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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Cooper Cousins. Cooper Cousins. PSU Recruits Cousins. 4-star. . Erie, PA. 491. . OL. player

It’s not easy to step right in and battle in the trenches as a true freshman in the Big Ten, but if anyone is up to the challenge, it’s the 6-foot-6 330-pound Cousins.

Cousins was the first player from the class of 2024 to commit to Penn State and Franklin sang his praises on signing day. 

Franklin likes Cousins’ ability to play all five offensive line spots and loves his lean college-ready build. He said that Cousins is a leader with, “a chance to compete,” early in his college career. 

Now, I’m not exactly sure that Franklin means to compete in Year 1, but Penn State had a very real issue on the interior of the offense line last season. Center, Hunter Nourzad was a redshirt senior, so he will need to be replaced, and the Nittany Lions got shaky play from guards, Sal Wormley, another redshirt senior, JB Nelson, and Olaivega Ionae. The latter two combined to allow 25 pressures on Drew Allar.