Penn State's strength and weaknesses of the 2025 recruiting class so far

Where does the Penn State 2025 recruiting class sit with their commitments and what are the class's strengths and weaknesses of the 19-player class?
Penn State Spring Football Game
Penn State Spring Football Game / Scott Taetsch/GettyImages

It certainly has been a wild week in recruiting for James Franklin and the Nittany Lions. Starting with a de-commitment from Alvin Henderson, Penn State wasted no time finding a replacement, receiving a pledge from four-star running back Jabree Wallace-Coleman.

The Nittany Lions continued strong with a slew of commitments from several talented players for the defensive backfield before yet another de-commitment, this time from DJ McClary. That did not stop the Nittany Lions' momentum, picking up several solid four-star defensive ends. Penn State does not seem to be slowing down on the recruiting trail. Even in the midst of all of the recruiting, it is not too early to see what the strengths and weaknesses are at each position

Running Back. Running Backs. B-. .

Penn State was able to rebound quickly from the Alvin Henderson de-commitment by grabbing in-state four-star product Jabree Wallace-Coleman and already had a pledge in another in-state product, Tiqwai Hayes. Hayes was named the 2023 WPIAL football player of the year. Wallace-Coleman is ranked the 125th player per Rivals250. Penn State also has a commitment from Kiandrea Barker who possesses serious speed.


Penn State has been able to stock up on running back in yet another class, which is important because both Nicholas Singleton and Kaytron Allen are likely heading for the NFL after this season.


Even though Penn State was able to replace Alvin Henderson with Jabree Wallace Coleman, per 247sports, Henderson is ranked as the 115th overall prospect, Coleman comes in at 185th, a significant drop based on what the experts say.

. . Wide Receiver. Wide Receiver. C

It seems fitting that Penn State is struggling at wide receiver given that they had trouble getting production from their receivers in 2023. Currently, the Nittany Lions only have a commitment from Lyrick Samuel, but the No. 1 receiver in the state of Lex Cyrus, is projected to end up at Penn State. Not only that but one of the top receivers from Maryland, Jeff Exinor Jr. is also expected to give his verbal soon to Penn State. This grade would definitely bump up if the Nittany Lions can reel in these two prospects.


It looks like Penn State is set to have a strong receiving class for 2025.


Some of Penn State's recent wide receiver recruits are under-performing, such as Kaden Saunders, Omari Evans, and Liam Clifford. One has to wonder if anything will change with what is potentially coming in the 2025 class. It took until the the fourth quarter of the Peach Bowl against Ole Miss, for a wide receiver to record a reception.

A. . . Defensive Back. Defensive Back

Penn State has done a solid job creating both talent and depth for its defensive backfield. Starting with four-star Daryus Dixson, a commit out of California and the top overall recruit for the Nittany Lions per 247. Jahmir Joseph, also a four-star, picked the Nittany Lions over Notre Dame, Stanford, and Auburn. Penn State picked up verbals from Brasewell Thomas and Antonio Branch Jr. and what's impressive is the Nittany Lions got all of these pledges in less than two weeks!


Not only did Penn State get a quantity of prospects for the defensive backfield, but they were also able to get quality prospects as well. There is a reason why incoming transfer Jalen Kimber praised Cornerbacks Coach Terry Smith.


With the plethora of defensive backfield prospect in the 2025 class, it could cause some concern in the future for players to enter the portal if for whatever reason they see Penn State not being the right fit. King Mack comes to mind, leaving Penn State just after one season.

. . Defensive End. Defensive End. A

This is another position Penn State continues to recruit well in. In the past week, the Nittany Lions picked up three huge commitments from Cortez Harris, Jayden Woods, and Max Granville.

Granville already has the explosiveness for the next level, now he just needs to add a little more weight to his frame. 247 Scouting Analyst Gabe Brooks said that Jayden Woods, "Thrives on functional strength and high-effort, energetic play style. Could become an impact starter with long-term NFL Draft upside." Harris should be able to provide quality depth at the very least for the EDGE position.


Deion Barnes certainly should receive a lot of praise for the three players he was able to pull the trigger on in a matter of days. The future looks bright at the defensive end position


Really the one downside is that the players may be a bit undersized, but that should be no problem once they get to work with strength coach Chuck Losey.

B. . . Linebacker. Linebacker

The top linebacker thus far from the 2025 class is four-star Dayshaun Burnett. Burnett is an all-around athlete who has played on both sides of the ball and brings versatility to his game. Penn State also received a hidden gem in Alex Tatsch. 247Sports National Analyst Hudson Standish said Alex Tatsch, "Should be viewed as a potential starter at the second level for a Power Five program with intriguing long-term upside." Penn State may try to add one more linebacker to its 2025 class.


Penn State received commitments from quality prospects that have a ton of upside that should have no problem continuing the tradition of "Linebacker U"


Penn State could be thin at linebacker in terms of experience after this season, which may see one, if not both Burnett and Tatsch get playing time right away. The only concern is how this could possibly affect their development.

Defensive Tackle. Defensive Tackle. F. .

Sometimes it's hard to face facts, but the reality is, that Penn State has yet to address the issue of securing a commitment from a defensive tackle. If the Nittany Lions want to win in the trenches, it starts up front.

While Penn State had one of the top-rated run defenses in the nation last season, when it came time to play an elite team in Michigan, they gave up 227 yards on the ground. Penn State does have players from the 2024 freshman class to address some of the concerns, but as for the 2025 class, the Nittany Lions still need to get interior help on the defensive side of the ball.




The lack of any defensive tackle prospects speaks for itself

. . Tight End. Tight End. C+

This was not necessarily an area of need, but perhaps an area of want. Penn State already has Sophomore Andrew Rappleyea waiting in the wings behind Tyler Warren as well as freshman sensation and five-star prospect, Luke Reynolds coming into the fold. With Matt Henderson and Brady O'Hara, Penn State is filling out the depth in the tight end room. Depending on where you look Henderson is a four-star but neither is being revered as much as Reynolds.


The fact that Penn State was able to pick up two tight ends from this makes it a huge win knowing there's a possibility they could be down on the depth chart behind both Rappleyea and Reynolds for a season or two. Penn State has ensured depth at this position


While the Nittany Lions got a pair of Tight Ends for 2025, they likely have missed out on five star prospect Linkon Cure.

. . Offensive Line. Offensive Line. B-

Penn State recruited really well on the offensive front the past recruiting classes, so any pieces from this class are likely for depth. Even so, they were still able to obtain a commitment from four-star prospect Owen Aliciene.

The first thing that stands out from Aliciene is his towering 6-foot-7 stature. He is ranked as one of the top prospects from the state of Connecticut. Penn State also has a good shot to land four-star prospect Malachi Goodman, who has been on the campus several times.


Penn State's offensive line looks to be in good hands for the future with players like Jven Williams, Alex Birchmeier, Cooper Cousins, and Liam Andrews, who will all be vying for starting spots.


Owen Aliciene and fellow commit Michael Troutman, are not as highly touted as the four players mentioned above.