Penn State Recruiting: Top 5 Remaining Targets For 2016


There are still ten months between now and signing day. However, Penn State’s 2016 recruiting class is shaping up to once again be one of the best in the country. Right now the Nittany Lions have six commits for the class of 2016, and 247 Sports currently has them ranked as the 17th best recruiting class in the country. Penn State is one of just three programs, along with Alabama and USC, to have six or less commits and be ranked in the top 20. This shows how highly rated these six players are. All six current commits are four star recruits according to 247 Sports.

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Over the course of the next ten months Penn State will continue to add extremely talented players to this recruiting class. The Nittany Lions remain firmly in the mix for many players that are among the best in the country at their respective position. Here is a look at who I believe are the five biggest remaining targets for Penn State in this recruiting class. The players I chose for this were based on three criteria their skill level, if they play a position of need for the Nittany Lions and the likelihood of them committing to Penn State.

Michal Menet, Offensive Lineman

The Exter Township native is the top rated player in the state of Pennsylvania for this recruiting cycle. Menet is a high four star recruit, who could very easily end up being a five star recruit before the process ends. Menet recently announced he will choose between Duke and Penn State, and the Nittany Lions are seen as the heavy favorites to land the six-foot-five, 265-pound player. Menet plays tackle in high school, but is better suited for guard in college. In my opinion, Menet is one of the five best interior offensive line recruits in the entire nation. Penn State obviously still has a huge need for offensive linemen, combine that with the fact Menet is a potential five star offensive lineman in their backyard and this is one recruiting battle I see no way James Franklin loses.

Karamo Dioubate, Defensive Tackle

The six-foot-three, 280-pound Philadelphia native is quickly becoming one of the most sought after defensive tackle recruits in the country. Dioubate holds scholarship offers from 18 different schools including programs such as Alabama, Ohio State, Michigan State and Auburn. One thing that greatly helps the Nittany Lions is that Dioubate’s family is unable to travel to watch him play, so this gives him great incentive to play close to home. Dioubate’s recruitment is very tough to read as he, much like Christian Wilkins a year ago, does not talk much about his recruitment. It appears that this will be a battle between Penn State and Ohio State though, with the Nittany Lions probably holding a slight edge thanks in large part to geography. In my opinion, Dioubate is the most important player for Penn State to land in 2016. There is no bigger position of need in this recruiting class than defensive tackle and Dioubate is a consensus top 200 overall player, which plays defensive tackle, and is two hours form campus.

Ellison Jordan, Defensive Tackle

The Baltimore native is one of the top defensive tackle recruits in the eastern part of the country, and checks  in as the 17th best defensive tackle recruit in the entire country according to 247 Sports. At six-foot, 255 pounds, some worry about Jordan’s size as a defensive tackle. However, he has a relentless motor and great technique that helps to more than make up for any size problems. Much like Dioubate, Jordan is a very important recruit due to the position he plays. Jordan has visited Penn State multiple times and has a great relationship with James Franklin and his staff. In all honesty, had Jordan been able to attend the Blue-White Game I believe he would have been on commit watch. Jordan will not be easy for the Nittany Lions to reel in as it will be tough to pull him away from the in state Terrapins. Virginia Tech is a big player in his recruitment as well. The Nittany Lions are in an excellent position right now though.
Will Fries, Offensive Lineman

The Cranford, New Jersey, native is a high three star recruit according to 247 Sports. However, he has the offer sheet of a four star recruit. Fries’ offers include programs such as South Carolina, Clemson, Miami, Wisconsin, Virginia Tech, and North Carolina among others. Despite all of these offers, the Nittany Lions are believed to be the heavy favorites to land Fries. At six-foot-six, 270 pounds Fries will need to put on some size once he gets to college but he has a very good base to start with. Fries is a very athletic player as well. Sources close to Fries’ recruitment have indicated the Nittany Lions are the heavy favorites to earn his commitment. Fries has visited campus multiple times and appeared ready to pull the trigger when he visited campus a few weekends ago. Fries is a very important player for the Nittany Lions to land due to their dire need for offensive linemen. James Franklin and his staff are extremely high on Fries and will continue to recruit him hard until he commits, which I believe could be sooner rather than later.

Ron Johnson, Defensive End

When Terrell Hall committed to Ohio State in February, landing Ron Johnson became much more important for Penn State. The New Jersey native is extremely high on the Nittany Lions and has visited campus multiple times. Penn State wants to take at least two defensive ends in this class, and Johnson is a top 200 overall recruit. Earning Johnson’s commitment will not be easy as Michigan, Alabama, Ohio State and South Carolina are all programs that are also pushing hard for Johnson. He is a very important recruit for the Nittany Lions however due to the fact he is the best defensive end left on the board that James Franklin and his staff can pair with Shane Simmons in this class.