The Penn State football team has put a lot of time and effort into establishing the trenches in the 2024 recruiting class. This has been evident with their recruiting approach as the class has 4 offensive line prospects signed so far. They are yet to secure a commitment from any true defensive linemen in the 2024 recruiting cycle.
Some might argue that ATH Caleb Brewer might move to the defensive end, but that’s more speculation than anything at this moment. Well, that could be subject to change after the news that broke on Monday afternoon.
2024 defensive lineman Nigel Smith announced that he is down to his final 8 schools. Smith currently attends Melissa high school in Melissa, Texas. He is a 4-star prospect according to 247sports, and he is ranked as the 10th-best defensive lineman in the class.
The schools included in Smith’s final 8 were Oklahoma, Texas, Rutgers, Texas A&M, Arkansas, Ohio State, Georgia, and Penn State.
This would be a massive addition to the 2024 recruiting class. Not to look into the little details too much, but it’s nice to see he is wearing a Penn State arm sleeve in his final 8 photo.
When you turn on the tape Smith has really explosive speed for his size. According to his recruiting profile, he is 6’5 260 lbs and size is an area where Penn State wants to improve. Coach Franklin has mentioned that the team needs to have bigger bodies on the interior defensive line, Smith certainly fits that mold.
His highlight tape includes several players where he replaces the pulling guard and gets in the backfield very quickly which results in a tackle for loss. Check out his full junior season highlights here.
Penn State will be in a tough battle trying to win Smith over those big brands of football. It will be interesting how the coaching staff will approach Smith moving forward, if they can make a final push we could see a star-studded defensive lineman in Happy Valley.