Penn State Football hosts interesting visitor on campus Saturday

Head coach James Franklin of the Penn State Nittany Lions (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)
Head coach James Franklin of the Penn State Nittany Lions (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images) /

Penn State Football and James Franklin appear to be trying to flip one of Michigan’s prized commits, Andrew Rappleyea, in the 2023 recruiting class 

It seems as though Penn State football hosted Michigan commit Andrew Rappleyea for a visit on Saturday.

The 3-star tight end made it known that he was in Happy Valley with this tweet.

The 6-foot-4, 215-pound Rappleyea is from Massachusetts and is ranked as the No. 19 tight end in the country by the 247 Sports composite. He committed to Michigan Jan. 16, and now two months later he is giving the Nittany Lions another look.

The fact that the Nittany Lions are still hard after Rappleyea shows that he is clearly a talented player, considering Penn State has a tight end commit in Joey Schlaffer, but also that both Mathias Barnwell and Neeo Avery look destined to end up at other positions.

Barnwell and Avery were both regarded as tight ends at the time of their commitments, but Barnwell’s size plays better at defensive tackle and Avery’s athleticism may make a bigger impact at the defensive end position, where the Nittany Lions are short on depth.

It certainly is not a guarantee that Rappleyea will flip to Penn State. Michigan is coming off its best season under Jim Harbaugh, with a Big Ten championship and a College Football Playoff appearance. Some of the off-season momentum for the Wolverines was tempered after Harbaugh flirted with NFL coaching vacancies and lost both of his coordinators to other jobs.

The Nittany Lions haven’t had much of an issue recruiting the tight end position over the years, and the success Mike Gesicki and Pat Freiermuth are having in the NFL certainly helps. Penn State and Michigan have had recent recruiting battles over tight ends, most notably Theo Johnson back in the 2020 cycle.

Rappleyea will be a name to monitor in the coming weeks as we wait and see if his commitment to Michigan sticks.

The Nittany Lions 2023 class currently ranks fifth nationally.