Penn State football recruiting news: James Franklin keeps adding to loaded tight end room

On Wednesday, fast-rising recruit Matt Henderson announced his commitment to Penn State. While his ranking may underwhelm, Henderson is a significant addition for Ty Howle and Andy Kotelnicki.
James Franklin
James Franklin / Dan Rainville / USA TODAY NETWORK

The days of Penn State dominating with Chris Godwin and DaeSean Hamilton catching passes on the outside are long gone. Now, James Franklin’s roster has a serious lack of talent at wide receiver, but with new offensive coordinator Andy Kotelnicki typically favoring multiple tight ends and running backs over three-receiver sets, adding to the lineage of Mike Gesicki and Pat Freiermuth could make more sense long-term. 

Before even ushering Theo Johnson off to the NFL as a fourth-round pick of the New York Giants, the Nittany Lions already welcomed 2024 five-star tight end Luke Reynolds to Happy Valley. Reynold has joined Tyler Warren, who caught 34 passes for 422 yards and seven touchdowns last season, and Khalil Dinkins who caught five passes as a redshirt sophomore, in the Penn State tight end room. 

On Wednesday, the Nittany Lions added another tight end, Matt Henderson from Powhatan, Virginia. The 6-foot-5 210-pound tight end is the 13th commit of Penn State’s 2025 recruiting class.

Henderson was a little-known prospect and was first offered by Penn State tight ends coach on April 25. Henderson is still a zero-star prospect per 247Sports, however, other recruiting sites have already given him a four-star rating. Henderson also received offers from Michigan State, Maryland, Pitt, Virginia Tech, and others. 

After next season, Warren will likely be off to the NFL, leaving Reynolds as the presumptive TE1, but the Nittany Lions could still use more depth. The rankings may not show it yet, but this was a big get for tight-ends coach Ty Howle. 

Last season at Kansas, three of Kotelnicki’s four leading receivers were 6-foot-3 or taller and the Jayhawks had three tight ends catch at least five passes. Along with Warren, Reynolds, and Dinkins, Penn State also has Jerry Cross, Andrew Rappleyea and Joey Schlaffer listed as tight ends on the roster.

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