for three to four years in a Nittany Lions uniform."
Cooper's high school teammate Ryan Bates and safety commit Jarvis Miller rounded out the group of committed Nittany Lions working out over the weekend.
In addition, key targets Brandon Wimbush (QB), John Reid (CB), Grant Newsome (OT) and Ayron Monroe (DB) were on hand in New Jersey.
Wimbush won the quarterback MVP award and will be deciding between Ohio State and Penn State this summer.
All star ratings reference 247Sports.com.