Nittany news and notes: James Franklin lands 4-star receiver, recruited by Maryland QB, and more

Jeff Exinor Jr. announced his commitment to Penn State over the weekend but was immediately recruited by a Maryland quarterback commit.
 Penn State Nittany Lions offensive coordinator Andy Kotelnicki
Penn State Nittany Lions offensive coordinator Andy Kotelnicki / Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

Wide receiver was one of Penn State’s weakest positions on the current roster and in its 2025 recruiting class. Then, on Friday, four-star wide receiver Jeff Exinor Jr. the No. 7 prospect in Maryland, announced his commitment to play for the Nittany Lions. 

The 6-foot-2 220-pounder is listed as an athlete because of his flexibility between tight end and wide receiver. That versatility will make him an appealing option in Andy Kotelnicki’s offense. Last year at Kansas, Kotelnicki’s four leading receivers were 6-foot or taller with three standing at over 6-foot-3. 

Penn State’s recruiting hasn’t matched Kotelnicki’s previous preference for a dual-threat quarterback. Yet, it appears that the Nittany Lions are looking for oversized targets on the outside for Drew Allar and eventually Ethan Grunkemeyer or Troy Huhn. 

Exinor being recruited by former Penn State football recruiting target

Penn State got a massive win with Exinor’s commitment over the weekend, but he was almost immediately under attack. Four-star quarterback Malik Washington was once a priority 2025 target for the Nittany Lions, but his recruitment cooled and this past weekend he committed to stay in his home state and play for the Maryland Terrapins. Then, he made it known that he thinks Exinor should do the same. 

Penn State has 20 commitments in the 2025 class and already in June Franklin has lost multiple four-stars from the class. Both running back Alvin Henderson and linebacker DJ McClary flipped their commitments to stay home. Henderson now plans to play at Auburn and McClary is heading to Rutgers. The Nittany Lions hope that Exinor doesn’t follow that trend. 

Former Nittany Lion gymnast qualifies for Paris Olympics

Three years ago, Stephen Nedoroscik narrowly missed out on a trip to Tokyo for the 2021 Olympic games, but now the former Penn State gymnast is heading to Paris after qualifying for Team USA. Nedoroscik is part of a five-man team that was chosen over the weekend at Olympic trails in Minneapolis, Minnesota. 

Sam Zakutney, Nedoroscik’s former Nittany Lions teammate will represent Canada in gymnastics at the games.