Nittany news and notes: Favorite to land star cornerback recruit after losing out on another and more

Penn State has heavily recruited the defensive secondary this summer and after landing a big-time cornerback commitment last week, the Nittany Lions and DC Tom Allen are expected to add another to the 2025 class.
First-year Penn State football defensive coordinator Tom Allen
First-year Penn State football defensive coordinator Tom Allen / Dan Rainville/USA Today Network - PA /

Penn State had 17 class of 2025 high school football recruits on official visits this past weekend and only four of those players are uncommitted. The rest have verbally announced their intent to be Nittany Lions, but the latest reports out of Happy Valley indicate that James Franklin’s 14-player recruiting class is likely to grow by one. 

Jahmir Joseph may have been the most important player on this past week’s visit. Penn State just landed a commitment from four-star cornerback Daryus Dixson who is the team’s top player in 2025, but Tom Allen’s defense still needs depth at the position. Joseph is also a four-star corner out of Montvale, New Jersey, so there’s value beyond just his obvious talent at an important position. 

Rutgers and Greg Schiano have assembled a top 10 recruiting class in 2025, and while it will almost certainly fall in the rankings as other schools pick up more uncommitted recruits, Schiano has convinced plenty of New Jersey natives to stay home. That’s a threat to James Franklin’s East Coast pipeline. 

Joseph is also being heavily recruited by Notre Dame, South Carolina, and Stanford, but both 247Sports and On3 have made official predictions that he’s heading to Happy Valley. 

Nittany Lions lose out on important defensive backs

The other reason that Daryus Dixson’s commitment was such a big deal was because it came after a few disappointing misses in the secondary. After his official visit, a week earlier than Dixson’s, Graceson Littleton, a four-star corner committed to Clemson. Then, this past week, two players who took their Penn State official visits with Dixson announced commitments to other schools. 

Kainoa Winston, Kevin Winston Jr.’s cousin committed to play for Michigan. The four-star safety from Washington D.C. would have been a perfect succession plan for his older cousin and his running mate Jaylen Reed. A nice consolation prize at safety would have been three-star Josh Johnson, but the Ironton, Ohio native announced his intent to play at Louisville. 

More: In-state hoops battle on for 2024-25

Penn State has not played Penn in basketball 2013 an 83-71 Nittany Lions victory, but on June 14, Jon Rothestein announced that the in-state rivalry will be rekindled on December 29. 

The two teams have played 49 times and Penn leads the series 30-19.

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