Every college football program has obstacles when it comes to recruiting. Penn State Football is facing a new one that is just getting started.
Penn State Football and Head Coach James Franklin have been hot on the recruiting trail. In the last two seasons, Penn State Football has finished with the 14th-ranked recruiting class in 2023 and the 7th-ranked recruiting class in 2022. The two recruiting classes have built more optimism and expectations than James Franklin has ever had.
Programs have to adjust on the recruiting trail constantly to ward off other programs and lock down their pipeline of recruits. This offseason, Penn State is facing a challenge from a program they haven’t crossed paths with too often. Nebraska.
On November 26th, 2022, Nebraska hired Matt Rhule as head coach to reinvigorate a program that has been on the decline since joining the Big Ten. As many Penn State Football fans know, Matt Rhule was a walk-on linebacker at Penn State for four years.
Matt Rhule is very connected in the Pennsylvania and DMV(D.C, Maryland, Virginia) areas after coaching at Penn State(volunteer assistant), Albright College(linebackers coach), and Temple(recruiting coordinator and eventually head coach). After a brief stint in the NFL, Matt Rhule is back in the college game and is returning to his old stomping grounds to rebuild the Nebraska program.
The evidence of Nebraska infiltrating the recruiting pipelines that Penn State has set up is already evident. Just last week, two of the top recruits in Philadelphia, Kenny Woseley and Zafir Stewart, released their top schools. Both recruits had Penn State Football and Nebraska on their lists.
James Franklin and Penn State Football will have to fend off another contender for the top recruits in the northeast. As Penn State Football tries to build something special, they will have to fend off the new coach on the block to do so.