Nittany news and notes: Penn State legend’s son commits, former Nittany Lions tragically passes, and more

On Thursday, James Franklin landed a commitment from three-star athlete Lavar Arrington II, the next member of St1x C1ty.
LaVar Arrington
LaVar Arrington / Rick Stewart/GettyImages

July 4, was a celebration of history and nostalgia for Penn State football fans, and not for the usual reasons. This Independence Day, James Franklin landed Lavar Arrington II as the 21st commit of the 2024 recruiting class.

Arrington, son of the former Penn State All-American linebacker is a three-star athlete from Covina, California who played both running back and linebacker. Arrington visited Happy Valley back on June 21 and chose Penn State over Tennessee and UCLA. 

Penn State’s 2024 class now ranks 10th in the country with its 21 commits, headlined by fellow California-native Daryus Dixson. 

Former Penn State cornerback Anthony Lytton dies in car accident

On Saturday, former Penn State cornerback Anthony “A.J.” Lytton tragically in a three-car crash in Maryland. 

Among the other victims of the crash in Prince George’s country just outside Washington D.C. were Minnesota Vikings rookie Khyree Jackson and former Maryland Terrapin, Isaiah Hazel. 

Lytton played one season at Penn State in 2021 after two years at Florida State. He primarily featured on special teams as a gunner and recorded one tackle across 11 games. 

The three victims were high school teammates who won a Maryland state championship together for Dr. Henry A. Wise Jr. High School. According to reports, they were all in the same vehicle at the time of the crash, with Hazel behind the wheel, and were not the vehicle at fault. 

More: Women’s soccer names four captains for 2024 season

After posting a 16-3-4 record in 2023 with a run to the NCAA Women’s Soccer Championship quarterfinals, head coach Erica Dambach is back for her 31st season as the head coach in Happy Valley. Last year was Penn State’s deepest postseason run in five years and four of the returning Nittany Lions from that roster were named team captains at the start of July. 

Dambach selected senior midfielder Olivia Damico, graduate midfielders Rowan Lapi and Devon Olive, and senior defender Mieke Schiemann to lead the 2024 edition of her squad. 

In her official announcement, Dambach said, “I am thrilled to announce that Liv, Rowan, Devon and Mieke will serve as our team captains for the 2024 season. Each of them brings a different perspective to the game, and all four of them have unique leadership styles that I believe make them excellent choices to lead our program on and off the field this season. All four of our captains will play a huge role in continuing the tradition of our program, while consistently maintaining our program's pillars of success.”