Assessing Penn State’s national title chances, 2 recruits move up in rankings, and more

Penn State football-Cornerback Grant Haley-Lions poll ranking

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No. 6, with an asterisk

While Penn State comes in at No. 6 in the season’s first AP Top 25 poll – a fact noted by Land of 10’s Sean Keeler, among others – SB Nation’s Bud Elliott does not believe the Nittany Lions are among the teams capable of winning this year’s national championship.

Elliott bases that assertion on something called the Blue-Chip Ratio – i.e., the number of 4- and 5-star recruits wooed by a given school in the previous four years.

Going by that formula, Elliott believes only 10 teams have a shot at the title – Alabama, Ohio State, LSU, Florida State, Georgia, USC, Michigan, Auburn, Clemson and Notre Dame. All of them have a Blue-Chip Ratio of 56 percent or higher.

2 recruits leap up the rankings

Speaking of recruiting rankings,’s Greg Pickel noted that two members of Penn State’s 2018 class — wide receiver Justin Shorter and running back Ricky Slade — jumped in’s top 100 – Shorter from No. 83 to No. 43, Slade from No. 67 to No. 56. Three others – tackle Nana Asiedu, tight end Zack Kuntz and linebacker Nick Tarburton – dropped out of the top 100. All five players are 4-star prospects.

Zack Kuntz aiming for a big finish

Pickel’s colleague, Brian Linder, writes that tight end commit Zack Kuntz is aiming to “go out with a bang” after missing a month of his junior season at Camp Hill (Pa.) High School with a foot injury. The 6-foot-8, 221-pound Kuntz won a state 110-meter hurdles title in the spring.

5 to watch this season

Andrew Callahan of Lions247 lists five potential breakout players this season, and for the purposes of discussion excludes starters, freshmen and those who played 40 percent of the snaps on either side of the ball. His five? Defensive ends Shaka Toney and Shareef Miller, safety Troy Apke, wide receiver Juwan Johnson and linebacker Koa Farmer.

DaeSean Hamilton set to dial it up

Joe Juliano of checks in with a feature on wide receiver DaeSean Hamilton, who was named one the team’s captains on Sunday. Hamilton, who needs 19 catches to become the school’s all-time leading receiver, was also hailed recently by coach James Franklin, who said he is “as polished and as productive of a wideout as I’ve been around in a camp setting.” Franklin also predicted that Hamilton is going to have “a huge year.”

It has a nice ring to it

The Twitter account for the Penn State men’s hockey team released a video that offered a first glimpse of the Lions’ Big Ten championship rings.

Also in the Land of 10

Miss previous editions of the Wakeup Call? They can be found here.

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