Penn State’s chances for College Football Playoff inclusion received a devastating blow Nov. 4 following a last-second loss at Michigan State. While the Nittany Lions’ focus remains on finishing this 2017 strong and reaching a high-profile bowl game, there’s reason for optimism about future postseason runs due to recruiting success.
The program continues to carry an elite class in 247Sports 2018 composite rankings, securing commitments from several top-tier high school seniors. Several members of this group will arrive on campus in January as early enrollees.
Here’s a rundown of Penn State’s 2018 recruiting class and the latest developments that impact it.
Where Penn State’s recruiting class ranks
Penn State holds steady at No. 3 in the 247Sports composite class rankings, trailing only Ohio State and Texas. The Nittany Lions haven’t fallen out of the top 5 this recruiting cycle and spent much of the spring atop the rankings.
This class includes 22 players from 12 states. Penn State holds pledges from four top-100 recruits. The Nittany Lions landed 10 commitments from July 6 to Aug. 10.
Latest news for Penn State football recruiting
New Jersey defensive end and priority Nittany Lions target Jayson Oweh told Land of 10 this week he still views Penn State and Ohio State as his top two options. The 6-foot-5, 236-pound Blair Academy senior will take his fifth trip to Happy Valley next weekend, watching the Nittany Lions battle Nebraska.
Oweh plans to use an official visit at Michigan the following weekend, while Notre Dame may also welcome him to campus in December. He is set to announce a college choice Jan. 4 at the Under Armour All-America Game.
Keeping the focus on the defensive trenches, fellow 4-star New Jersey lineman Tyler Friday included Penn State in his top 5 this week. The Nittany Lions are listed alongside Miami, Michigan, Ohio State and UCLA. Friday, considered the No. 3 defensive tackle in composite rankings, has yet to take his official visits and this recruitment may linger deep into winter.
Penn State legacy Solomon Enis has scheduled an official visit to State College. The 4-star receiver will attend the Penn State-Nebraska game, according to Sean Fitz of 247Sports.
Enis, the son of former Nittany Lions running back Curtis Enis, attends North Canyon (Phoenix) High School. He collected 2,000 receiving yards during the past two seasons.
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.
- WR Justin Shorter, 5 stars, South Brunswick (N.J.)
- RB Ricky Slade, 4 stars, Woodbridge (Va.)
- T Nana Asiedu, 4 stars, Stafford (Va.)
- TE Zack Kuntz, 4 stars, Camp Hill (Pa.)
- DT PJ Mustipher, 4 stars, Owings Mills (Md.)
- S Isheem Young, 4 stars, Philadelphia
- TE Pat Freiermuth, 4 stars, North Andover (Mass.)
- OL Fredrick Scruggs, 4 stars, Erie (Pa.)
- WR Daniel George, 4 stars, Oxon Hill (Md.)
- DT Aeneas Hawkins, 4 stars, Cincinnati
- LB Jesse Luketa, 4 stars, Erie (Pa.)
- CB Jordan Miner, 4 stars, Zephyrhills (Fla.)
- OL Antwan Reed, 3 stars, Muskegon (Mich.)
- WR Shaquon Anderson-Butts, 3 stars, Harrisburg (Pa.)
- LB Nick Tarburton, 3 stars, Perkasie (Pa.)
- S Isaiah Humphries, 3 stars, Sachse (Texas)
- CB Trent Gordon, 3 stars, Manvel (Texas)
- DT Judge Culpepper, 3 stars, Tampa (Fla.)
- LB Charlie Katshir, 3 stars, Mechanicsburg (Pa.)
- OL Bryce Effner, 3 stars, Aurora (Ill.)
- QB Will Levis, 3 stars, Middletown (Conn.)
- K Jake Pinegar, 3 stars, Ankeny (Iowa)
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 still searching 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’ in-conference competition includes Maryland and Ohio State in the pursuit of this 6-6, 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 is also fighting for position here with Virginia Tech.
- 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, will welcome 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 speed in the 40-yard dash, Oweh opened the 2017 season on Sept. 16 with a 4-sack performance. Ohio State is the primary contender here, while Michigan is attempting to make a late push. Oweh 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.
Future???? ⚪️🦁 pic.twitter.com/EDWtkjJBc3
— Tyreke Smith™ (@T_23_baller) November 9, 2017
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)
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