In the class of 2015 recruiting cycle, Penn State head coach James Franklin and his staff were able to bring in six of the top ten recruits and eleven of the top twenty recruits.
In the class of 2016, the program already has a commitment from top running back prospect Miles Sanders, marking the second consecutive year that the Nittany Lions will have Pennsylvania’s top running back committed to the program.
The Nittany Lions are also currently the favorite for at least three of the remaining top ten recruits in the state. Now, let’s take a quick look at each one individually. Don’t worry in the upcoming weeks, we will be releasing individual posts on each of the top ten recruits.
1. OT Michal Menet – Exeter (Reading, PA) ★★★★
The top rated player in the class of 2016 comes in at 45th nationally in 247 Sports Composite rankings and as the seventh offensive tackle in the country as well.
The 6’5 , 250 pound offensive tackle has a long list of offers that include notables such as Duke, Florida State, Michigan State, Ohio State and Stanford.
Menet recently released an updated top five. His top five schools are the following (no order);
- Penn State
- Michigan State
- Ohio State
Stanford recently replaced Florida State in Menet’s top five schools. Currently, the Nittany Lions sit at 100% in 247 Sports Crystal Ball predictions with fourteen so far.
2. RB Miles Sanders – Woodland Hills (Pittsburgh, PA) ★★★★
The nation’s fifth ranked running back committed to the program last July. Since committing, Sanders has been looking to be a main force in the Nittany Lions 2016 recruiting efforts.
In his junior season, Sanders rushed for 1,132 yards on just 97 attempts to go along with eighteen touchdowns. He also had 140 receiving yards on eight receptions.
Sanders was 90% likely to commit to Penn State according to 247Sports’s crystal ball predictions with 91% of the votes going for the Nittany Lions, 9% for Ohio State.
Sanders, 5’11 , 190 pounds is described as an elusive running back who can easily make defenders miss with easy. Sanders is comparable to 2015 Penn State commitment Saquon Barkley who has a comparable size and strengths. Sanders also has the receiving ability to move to the slot potentially once enrolled at Penn State.
3. TE Naseir Upshur – Imohteph Institute (Philadelphia, PA) ★★★★
Upshur is a 6’3 , 233 lb tight end from Imhotep Institute in Philadelphia. The junior tight end has a long list of offers that include Alabama, Clemson, Miami, Ohio State, South Carolina, among other notable schools.
According to 247, Upshur is high on Alabama, Arizona State, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State, South Carolina, Temple, and Clemson.
While a school could never have too many assets it’s unlikely Upshur will commit to Penn State due to the great depth Penn State currently has at the position and will going into what would be his freshman season at Penn State.
4. CB Damar Hamlin – Central Catholic (Pittsburgh, PA) ★★★★
The Central Catholic cornerback may be the closest of any recruit in committing to Penn State as it’s been rumored for a long time that Hamlin has been high on the Nittany Lions.
Standing in at 6’1 and 175 pounds, Hamlin has tremendous instincts when it comes to playing corner and has the potential to be a game changing corner or even safety at the college level.
The main competitors for Hamlin at the current time seem to be Michigan and Notre Dame with Ohio State and local school Pittsburgh not far behind.
5. SDE Karamo Dioubate – Prep Charter (Philadelphia, PA) ★★★★
While a highly ranked prospect, there isn’t much activity encircling the strong-side defensive end from Philadelphia.
Currently, Dioubate has fourteen offers currently spanning from the MAC to the SEC. The 6’3, 265 pounder has no true favorite right now when it comes to schools he’s looking at and may not for quite sometime.
Dioubate is considered a long and built defensive end who could play either DE or DT at the college level depending on how he develops his speed over the course of the next year. Already an extremely strong and powerful defensive end and will be at the next level if he continues his development.
6. OC Connor McGovern – Lake-lehman (Lopez, PA) ★★★★
Ranked as the second best center in high school football. The Lake-Lehman product has 12 interested schools including offers from North Carolina, Boston College, Duke, and of course Penn State.
Currently, all five predictions have McGovern leaning towards Penn State however it will be interesting to see how much Ryan Bates moving to center will impact McGovern’s recruiting.
Currently, McGovern is scheduled for an unofficial visit to North Carolina this upcoming Saturday. Over his recruiting process McGovern has visited Penn State three times on unofficial visits.
7. TE Cary Angeline – Downingtown East (Exton, PA) ★★★★
The Downingtown East tight end already has a long list of offers that includes Alabama, Cal, Miami, Michigan, Penn State, and other notable schools.
A 6’7, 230 pound tight end, Angeline has all the measurables to be a force at the next level. The only knock currently on the junior tight end is his lack of blocking skills however if he’s able to add on more muscle and weight, the blocking skills should come in time.
Despite being predicted to land at Penn State so far with eight predictions on 247Sports, it wouldn’t be shocking if Angeline turned else where for many of the same reasons Upshur may decide not to commit to Penn State. Main competition for Angeline seems to be Alabama, Notre Dame and Michigan at the current point.
8. DUAL-QB Brandon McIlwain – Council Rock North (Newton, PA) ★★★★
McIlwain was one of PSU’s biggest targets in the 2016 recruiting cycle but the 2016 dual threat quarterback has already pledged his commitment to South Carolina over the Nittany Lions.
9. RB Kaezon Pugh – Aliquippa (Aliquippa, PA) ★★★★
One position that Penn State is looking pretty good at right now is running back. Especially with the addition of #2 recruit Miles Sanders.
Aliquippa is known for producing highly talented players and Pugh may be the next one from the football factory to make it big. Currently favored to land at West Virginia, Pugh is a highly talented running back with good overall speed and elusiveness and would be a nice fit at either a West Virginia or Pittsburgh.
He does however have offers from several SEC schools including Auburn, Arkansas, and Tennesee. One school that has yet to offer the 6’1 , 185 running back? Penn State. As said above, Penn State is pretty much stacked at the position going forward and does not need another running back commit in the 2016 class.
10. WR Aarron Mathews – Clairton (Clairton, PA) ★★★★
Attending one of the powerhouse of Pennsylvania football, Mathews is a 6’5 , 175 receiver who could be a dominant wide receiver at the next level.
Currently with seven offers, the four star junior has just one Big Ten offer, that being Minnesota. He does have offers currently from Akron, Old Dominion, Pittsburgh, Temple, Toledo, and West Virginia.
Currently it seems as though the Clairton product will be going to Pittsburgh or West Virgnia, but Old Dominion may be a dark horse forMathews.