ORLANDO, Fla. — A new wave of Penn State players arrives on campus this weekend when early enrollees from the 2019 recruiting class head to Happy Valley. A trio of impending Nittany Lions newcomers — running back Noah Cain, quarterback Michael Johnson Jr., and linebacker Brandon Smith — have spent recent days preparing for the Under Armour All-America Game alongside another pair of future teammates.
Receiver John Dunmore and running back Devyn Ford will also share the field Thursday night at Camping World Stadium, where Penn State faced Kentucky in the Citrus Bowl on Tuesday. These five blue-chip prospects represent Penn State’s future in an annual showcase event broadcast at 6 p.m. on ESPN2.
Following a Wednesday morning practice session, this group set aside some time to speak with Lions247. The discussion included their thoughts on PSU’s top-10 class, individual ambitions and collective goals regarding what they want to accomplish together during college.
“We’ve gotta dominate,” Cain said. “Winning, that’s gonna come with it, but we’ve gotta dominate every game and put fear in our opponents.”
Cain and company were among 18 players who finalized plans with Penn State during the early signing period (Dec. 19-21). PSU continues to pursue other prospects in the 2019 recruiting cycle leading up to traditional National Signing Day (Feb. 6), including fellow All-America Game participant Jaquaze Sorrells.
Nittany Lions coach James Franklin should sign a third consecutive top-15 class, and a second straight top-10 talent haul is certainly there for the taking as things shake out in upcoming weeks.
You can view our conversation with the five Penn State signees in Orlando via the video above.
Here’s a brief review of each prospect we spoke with and where each lands in 247Sports composite rankings:
Cain: IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.); No. 7 running back
Dunmore: Chaminade-Madonna Prep (Hollywood, Fla.); No. 21 receiver
Ford: North Stafford (Va.); No. 5 running back
Johnson: Sheldon (Eugene, Ore.); No. 8 dual-threat quarterback
Smith: Louisa County (Mineral, Va.); No. 2 middle linebacker
We also held a conversation off-camera, so expect plenty of content from this interaction as January continues.