Penn State has been one of the hottest teams on the recruiting trail over the past few months.

One area the Nittany Lions coaching staff has started to recruit more aggressively is Florida. With the recent commitment of 4-star Jacksonville-area prospect Cam Miller, Penn State’s recruiting class has climbed to No. 2 in the nation, according to 247Sports.

Nittany Lions running backs coach Ja’Juan Seider was a guest on “The Fish Cast” podcast and talked about Penn State expanding their recruiting footprint to get the players necessary to compete at the top of the Big Ten.

“Who’s the standard right now that we’re chasing,” Seider daid. “We’ve been competing with Ohio State. They don’t just stay in Ohio. They go pluck from Florida. They go pluck from Texas. They go pluck from California.”

Seider has a long history of recruiting in Florida. He played football at Glades Central High School in Belle Glade, Florida, in the early 1990s. After playing college football for West Virginia and Florida A&M from 1995-99, Seider began coaching at high schools in Palm Beach County (think, Lamar Jackson, Devin Hester, etc.). He was eventually hired at West Virginia as a graduate assistant and had stints at Marshall and Florida before arriving at Penn State in 2018.

“With coaches, it’s all about putting guys where they are comfortable at,” Seider said. “Where can you go and be successful recruiting at? Some guys can go anywhere, they can be a chameleon. Some guys can only recruit the area they are from. You don’t hire me if you don’t think you’re going to Florida. Point blank.”

Penn State has also landed commitments from 4-star defensive lineman Zane Durant from Orlando and 4-star running back Kaytron Allen, a native Virginian who attends IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.

The Nittany Lions also have commitments from Louisiana and Georgia in their 2022 recruiting class. Penn State still draws the majority of its class from Pennsylvania (10) and has 3 commitments from neighboring Ohio.

Seider says expanding the recruiting footprint is useful to fill some talent gaps in the class.

“You don’t have to get a lot (from Florida), you just have to get a few,” Seider said. “Just those difference-makers we might not have in Pennsylvania that year.”

Seider admits he’s a little biased toward the Sunshine State because of his history and the success stories he’s had recruiting there, but he also believes Florida is currently the best state when it comes to producing football players.

“It’s a competitive nature that you’re born with being from Florida,” Seider said. “People think the kids there are cocky … but they’re not. They’ve just got an edge because they’ve been told they’ve got to compete for anything they get in life.”

You can listen to Saturday Tradition contributor Corey Long’s full podcast with Seider here.