For the Future (9.24.21): Roye Commits, Top Target De-Commits from Arizona State, Evans Enjoys Official Visit

By Nick Polak on September 24, 2021 at 8:00 am
Four-star 2022 athlete Larry Turner-Gooden took an official visit to Penn State for the Whiteout against Auburn. The four-star prospect de-committed from Arizona State on Wednesday, and the Nittany Lions are one of the favorites to land his verbal commitment.
Mark Brennan, Lions247

Roye Commits

After announcing he was pushing back his recruitment set for Wednesday, Andrew Roye surprised everyone and announced his verbal commitment to Penn State on Thursday!

The St. Frances Academy product chose the Nittany Lions over favored Maryland. Both predictions on the 247Sports Crystal Ball had been in favor of the Terps, and both had been made within the past week. Still, Penn State will be happy to add the massive Roye to the class. Standing at 6'6 and 320 pounds already, he has great size for a high school prospect. He's likely a few years away from contributing (as are most offensive line recruits) but has great potential if he can put it all together.


Turner-Gooden De-Commits from Arizona State

It's always at least a minor surprise to see players committed elsewhere pop up on campuses for official visits, but that's exactly what happened last weekend for the Whiteout when 2022 athlete Larry Turner-Gooden took his official visit to Happy Valley. At the time, Turner-Gooden was an Arizona State commit, but that is no longer the case.

Obviously, if you are a Penn State fan, the natural inclination would be that the Nittany Lions are in the driver's seat to land the No. 118 player in his class. However, there is still a lot of work to do here for James Franklin and his staff. The California native visited USC earlier this month, though in an unofficial capacity, and still has official visits to Texas and Arizona State still on tap. He has made it clear that his recruitment is still very open. Another visit to USC, as well as Colorado and LSU trips, sound likely,

In talking with 247Sports, Turner-Gooden had only good things to say about the Whiteout.

“I can definitely see myself going here. The was incredible and they definitely moved up on my list. It was the craziest game atmosphere I’ve ever seen. The fans were wild and the game atmosphere is what stood out most for me about the visit.

I also loved the family vibe that I felt. Everyone says they have a family atmosphere but it’s different out there, you can feel it and see it. I loved how close everyone was, players and coaches and then obviously the fan support just adds to that.”

Turner-Gooden is designated as an athlete by 247Sports and has wide receiver coach Taylor Stubblefield listed as his primary Penn State recruiter. As always, however, those "primary" designations are to be taken with a grain of salt (Stubblefield, a west coast native, could simply be the main west coast recruiter on staff). The tea leaves seem to indicate that his future is in the secondary.

The Lions will surely push hard to get Turner-Gooden back to State College one more time before he makes a decision. This would be quite the win for James Franklin and his staff.

Omari Evans Enjoys Official Visit

Another one of the official visitors from this past weekend was three-star wide receiver Omari Evans. The Lions offered Evans in late June when he visited campus, and he's remained a hot name on their board ever since. The biggest competition here appears to be Rutgers, but Evans chose quite the weekend to visit Happy Valley.

Evans, the Texas-native, does not yet have a firm timetable for a decision. Penn State currently has four players designated as receivers in the 2022 class with Kaden Saunders, Mehki Flowers, Anthony Ivey, and Tyler Johnson, though Flowers is expected to end up at safety when all is said and done.

Along with Evans, the staff is still pursuing multiple targets at the position, including the No. 71 overall player Andre Greene Jr., four-star Darrius Clemons, and Turner-Gooden (mentioned above). It's not clear how many more receivers the staff would be willing to take in the 2022 class.