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Lions WR prospects produce huge playoff performances

Penn State boasts an impressive stockpile of young receiver talent on its current roster. With only one scholarship senior — fifth-year player DeAndre Thompkins — the group is set to progress with reinforcements next season.

John Dunmore and Emery Simmons, who each verbally committed to Penn State this summer, are expected to sign with the university later this month. They’ve used their final high school playoff runs to showcase skills that attracted scholarship offers from across America.

Let’s start with Simmons, a 6-foot-1, 185-pound senior at South View (Hope Mills, N.C.) High School. His 2018 highlights are featured atop this article.

Considered the No. 66 receiver in 247Sports 2019 composite rankings, he previously pledged to Indiana and North Carolina before joining Penn State’s recruiting class during a late-July campus visit. Simmons completed a career-best prep campaign last Friday, as South View suffered a 42-41 overtime defeat against Seventy-First (Fayetteville, N.C.) High School in Class 4A state quarterfinals.

He secured eight receptions for 133 yards in the loss, according to MaxPreps. It was Simmons’ second 100-yard receiving output of the postseason, and his seventh of 2018.

Simmons set the tone for an outstanding autumn with a 173-yard, two-touchdown performance in his season opener. He caught multiple touchdown passes in six contests — including a first-round playoff victory and reached the end zone 22 times in 2018, including four scores a special teams returner.

“He’s a game-changer,” South View coach Rodney Brewington told 247Sports’ Don Callahan this summer. “Emery’s one of those guys that has that ‘winner’ gene. He’s one of those kids that wants the ball. He’s just one of those kids that gets stronger as the game goes along. He’s a Larry Fitzgerald he’s that type of player.”

Simmons wrapped up his senior season with 67 receptions for 1,336 yards (19.9 per catch).

Dunmore, who attends Chaminade-Madonna Prep in Hollywood, Fla., remains in contention for a state championship. His squad will face King’s Academy (West Palm Beach) on Saturday for Florida’s Class 3A title.

The 6-2, 172-pound prospect, listed 21st at the position in composite rankings, played a key role in semifinal success, snagging nine passes for 120 yards during a 16-0 win over Clearwater Central Catholic. Dunmore delivered that performance in front of an audience of Penn State staff members.

Offensive coordinator Ricky Rahne, receivers coach David Corley and running backs coach/South Florida recruiting ace Ja’Juan Seider were in attendance. 

One week earlier, Dunmore produced one of the finest highlights you’ll find for any incoming Nittany Lions prospect (video below). He hurdled a defender en route to this 65-yard touchdown vs. American Heritage (Delray Beach) in state quarterfinal competition:

Dunmore, formerly committed to a Florida Gators staff that featured Seider, issued his Penn State pledge on July 4. The Miami Hurricanes have maintained communication but he’s been steadfast in his decision.

Dunmore and Simmons will join a competitive positional group at Penn State. The program is primed to return six receivers who carry at least three seasons of collegiate eligibility: Jahan Dotson, Daniel George, KJ Hamler, Mac Hippenhammer, Justin Shorter and Cam Sullivan-Brown.

Nittany Lions coach James Franklin remains in pursuit of a potential third receiver for Penn State’s 2019 class. Cornelius Johnson, named Connecticut’s Gatorade Player of the Year on Thursday, will use an official visit in Happy Valley this weekend.

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