Penn State Football has made an emphasis to improve its roster by stepping up its game in recruiting
One position that has been a struggle for Penn State Football since James Franklin arrived has been the offensive line.
The offensive line was arguably the position hit the hardest for the Nittany Lions by the scholarship deduction sanction handed down by the NCAA back in the Summer of 2012.
Bill O’Brien got by using players already on the roster, but Franklin took the brunt of the sanction when those players graduated. For years Franklin tried to figure out the solution to his offensive line and it looks like he finally got there in 2022.
Penn State’s offensive line play improved dramatically under Phil Trautwein in 2022 and looks to be a strength of the team heading into 2023 with five players who saw significant playing time in 2022 returning.
Those returning players will be reinforced by some serious freshmen talent in 2023.
247 Sports had its final 2023 player rankings update on Thursday night and Penn State signee Jven Williams came in at No. 25, cementing his place as a 5-star in the 247 Sports rankings.
This is significant because the offensive tackle becomes the highest rated offensive lineman in the 247 Sports rankings to sign with James Franklin. He beat out 2016 signee Michal Menet, a fellow Pennsylvanian, by one spot as Menet finished at No. 26.
Williams will not finish as a composite 5-star though because of an unusual ranking by Rivals. Rivals has Williams as the No. 90 player in the country while On3 has him at No. 9, 247 at No. 25 and ESPN at No. 58.
Penn State Football is adding more elite offensive line talent in addition to Williams. Alex Birchmeier had a slight deep in his ranking but still finishes the cycle as a top 100 player. Joining them is composite 4-star OT Anthony Donkoh.
This is quite the haul for Trautwein, but it may not be finished. The Nittany Lions are still waiting for 4-star OT Chimdy Onoh from Maryland. Onoh was a significant riser in the latest 247 update finishing at the No. 149 player in the country. Back in December, he was ranked 646th.
If Onoh joins the fold, this would become the best offensive line haul of the Franklin era.