PSU remains outside Tyler Boyd's top five

SOMERSET, Pa. -- ESPN 300 athlete Tyler Boyd stuffed his fingers into his hand-warmer Friday night and tried to find the right words to describe his recruitment with Penn State.

"They're still in it," he said of the Lions. "Coach [Stan] Hixon came into school last week to check me out, and he came to one of our past games. I think he's coming over this week for a home visit, so that'll be cool to talk to him a little bit."

The four-star prospect out of Clairton, Pa., is considering seven schools right now -- Arizona, Michigan State, Penn State, Pitt, Rutgers, West Virginia, Wisconsin -- and said the Nittany Lions are just outside his top five.

The Panthers and Mountaineers are believed to be his favorites.

"Penn State is probably the sixth man," Boyd said. "They're definitely in there, working their way up, and I'm definitely still interested in Penn State. I'm looking forward to catching up with Coach Hixon, so we'll see next week."

Boyd didn't have any immediate plans to visit Happy Valley. However, he has made an official visit to Pitt and has plans to see Arizona on the weekend of Dec. 14. He also talked about possibly visiting West Virginia or Michigan State.

The 6-foot-1, 175-pound athlete -- projected at wideout for PSU -- said he plans to announce his commitment Jan. 4. He said he's close to a decision, and his commitment will likely come down to the coaching staff and the bond he feels with the team.

He still chats with Penn State commit Christian Hackenberg -- "He's really cool," he said -- and he added that he has enjoyed following the Nittany Lions this season.

"First of all, Coach [Bill] O'Brien, he's a great coach," Boyd said. "He led the guys to a good year and, on top of that, they've got a good class coming in there. They got the No. 1 QB, No. 1 tight end, and I know those boys -- so we've got a good connection."

Boyd plans to announce his commitment at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.