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February 20, 2013Paramus Catholic head coach Chris Partridge will bring three of his top prospects to Penn State today for an unofficial visit.
Headlined by five-star defensive back Jabrill Peppers, the number two prospect in the nation will be joined by teammates Juwan Bushell-Beatty and quarterback Steve Shanley.
"Out of all of my guys, those three have received the most interest from Penn State," Partridge said. "We'll be leaving in the morning and heading up there for the whole day, so it should be a good chance for them to see everything, really meet the staff and give them a good idea of what Penn State can offer."
Coach Partridge already has a good relationship with Penn State assistant John Strollo, who's in charge of recruiting Paramus Catholic. A former player at Lafayette, Strollo joined the staff while Partridge was still a player. With that said, it's actually Bill O'Brien and his recent visit to Paramus that truly sparked Partridge's interest in taking his players to State College for a visit.
"I was real impressed when O'Brien came to my school to meet with me," he said. "When we met, he was very impressive. Just his vision for the program, how they're going to get through all of this and make the school better than ever. Again, I was real impressed."
With double digit offers from some of the top programs in the nation, Peppers already has named a top five of Alabama, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Stanford. Despite Penn State having some work to do, this is actually only Peppers' second unofficial visit after visiting Maryland for a game last fall, so there's still a long way to go until any decision is made.
"Basically with Jabrill, Penn State's not in his top five, we'll be honest about that, but I want him to see the campus and talk to the coaches. I was real impressed with what O'Brien is looking for in his student athletes, what he wants to accomplish at Penn State, so I want Jabrill to see that and compare that to other schools. It's an impressive school, an impressive staff, an impressive program, so I want him to get a good idea about what they're about. I think Penn State is good measuring stick before he takes other visits."
Bushell-Beatty has also gained offers from multiple programs recently, including Florida, Florida Sate and West Virginia. However, the Big Ten currently looks like the most attractive conference to the 6-foot-5, 295 pound tackle prospect.
"Juwan has offers from Florida, Florida State and West Virginia lately, but his mindset is a Big Ten mindset. The more we talk Ohio State, Penn State and Michigan, those are the schools that kind of stand out to him. He's still waiting for an offer from Penn State, and I think coming up here for individual day with the coaches will help with that.
"Juwan has serious interest in PSU, so hopefully that goes well. He'll visit Ohio State and Michigan then in the next couple weeks."
As for Shanley, he may not have an offer yet, but he does possess a few characteristics that'd you'd like to see in a Division I quarterback.
"Steve is a 4.0 student, he's 6-3, 200 pounds, has a strong arm and is really growing into his body. I think the Penn State staff sees potential there which is why they want him to come up to campus as well."
Paramus Catholic went 10-2 this past season, beating Bergen Catholic in the NJSIAA Non-Public 4 State Final.
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