Penn State recruiting: Latest updates on Nittany Lions class

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Penn State returns from a bye week ranked No. 2 in college football polls for the first time since 1999, hosting Michigan on Saturday night. The Nittany Lions have won 12 straight Big Ten games, and continue to convert those victories into recruiting momentum.

The one-loss Wolverines head to Happy Valley searching for an upset, but Penn State is primed to defend home turf in a prime-time matchup. The setting is enhanced by a White Out atmosphere in Beaver Stadium, while ESPN’s College GameDay will broadcast live from State College.

Penn State coach James Franklin and his staff expect to host an abundance of blue-chip recruits this weekend. The Nittany Lions, already carrying 10 pledges from top 300 overall prospects in 247Sports 2018 composite rankings, including eight recruits considered top-10 talents at their respective position.

Here is the latest look at Penn State’s 2018 recruiting efforts, ahead of a huge weekend.

Where Penn State’s recruiting class ranks

Penn State is listed No. 4 overall in the 247Sports composite class rankings, and second among Big Ten teams. Ohio State overtook the Nittany Lions atop the national rankings this spring and remain at No. 1, followed by Texas and Miami.

This class features impressive regional diversity, with 22 players from 12 different states. Penn State holds pledges from four top-100 recruits, led by 5-star receiver Justin Shorter of New Jersey.

Latest news for Penn State football recruiting

The Nittany Lions look forward to a monumental recruiting weekend, filled with key visitors from the 2019 and 2020 classes. But here, we’ll focus on 2018 prospects. Penn State is now working with a 22-player class following a parting of ways with 4-star defensive end Dorian Hardy, who was involved in a physical altercation involving multiple teammates and an assistant coach at Paramus Catholic.

The Nittany Lions will host a pair of potential 2018 additions Saturday, welcoming in-state safety Kwantel Raines and Cleveland defensive end Tyreke Smith to campus. Both players are considered 4-star talents, and Raines plans to announce his commitment Oct. 30. We’ll find out where Smith is headed Jan. 4 during the Under Armour All-America Game.

That’s also when fellow 4-star defensive end Jayson Oweh intends to reveal his college choice. He is another priority target, though another conference contender entered this mix this month. Michigan extended an offer and will now host him for an official visit in November.

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 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 also is considering Georgia, Nebraska and Ohio State.
  • OT Rasheed Walker, 4 stars, Waldorf (Md.): The Nittany Lions’ in-conference competition includes Maryland and Ohio State 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 is also fighting for position here with Virginia Tech.
  • WR Solomon Enis, 4 stars, Phoenix: Enis provides the size (6-4), production (1,100 receiving yards last season) 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, and with three receivers already on board, there is some uncertainty about how the Nittany Lions intend to handle this recruitment.
  • 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. 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 multiple times 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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Tyreke Smith will use an official visit at Penn State this weekend. (Jeremy Birmingham/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)

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