How the 5 highest rated recruits of James Franklin's tenure panned out at Penn State

Franklin scores impressive grades with notable failures and a questionable incomplete.
Penn State v Memphis
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No. 4 Nicholas Singleton

Recruiting Profile:

  • Running Back
  • Governor Mifflin HS  (Reading, PA)
  • 247Sports Composite Five-star
  • Rated as top overall prospect in the state of Pennsylvania and the nation’s top running back in the Class of 2022. Overall, 247Sports rated Singleton the No. 19 overall recruit.

Recruiting Expectations:

Singleton’s commitment to Penn State had immediate Saquon Barkley comparisons. The explosiveness he displayed at Governor Mifflin had everyone mesmerized. 247Sports Gabe Brooks wrote in his scouting report, “Owns a strong case for RB1 in the 2022 cycle. Projects to the high-major level with long-term early-round NFL Draft potential,” comparing Singleton to Nick Chubb.


Franklin’s resurgent season of 2022 was capped by a Rose Bowl win, and Singleton had a lot to do with it. Notably, the home run-style runs he had at Auburn and his signature Rose Bowl run had Penn State fans euphoric.

2023, however, was a step-back year for Singleton, as defenses were able to key in on the Nittany Lion backfield with a group of wide receivers that did not strike fear in opposing defenses. While Singleton secured a second consecutive 1,000 yards from scrimmage in 2023, his yards per attempt dropped nearly two yards.

B. . . Nick Singleton. Singleton

Singleton is flirting with an A, he has the signature runs and moments through two seasons helping the Nittany Lions to back-to-back New Year’s Six bowl berths. What Singleton is missing is individual achievements that would make him standout. While Singleton shares the load with Kaytron Allen and potentially more touches with freshman sensation Quinton Martin and redshirt freshman Cam Wallace, Singleton will need to be big in the big moments to obtain an A.