Penn State recruiting: Latest updates on Nittany Lions’ next class

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Penn State football finished its regular season Nov. 25 with a dominant victory at Maryland. The Nittany Lions prevailed 66-3 and now await the announcement of a bowl game destination Sunday afternoon.

James Franklin and Penn State coaches quickly shifted focus to the recruiting trail following a 10-2 regular season, spending this week on highways and at airports en route to prospects’ homes and schools. This kicks off a frenzied final stretch toward the new early signing period (Dec. 20-22) and traditional National Signing Day (Feb. 7).

Key official visits await as the Nittany Lions aim to add quality late additions to a 22-player recruiting class. Let’s look at the latest developments in these efforts.

Where Penn State’s recruiting class ranks

Penn State remains a staple near the top of 247Sports 2018 composite class rankings. The Nittany Lions’ collection of talent is listed No. 4 nationally, trailing Ohio State, Texas and Miami, in that order.

The summer of 2017 was extremely successful for Franklin and his staff. Penn State secured 10 verbal commitments between July 6 and Aug. 10. The class currently features five recruits in the top 110 who will arrive at campus from 12 different states.

Latest news for Penn State football recruiting

It’s been a busy week for Penn State as the college football coaching carousel reached Happy Valley. Nittany Lions offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead became head coach at Mississippi State on Wednesday, while reports Thursday indicate running backs coach/special teams coordinator Charles Huff will join him on the Bulldogs staff.

Several Penn State pledges spoke with Land of 10 about the departure of Moorhead, who directed the offense to 45 or more points nine times in two seasons. Running back recruits and their parents also discussed the development regarding Huff.

Despite some uncertainty regarding the offensive staff, Penn State commits remain unwavering in their decisions.

Meanwhile, Nittany Lions coaches are navigating the nation to speak with high school standouts at their schools and homes. Travels even extended into Canada on Thursday when Franklin visited the family of 4-star linebacker Jesse Luketa in Ottawa, Ontario.

Penn State 2018 offers, by the numbers

  • Reported offers: 154
  • 5-star offers: 13
  • 4-star offers: 97
  • In-state recruits offered: 13
  • California recruits offered: 5
  • Florida recruits offered: 20
  • Georgia recruits offered: 9
  • New Jersey recruits offered: 9
  • Ohio recruits offered: 10
  • Texas recruits offered: 13

Penn State football commits for 2018

There are 22 Nittany Lions commits. They are listed below in order of composite ranking.

5 top uncommitted Penn State targets

The Nittany Lions continue to search for more talent in the 2018 recruiting cycle. Here are five notable targets looking for the right collegiate fit:

  • DE Micah Parsons, 5 stars, Harrisburg (Pa.): Parsons belongs in the discussion as America’s premier defensive prospect and bringing him back into this class following his April de-commitment could be a difficult task. The Nittany Lions extended an offer during his freshman season, and he committed to Penn State before the end of his sophomore year. Parsons, who is set to announce a decision Dec. 20, is also considering Georgia, Nebraska, Ohio State and Oklahoma.
  • T Rasheed Walker, 4 stars, Waldorf (Md.): The Nittany Lions’ competition includes Maryland, Ohio State and Virginia Tech in the pursuit of this 6-foot-6, 300-pound blocker. Franklin has built a strong recruiting track record in Maryland, most recently reeling in commitments from 4-star talents George and Mustipher. Penn State will host him for an official visit Dec. 8-10, according to Brian Dohn of 247Sports.
  • WR Solomon Enis, 4 stars, Phoenix: Enis provides the size (6-4), production (2,000 receiving yards since 2016) and pedigree (his father is former Penn State running back Curtis Enis) college coaches covet. Several Pac-12 schools are in contention to keep Enis near the West Coast. The Nittany Lions, with three receivers already on board, welcomed him to campus for an official visit Nov. 18.
  • DE Jayson Oweh, 4 stars, Blairstown (N.J.): Oweh continues to attract attention from across college football, adding recent offers from Florida, Miami and Michigan. At 6-5, 236 pounds with sub-4.5-second speed in the 40-yard dash, Oweh recorded 13 sacks in less than five full games as a senior. Ohio State is the primary contender here, while Alabama, Michigan and Notre Dame are attempting to make a late push. Oweh, who used an official visit at Penn State on Nov. 18, will commit Jan. 4 during the Under Armour All-America Game.
  • DE Tyreke Smith, 4 stars, Cleveland: Smith has developed a strong relationship with the Nittany Lions staff and is expected to visit Penn State again before announcing his decision at the Under Armour All-America Game. Along with Penn State, this 6-3, 260-pound playmaker is considering offers from Alabama, Ohio State, Oregon and Southern California.
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Micah Parsons may be nearing a return to the Penn State recruiting class. (Tyler Donohue/Land of 10)

Position breakdown for Penn State commits

Here’s a breakdown of the number of commits by position and how many are projected by Land of 10 to be signed:

  • QB: 1/1 (Levis)
  • RB: 1/1 (Slade)
  • TE: 2/2 (Freiermuth, Kuntz)
  • WR: 3/3 (Anderson-Butts, George, Shorter)
  • OL: 4/5 (Asiedu, Effner, Reed, Scruggs)
  • DL: 3/5 (Culpepper, Hawkins, Mustipher)
  • LB: 3/3 (Katshir, Luketa, Tarburton)
  • CB: 2/2 (Gordon, Miner)
  • S: 2/2 (Humphries, Young)
  • K: 1/1 (Pinegar)

Geographical breakdown of Penn State commits

Here is a review of Penn State’s commits by state:

  • Pennsylvania: 7 (Anderson-Butts, Katshir, Kuntz, Luketa, Scruggs, Tarburton, Young)
  • Florida: 2 (Culpepper, Miner)
  • Maryland: 2 (George, Mustipher)
  • New Jersey: 1 (Shorter)
  • Texas: 2 (Gordon, Humphries)
  • Virginia: 2 (Asiedu, Slade)
  • Connecticut: 1 (Levis)
  • Illinois: 1 (Effner)
  • Iowa: 1 (Pinegar)
  • Massachusetts: 1 (Freiermuth)
  • Michigan: 1 (Reed)
  • Ohio: 1 (Hawkins)

The post Penn State recruiting: Latest updates on Nittany Lions’ next class appeared first on Land of 10.

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