National Signing Day was finished pretty early for the Penn State Nittany Lions on Wednesday. Heading into the day, the verbal commitments seemed solid. That was the case as the day arrived, as all recruits were signed before noon. New head coach James Franklin will welcome 25 new Nittany Lions to his team.
Five of those 25 recruits were early enrollees. Wide receiver De’Andre Thompkins, quarterback Michael O’Connor, offensive lineman Chasz Wright, defensive lineman Tarow Barney, and defensive lineman Antoine White have all been in school since January. On Wednesday, Penn State had 20 recruits sign letters of intent to play with the Nittany Lions.
The class is made up of 10 players listed on defense and 15 listed on the offensive side of the ball. The Nittany Lions’s class is currently ranked 23rd in the nation according to 247sports. Of the 25 players, six of them are 4-star recruits. Thompkins, O’Connor, athlete Koa Farmer, wide receiver Saeed Blacknall, tight end Mike Gesicki and wide receiver Chris Godwin are the top recruits in the class.
Last year, Penn State had depth issues at several positions. This class will help due to the fact that there are four wide receivers and at least six players who could see time in the secondary.
Several of the new players could see plenty of early playing time in the fall.
12 states are represented in the class, ranging from Pennsylvania to Florida to Alabama and California. The top states represented are New Jersey and Pennsylvania, with three recruits each. Alabama, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia each yielded two recruits to the Nittany Lions.
The one glaring hole for Penn State is the lack of a dominant lineman recruit. Thomas Holley, a 4-star defensive tackle who was one of the top-rated in the nation, was committed, but flipped his choice to Florida after former head coach Bill O’Brien left the school for the NFL. After Holley’s decision, Lloyd Tubman, a 4-star defensive lineman, flipped from Vanderbilt to Penn State. However, he changed his mind again on Monday and signed a letter of intent with Kentucky.
Franklin did say in his press conference that Torrence Brown, a 3-star athlete who was the last verbal commitment, would play at defensive end.
Even without a standout lineman, this class is still very solid. Penn State fans should be excited for the future, as Franklin has a great reputation as a recruiter. Even though today the focus was on finishing the current class, the Penn State staff will be hard at work trying to already secure the best recruits for the 2015 class.
The future looks bright at Penn State, as the Franklin Era is off to a great start with a solid recruiting class. Despite still being under NCAA sanctions, top talent is still willing to head to Happy Valley.
Below is a complete list of the Penn State Class of 2014
- Tarow Barney – DT — Senatobia, MS (Northwest Mississippi CC)
- Michael O’Connor – QB — Bradenton, FL (IMG Academy)
- De’Andre Thompkins – WR — Swansboro, NC (Swansboro HS)
- Chasz Wright – OL — New Berlin, NY (Milford Academy)
- Antoine White – DL — Millville, NJ (Millville HS)
- Troy Reeder – LB — Wilmington, DE (Salesianum HS)
- Noah Beh — OT — Scranton, PA (Scranton Prep)
- Amani Oruwariye – DB — Tampa, FL (Gaither HS)
- Chance Sorrell – OL — Middletown, OH (Middletown HS)
- Jason Cabinda – LB — Flemington, NJ (Hunterdon High School)
- Troy Apke – WR — Pittsburgh, PA (Mt. Lebanon HS)
- Trace McSorley – QB/ATH — Ashburn, VA (Briar Woods HS)
- Nick Scott – RB/ATH — Fairfax, VA (Fairfax HS)
- Mike Gesicki – TE — Manahawkin, NJ (Southern Regional HS)
- Mark Allen – RB — Hyattsville, MD (DeMatha Catholic)
- Grant Haley — DB — Atlanta, GA (Lovett School)
- Saeed Blacknall – WR — Englishtown, NJ (Manalapan HS)
- Daquan Worley – DB — Coatesville, PA (Coatesville Area High School)
- Chris Godwin – WR — Middletown, DE (Middletown HS)
- Brendan Brosnan – OL — Park Ridge, IL (Maine South HS)
- Koa Farmer – ATH — Riverside, CA (Notre Dame HS)
- Jonathan Thomas – RB — Danvers, MA (St. John’s Prep)
- Christian Campbell – DB — Phenix, AL (Central High School)
- Torrence Brown – ATH — Tuscaloosa, AL (Tuscaloosa Academy)
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