Incoming Penn State recruit dominates Big 33 Classic all-star game for Pennsylvania

Penn State is thin at wide receiver heading into 2024, but three-star incoming freshman Tyseer Denmark could be the solution to Andy Kotelnicki's problems on the offensive depth chart after an MVP performance in a historic showcase game.
The Penn State Nittany Lions logo in the end zone
The Penn State Nittany Lions logo in the end zone / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

20 of Penn State’s 25 incoming freshmen in James Franklin’s 2024 recruiting class enrolled early for the winter semester and were in Happy Valley for Spring Football. Corey Smith, Dejuan Lane, Donovan Harbour, Kenneth Woseley, and Tyseer Denmark however, graduated from high school in the spring and on Sunday night Denmark dominated his final pre-collegiate football showcase. 

In the Big 33 Football Classic, which pits the top players from Pennsylvania against the best high school talent from Maryland, the three-star wide receiver from Imhotep Charter caught four passes for 95 yards and three touchdowns in the 31-7 PA victory and was named the game’s MVP. It was Pennsylvania’s fifth straight win over Maryland. 

On depth throws down the sideline, the 5-foot-11 future Nittany Lion dominated Maryland's defensive backs at the catch point, even shedding a defender after coming down with a jump ball on a 52-yard catch-and-run touchdown. Even with the constant stream of elite wide receiver talent from the high school ranks into college football, no Penn State freshman receiver caught a pass in 2023, only redshirt freshman Kaden Saunders contributed with six grabs for 56 yards and a touchdown.

Denmark wasn’t the only future Nittany Lion on Pennsylvania’s roster at Cumberland Valley’s Chapman Field. Woseley, a three-star cornerback and Denmark’s high school teammate from Imhotep Charter made two tackles. 

Woseley isn’t likely to make a big impact in his first year on campus, but with snaps up for grabs at wide receiver, Denmark could find his way into new offensive coordinator Andy Kotelnicki’s short and long-term plans. Ohio State transfer Julian Fleming and redshirt junior Harrison Wallace III are almost guaranteed to nab the top two spots on the depth chart but after last year’s leading receiver KeAndre Lambert-Smith left for Auburn in the spring portal window, there are snaps open in the slot for the No. 3 wideout. 

While Denmark was a candidate for snaps even before his Big 33 standout performance, redshirt junior Liam Clifford has the inside track for the most snaps aligned in the slot and junior Omari Evans could be in the mix as a deep threat. Three-stars Josiah Brown and Peter Gonzalez are the other two incoming freshman receivers.

Success in a high school all-star game isn't necessarily indicative of college football impact or an NFL career, but the Big 33 Classic is a bit different. At least one alumnus of the game has appeared in all 58 Super Bowls, including former Nittany Lions Kevin Givens in Super Bowl LVIII and Miles Sanders in Super Bowl LVII. The 2022 MVP was current Penn State linebacker Keon Wylie, and other notable Nittany Lions to appear in the game include Kerry Collins, LaVar Arrington.

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