Penn State football recruiting: Alex Birchmeier gets 2023 class off to a fast start

Penn State Football offensive line coach Phil Trautwein (Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images)
Penn State Football offensive line coach Phil Trautwein (Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images) /

Penn State Football received a massive addition when 2023 recruit Alex Birchmeier committed to the Nittany Lions, making him the first piece of the puzzle for the 2023 class.

Ranked by 247 Sports composite a the top interior offensive lineman in the nation and the number one recruit in the state of Virginia for the 2023 class, Birchmeier was one of the most sought-after recruits in the nation. He currently holds 29 offers that include Notre Dame, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Ohio State, and Oklahoma.

Standing at 6-foot-5 and 275 pounds, the Ashburn, Virginia native is the lone commit in Penn State’s 2023 class. The Nittany Lions did at one point hold a commitment from tight end Mathias Barnwell, but he opened his recruitment back up in the Winter.

In addition to being a very good football player, Birchmeier is also one of the best wrestlers in the state of Virginia. That experience will only help him as Division I offensive lineman at the next level. Brian Dohn of 247 Sports compared Birchmeier to Indianapolis Colts star Quenton Nelson.

Birchmeier is a massive recruiting victory for offensive line coach Phil Trautwein. Despite holding offers from practically every powerhouse in the country, Trautwein and the rest of the staff made Birchmeier a priority from the start and seemed to have a firm hold on this recruitment.

Future looking bright for Penn State football recruiting

With Birchmeier in the fold, the future of the Penn State offensive line is starting to take shape. By 2024, the starting offensive line could include 2021 signee, 4-star Landon Tengwall, 2022 commit, 4-star Drew Shelton, and Birchmeier. These headliners could be joined by the likes of Maleek McNeil and JB Nelson, both 2022 commits.

It was around this time last year when Penn State’s 2022 recruiting class, which currently ranks third nationally, began to pick up steam. Kaden Saunders and Jerry Cross both committed in late July and Beau Pribula followed early in August.

Now, Birchmeier has a chance to turn into the peer recruiter that Saunders, Cross, and Pribula became. There are a lot of big-time recruits in the Mid-Atlantic region in the 2023 class and now one of the best offensive linemen in their class will be telling them to come to Penn State.

Head coach James Franklin has to be ecstatic that Birchmeier committed, but he’s probably even more pleased that he did it so early, allowing him to form relationships with other recruits and be an ambassador for the Penn State program.

While Penn State’s top-notch 2022 class is far from done, Birchmeier got the ball rolling in 2023. These two recruiting classes could be the key to Penn State finally breaking through into the College Football Playoff.

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