Penn State is preparing to wrap up several long-term recruitments next week upon the arrival of college football’s first early signing period (Dec. 20-22). Future Nittany Lions will solidify their commitments, and a few are only weeks away from enrolling early in January.
James Franklin and the Penn State coaching staff are also closing in on a few key commitment announcements that may help define the remainder of this 2018 recruiting cycle. Here’s a look at the latest Nittany Lions developments.
Where Penn State’s recruiting class ranks
Penn State remains No. 5 overall in 247Sports’ 2018 composite class rankings, slightly ahead of Notre Dame and Oklahoma. The Nittany Lions recently slipped from No. 3 following a parting of ways with offensive lineman Antwan Reed and safety Isheem Young, while Ohio State leads both Big Ten and national class rankings.
Penn State carries 20 commitments representing 11 states. This collection of pledges includes nine players considered top-10 prospects at their respective position. Receiver Justin Shorter and running back Ricky Slade lead the way as 5-star talents and top 25 overall recruits.
Latest news for Penn State football recruiting
Penn State welcomed 17 prospects to campus last weekend. These high school seniors made the trip alongside family members, providing an opportunity for future Nittany Lions to bond on their future college campus.
Franklin hosted 14 players who are committed to attend the university, and these pledges did plenty of peer recruiting while spending time with three top targets. They were joined in Happy Valley by offensive tackle Rasheed Walker and defensive ends Tyreke Smith and Micah Parsons.
Parsons, a 5-star standout at Harrisburg (Pa.) High School, is next up on “commitment watch.” He will announce his decision Dec. 20, and there is a consensus sentiment the 6-foot-3, 235-pound playmaker will return to a Penn State class in which he previously spent 14 months.
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 20 Nittany Lions commits. They are listed below in order of composite ranking.
- WR Justin Shorter, 5 stars, South Brunswick (N.J.)
- RB Ricky Slade, 5 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.)
- OL Fredrick Scruggs, 4 stars, Erie (Pa.)
- TE Pat Freiermuth, 4 stars, North Andover (Mass.)
- WR Daniel George, 4 stars, Oxon Hill (Md.)
- LB Jesse Luketa, 4 stars, Erie (Pa.)
- LB Nick Tarburton, 4 stars, Perkasie (Pa.)
- CB Jordan Miner, 3 stars, Zephyrhills (Fla.)
- DT Aeneas Hawkins, 3 stars, Cincinnati
- CB Trent Gordon, 3 stars, Manvel (Texas)
- WR Shaquon Anderson-Butts, 3 stars, Harrisburg (Pa.)
- DT Judge Culpepper, 3 stars, Tampa (Fla.)
- S Isaiah Humphries, 3 stars, Sachse (Texas)
- LB Charlie Katshir, 3 stars, Mechanicsburg (Pa.)
- QB Will Levis, 3 stars, Middletown (Conn.)
- OL Bryce Effner, 3 stars, Aurora (Ill.)
- 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 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. He used an official visit in Happy Valley last weekend.
- T Rasheed Walker, 4 stars, Waldorf (Md.): Fresh off his official visit, the Nittany Lions’ competition includes Maryland, Ohio State and Virginia Tech in the pursuit of this 6-6, 300-pound lineman. Franklin has built a strong recruiting track record in Maryland, most recently reeling in commitments from 4-star talents George and Mustipher.
- 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 and Michigan 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 visited Penn State again last weekend. Like Oweh, he will announce 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.
— Jayson Oweh (@JaysonOweh) December 14, 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: 3/4 (Anderson-Butts, George, Shorter)
- OL: 3/4 (Asiedu, Effner, Scruggs)
- DL: 3/5 (Culpepper, Hawkins, Mustipher)
- LB: 3/3 (Katshir, Luketa, Tarburton)
- CB: 2/2 (Gordon, Miner)
- S: 1/1 (Humphries)
- K: 1/1 (Pinegar)
Geographical breakdown of Penn State commits
Here is a review of Penn State’s commits by state:
- Pennsylvania: 6 (Anderson-Butts, Katshir, Kuntz, Luketa, Scruggs, Tarburton,)
- 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)
- Ohio: 1 (Hawkins)
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