Penn State recruiting: Nittany Lions extend new offers; commits rise in rankings

Stay updated as Penn State rises toward the top of the recruiting rankings! Don’t miss the coverage from  Tyler Donohue, who brings a decade of experience as a national college football reporter and a recruiting department staff member with a Big Ten program. Read his daily notebooks  here at 7:20 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, and follow us on  Twitter for the latest Nittany Lions recruiting news.

Penn State offers Indianapolis 4-star WR David Bell

Penn State is the latest program to enter a crowded pursuit for coveted playmaker David Bell. The standout from Indianapolis received a scholarship offer from the Nittany Lions on Wednesday.

The latest member of James Franklin’s 2019 target board earned an Ohio State offer earlier this month. Bell, a 6-foot-2, 185-pound junior at Warren Central High School, is considered the top-ranked Indiana recruit and claims nearly 20 collegiate opportunities.

Along with Ohio State and Penn State, his options include Indiana, Iowa, Louisville, Michigan State and Notre Dame. Among the most productive pass targets in the 2019 class, he is listed No. 12 among receivers and No. 63 overall in 247Sports 2019 composite rankings.

RELATED:  2018 Penn State recruiting big board

Bell provided an early statement in 2015 during his freshman season, securing 35 receptions for 649 yards and 5 touchdowns,  according to MaxPreps. Bell followed that effort with back-to-back 1,000-yard campaigns.

His sophomore season (68 receptions for 1,201 yards and 17 scores) remains the high mark, but Bell again showcased dynamic skills in 2017. He collected 52 catches for 1,075 yards and 11 touchdowns in 11 games.

Bell began his junior season with a dominant performance vs. Center Grove, catching a season-best 9 passes for 200 yards and 2 touchdowns. He surpassed 100 receiving yards twice in the following eight games, but ended this fall in grand fashion.

During the final two matchups for Warren Central, Bell totaled 13 receptions for 284 yards and 5 scores. This sets the stage for him to enter 2018 as one of the most highly regarded receiver prospects in America.

Penn State has been pretty active targeting 2019 receivers, as Franklin aims to build upon a class foundation that presently includes New Jersey quarterback Taquan Roberson and local State College cornerback Keaton Ellis. Other notable offers at the position belong to John Metchie (Sharpsburg, Md.), Kendrell Scurry (Thompson’s Station, Tenn.) and Jake Smith (Scottsdale, Ariz.).

Watch Bell’s junior-season highlights here:

Nittany Lions begin to build 2021 target board

Believe it or not, we’re about to discuss a development in (gasp) the 2021 recruiting class. The future is now, folks, and college football recruiting efforts continue to trend toward identifying top talent at a younger age.

The latest example comes courtesy of Penn State’s first offer to a member of the current high school freshman class. Promising in-state prospect Derrick Davis is the initial player on Franklin’s 2021 target board.

Davis, who recently completed his freshman season at Gateway (Monroeville, Pa.) High School, landed an offer from Pittsburgh in November. Now carrying scholarship opportunities from both of Pennsylvania’s Power 5 programs, he clearly projects as a prospect who will eventually warrant national attention.

The 6-foot, 175-pound safety remains three years away from his earliest opportunity to formally accept a college scholarship. While this may seem alarming to some, it’s not nearly as uncommon as you may think.

During my decade in the college football recruiting industry there has been a steady increase in the frequency of offers for freshman. In some cases it doesn’t even take that long, as Penn State was among several Power 5 programs to offer Connecticut quarterback Drew Pyne before his first high school season. Pyne is now a sophomore.

Micah Parsons is another prime example of players who pop early. Now well known as a top-5 overall recruit in 2018 composite rankings, he received a Nittany Lions offer during his freshman year. The result has been a recruitment so lengthy that he spent 14 months committed to Penn State but still managed to de-commit with plenty of time to spend his final high school summer exploring other campuses and use all five official visits this fall.

Davis, who attended Penn State’s victory over Michigan in October, admits even he is surprised by this fast-paced recruitment.

“It’s shocking because of how young I am. It’s just flat-out crazy,” he told Mike Vukovcan of Pittsburgh Sports Now. ”I’m trying to handle everything good. I’m just very motivated and am going to keep my head right. I’m not going to feed into the hype. My coaches, family and people in the community are reminding me to keep my grades up and to make sure I’m doing the right things.”

Check out the early sample size of Bell’s talents by viewing his freshman-season highlights here:

Updated composite rankings send commits rising

Analysts across the recruiting industry continue to evaluate 2018 prospects. This is a prime time for updated rankings since senior-season film is now available and scouting trips are in the books.

These rankings changes impact the 247Sports composite rankings, which display the average rating given to each college prospect. While we can expect continued alterations prior to National Signing Day (Feb. 7), especially in the aftermath of All-American games, this latest shuffling is worth looking into.

It’s a bit of a mixed bag for Penn State commits.

Running back Ricky Slade joined receiver Justin Shorter in 5-star territory, while linebacker Nick Tarburton was elevated to 4-star status. The Nittany Lions carry commitments from three top-100 overall recruits: Shorter (No. 15), Slade (No. 24) and offensive tackle Nana Asiedu (No. 97).

Meanwhile, a pair of Penn State pledges dropped from 4-star to 3-star labels: defensive tackle Aeneas Hawkins and cornerback Jordan Miner.

The Nittany Lions’ 20-player class includes nine players listed in the top 10 at their respective positions. Below is a rundown of those prospects.

Miss any previous editions of our daily Penn State recruiting notebook? You can find them all  here.

The post Penn State recruiting: Nittany Lions extend new offers; commits rise in rankings appeared first on Land of 10.

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