Penn State Football is focused on building the 2024 and 2025 recruiting classes after a successful 2023 cycle.
Penn State Football added to its 2025 recruiting class on Tuesday morning with defensive back Omari Gaines joining the fold.
Listed at 6-foot-2 and 175 pounds, the sophomore already has quality size for a defensive back, with room to grow. If Gaines does add anymore size, chances are he will end up at safety in college.
Still early in his recruitment, Gaines holds only a handful of offers. That group includes the likes of Boston College, Duke, Ole Miss, Rutgers and West Virginia.
What makes Gaines’ commitment notable is the fact he’s from Newark, NJ. That means that both of Penn State’s 2025 commits are from New Jersey, as Gaines joins 4-star OT Jaeylne Matthews.
This is a significant development considering the Nittany Lions struggled to recruit the Garden State in recent recruiting cycles. The last time Penn State signed a recruit from New Jersey was back in the 2020 cycle in defensive end Amin Vanover.
That’s far too long of a gap for the Nittany Lions, considering New Jersey is a neighboring state and firmly in Penn State’s recruiting region.
Now with Gaines and Matthews on board, the Nittany Lions once again have some momentum in New Jersey. Obviously, there is a long way to go before these two can sign with Penn State, but it doesn’t hurt to get out to an early start.
The hope now is that this success can translate to the 2024 class as well. There are multiple 4-stars from New Jersey that Penn State Football is targeting as well. This group is headlined by 4-star safety Vaboue Toure and 4-star defensive lineman Jordan Thomas.
With the way Penn State has been recruiting in Pennsylvania and Virginia, adding recruiting dominance in New Jersey would only help this program take another step forward.