Penn State football: Which recruit from early signing day will make the biggest impact next season?

The Nittany Lions don't dip heavily into the transfer portal, so the 2024 recruiting class will need to make an impact next season to get Penn State into the College Football Playoff.
McDowell High School offensive lineman Cooper Cousins blocks for quarterback
McDowell High School offensive lineman Cooper Cousins blocks for quarterback / GREG WOHLFORD/ERIE TIMES-NEWS / USA
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James Franklin prides himself on having a calm National Signing Day, and that was the case again on Wednesday. All 25 of Franklin’s commits signed their Nation Letter of Intent to join the Nittany Lions next season. Penn State has the No. 14 class in the country.

After the announcements, Franklin and athletic director Dr. Patrick Kraft spoke in a press conference, and Franklin said, “We’re not a big transfer portal team.”

The Nittany Lions have only signed two transfers, offensive lineman Alan Herron, and kicker Chase Meyer. That’s the reality of the program Franklin wants to run and it puts an extreme emphasis on high school recruiting. 

In 2023, Penn State’s defense was excellent, but the Nittany Lions lost their coordinator and several stars, like Chop Robinson and Johnny Dixon, on that side of the ball. Someone will need to replace those lost defensive snaps, but the offense wasn’t nearly as effective, and is the bigger need 

New offensive coordinator Andy Kotelnicki could use an infusion of talent on his side of the ball. If that talent isn’t going to come from the portal, then to get better for 2024, Penn State will not some contributions from this freshman class. 

These are the three players most likely to make an impact next season. 

Luke Reynolds. TE. player. . 491. Luke Reynolds. . Cheshire, CT. PSU recruits Reynolds. 5-star

This one is obvious. Reynolds is the only five-star in Penn State’s 2024 class and is a perfect fit for Andy Kotelnicki’s new offense. Kotelnicki loves to feature big receivers and that’s essentially what Reynolds will be next season until he adds the requisite size and strength to become an impact blocker and a complete tight end.