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Oweh picks Penn State during Under Armour All-America Game

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Defensive end Jayson Oweh during a Penn State visit. - AUDREY SNYDER / DKPS

James Franklin hammered the point home at the start of the early signing period that the Nittany Lions still had a major need at defensive end in their 2018 signing class. That's not the case anymore.

Four-star defensive end Jayson Oweh made his college choice public Thursday evening during the start of the fourth quarter of the Under Armour All-America Game, picking Penn State over Ohio State. Oweh, ranked as the No. 5 strong side defensive end in the 2018 class per the 247Sports composite, was a high priority prospect for a Penn State class that was ranked No. 4 in the nation and No. 2 in the Big Ten before the addition of Oweh.

"It's just family. It felt like the right thing to do," Oweh said on the ESPN 2 broadcast as he put on a Penn State hat. "We're going to win it all next year."

Oweh made and kept his choice under wraps since the early signing period last month, opting to make the televised announcement during the showcase event. With the Blair Academy (N.J.) prospect in the fold the Lions' 2018 class has 22 signees plus a hard verbal pledge from Harrisburg wide receiver Shaquon Anderson-Butts.

What's the final number for the 2018 class going to be?

"Every year we set a standard number and that number grows by about six schoarhips just because of the amount of attrition you have in college football with guys who are declaring for the NFL, transferring, not combing back for their fifth year so that nuber is forever growing," recruiting coordinator Josh Gattis told me last week. "That’s a challenge to this day and that number is forever growing. I still don’t know how many we’re going to sign in February. ... We’ve got a good idea, but that number is just kind of hard to say."

Penn State is still in the running for four-star offensive tackle Rasheed Walker and four-star wide receiver Solomon Enis, among others. The Nittany Lions even tweeted out a video that featured Enis and the Lions' signees last month during the early signing period and then promptly deleted the video. So, perhaps they already have Enis, the son of former Lion Curtis Enis, in the mix but just haven't made it public yet.

Of course the Ohio State vs. Penn State recruiting race is far from over. While the Lions secured the commitment of Oweh on Thursday, Ohio State picked up the pledge of four-star defensive end Tyreke Smith also during the Under Armour All-America Game. Smith had Penn State listed as his other finalists.

This now makes these two ends likely linked throughout their collegiate careers as both programs with strong recruiting classes the past several years should be in line for some tight games during their collegiate careers.

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