Brent Pry makes important recruiting stop as questions linger about potential ties to Louisiana-Lafayette head job

Penn State defensive coordinator Brent Pry watches a replay of a Michigan State touchdown during the third quarter on Nov. 4, 2017.Joe Hermitt |

Penn State will host multiple commitments and top targets this weekend for official visits. Tyreke Smith will be among them.

The four-star defensive lineman from Cleveland, Ohio could be an end or a tackle depending on how he fills out, and colleges like USC, Ohio State, Oregon, Alabama, and of course the Nittany Lions are lining up to try and persuade him during the December contact period, which runs until Dec. 17, before he decides on Jan. 4 at the Under Armour All-American game.

It’s relevant not only because Smith could be a program-changing player at the next level, but also because of who stopped to see him Wednesday night.

Cleveland Heights head coach Mac Stephens tweeted a picture of Pry with Smith as the defensive coordinator was out and about recruiting even as reports earlier in the day said he was a candidate, and perhaps one of a final three, for the open head coaching job at Louisiana-Lafayette. Pry coached there for a number of years before connecting with James Franklin and eventually following him to Penn State, and it’s not the first time he’s been linked to a head coaching job. He’s declined each time; will this finally be the right job?

That might not know for a little while as PSU battles to not lose its third and final coordinator after Joe Moorhead and Charles Huff both left for Mississippi State. The former did not go on the road recruiting, at least publicly, before he left, but Huff was at an in-home visit with kicker Jake Pinegar two days before following Moorhead to the SEC.

The conversations Pry, or his representatives, are having could be something or could be nothing, but they will undoubtedly be monitored closely as PSU’s biggest visit weekend of the year kicks off and the new early signing period sits less than two weeks away.

Penn State Defensive Coordinator @CoachPry_LBU spending a little time with Under Armour All American and Ohio Mr. Football runner-up @T_23_baller HEIGHTS FOOTBALL! #WeAre #PennState #NittanyLions

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones addresses the crowd at the National Football Foundation dinner on Tuesday night at the Midtown Hilton ballroom in New York City.
Penn State running back Saquon Barkley breaks into the clear during the Lions’ 56-44 victory over Nebraska. Photo by Joe Hermitt, PennLive

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