Penn State suffered a huge blow to its 2020 recruiting class last week, when Julian Fleming made it official that he won’t be playing football near his hometown of Catawissa.
Fleming, the No. 1 wide receiver in his class according to 247Sports, announced on Friday that he would play football at Ohio State. It wasn’t exactly the most shocking move, but it definitely hurts for Penn State.
Due to Fleming’s connection with the state of Pennsylvania, the expectation for the majority of his recruitment is that he would play for the Nittany Lions. Clearly, the Buckeyes did more than enough to influence his decision.
While Fleming won’t be taking visits at this time, the five-star recruit did speak to reporters about his decision to choose Ohio State.
Two factors that weighed into Fleming’s decision were how he viewed Penn State’s effectiveness on offense and the program’s overall success in big games.
“For a long time I told everybody that I was going to go there,” Fleming said. “It was hard. I had to crunch some stuff down. They weren’t stable on offense, defense; they weren’t pulling out games, their coaching has been unstable for the past couple years. A lot of stuff weighed into it.”
On the other hand, Fleming spoke highly about Ohio State’s future under Ryan Day and the rest of the coaching staff. Wide receivers coach Brian Hartline has already established a strong relationship with the future Buckeye.
Watching Penn State and Ohio State battle on a yearly basis is quite the spectacle, and the latest recruiting decision from Fleming shows that the rivalry lives on even in the offseason.