Tuesday marked a big day for the Penn State Nittany Lions on the recruiting trail. Head coach James Franklin and his coaching staff, who’ve already done a great job in just a few months, received verbal commitments from two of the best recruits at their respective positions for 2015. 4-star offensive tackle Sterling Jenkins was the first to announce his intentions of going to Penn State on Tuesday. About an hour later, 4-star quarterback Brandon Wimbush announced that he too would be heading to Happy Valley.
Jenkins, the No. 1 recruit in Pennsylvania had narrowed his choices down to Penn State and Ohio State before ultimately deciding to stay in state with the Nittany Lions. Wimbush, the No. 3 prospect in New Jersey and the No. 5 dual-threat quarterback overall, chose the Nittany Lions over the likes of Virginia Tech, Ohio State, Miami and Boston College.
Recently, Penn State always seemed to miss out on these types of recruits, watching them head to schools like Ohio State, Michigan or opt for somewhere in the SEC. However, things have quickly begun to change since Franklin’s arrival in Happy Valley in January.
Even before the big announcements on Tuesday, the Nittany Lions had consistently been ranked as a top-5 class for 2015 by all of the recruiting services.
Despite still being banned from the postseason due to NCAA sanctions placed on the school two years ago, top talent has not stayed away from Franklin and the Nittany Lions. Penn State can now claim the top recruit in Pennsylvania (Jenkins), the top recruit in Indiana (LB Josh Barajas) and the top recruit from Maryland (DT Adam McLean).
Of the 15 total verbal commitments, 11 of them are ranked as 4-star recruits.
Several of the recruits are ranked in the top-5 of their states: Juwan Johnson (No. 2 NJ), Ryan Bates (No.3 PA), Andre Robinson (No. 4 PA), Wimbush (No. 3 NJ), Steven Gonzalez (No. 4 NJ), Jarvis Miller (No. 5 CT).
Since Franklin has yet to get his team on the field, success right now can only be judged by recruiting. Of course, signing top recruits doesn’t always correlate to success on the field, but the Nittany Lions now have the potential for success in coming years.
*All rankings come from 247Sports Composite Rankings*
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