Penn State spent years preparing for National Signing Day 2018, landing several early notable commitments — and signings — before putting the finishing touches on an impressive recruiting class Wednesday. The Nittany Lions, coming off a second straight 11-win season, continue to build a roster loaded with blue-chip prospects.
James Franklin dealt with multiple staff changes following the 2017 regular season but maintained a group of dedicated recruits representing 11 different states. Penn State signed 22 players during the early signing period (Dec. 20-22), putting the Nittany Lions in position to wrap up an expansive process Wednesday.
Penn State is set to sign a top-10 overall class in the 247Sports composite rankings for the first time since 2006. The Nittany Lions signed three 5-star recruits in December — linebacker Micah Parsons, receiver Justin Shorter and running back Ricky Slade.
Parsons is one of six 2018 Penn State signees who arrived on campus in January as early enrollees. The others are 4-star linebackers Jesse Luketa and Nick Tarburton, 3-star defensive backs Trent Gordon and Isaiah Humphries (both from Texas), and top-5 tight end Zack Kuntz.
Kuntz, Luketa and Parsons are three of 11 new Nittany Lions considered top-10 prospects at their respective position. Penn State has a chance to boost that total further Wednesday, as Franklin & Co. aim to cap off the 2018 cycle on a high note.
Keep track of all the latest Signing Day updates for Penn State here.
Penn State recruiting updates, signee tracker for National Signing Day
2:30 p.m. – Penn State announced it has “completed” its 2018 recruiting class with the addition of tackle Rasheed Walker. The Nittany Lions finish with 23 signees, representing 11 different states and two nations. Penn State presently sits at No. 4 in composite class rankings, representing a program-best result on National Signing Day.
2:20 p.m. – The dust is beginning to settle for Penn State following a busy early afternoon. I spent 20 minutes bringing things up to speed on Facebook Live, discussing Rasheed Walker, Solomon Enis, Shaquon Anderson-Butts and where things stand with the Nittany Lions’ 2018 class.
1:30 p.m. – Penn State legacy Solomon Enis announced plans to sign with Utah on Wednesday afternoon. The 4-star receiver and son of former Nittany Lions running back Curtis Enis, chose the Utes over fellow finalists Penn State, Arizona State and USC. Considered a top-50 prospect at the position, this North Canyon (Phoenix, Ariz.) High School standout used an official visit in Happy Valley during the 2017 season. He received multiple in-home visits from members of the Nittany Lions staff, including former receivers coach Josh Gattis who is now a coach with the Alabama Crimson Tide. Penn State signed three receivers in December and now seems to be set with that trio.
12:35 p.m. – Elite offensive lineman Rasheed Walker is heading to Happy Valley. The 6-6, 300-pound U.S. Army All-American announced his decision Wednesday afternoon during a ceremony at North Point (Waldorf, Md.) High School. Walker, considered the No. 6 tackle prospect and a top-100 overall recruit in composite rankings, picked Penn State over fellow finalists Ohio State and Virginia Tech. The Nittany Lions most recently welcomed him to campus Dec. 8-10 for an official visit. James Franklin returned the favor with a trip to Maryland leading up to the decision. Penn State has now signed 23 recruits in the 2018 cycle.
— Penn State Football (@PennStateFball) February 7, 2018
12:15 p.m. – Longtime Penn State receiver pledge Shaquon Anderson-Butts will not sign with the Nittany Lions. Speculation about his academic eligibility loomed large this winter after he was the only Penn State commit who didn’t finalize college plans during the early signing period (Dec. 20-22). Anderson-Butts, who played alongside 5-star Nittany Lions signee Micah Parsons at Harrisburg High School, will continue his football career at Iowa Western Community College. He’ll have an opportunity to achieve his Division I dream down the road but unfortunately it won’t happen in 2018. Penn State signed three blue-chip receivers in December, headlined by 5-star talent Justin Shorter.
11:50 a.m. – Signed certainly seem to be pointing toward Penn State landing Rasheed Walker. My Land of 10 colleagues in Columbus are covering Ohio State’s Signing Day media session this morning, and they’ve received indications things are wrapped up for the Buckeyes. Ohio State closed strong, securing 5-star tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere and 4-star linebacker Javontae Jean-Baptiste. Now it’s nearly time for Penn State to join the party with a key pickup. We now await official confirmation of Walker’s decision as noon approaches.
11:25 a.m. – As a Rasheed Walker decision announcement nears, it’s worth noting the potential impact of his pledge. Penn State would be only the second program to land two top-10 tackles in this recruiting cycle, joining Ohio State (Nicholas Petit-Frer and Max Wray). The Nittany Lions landed Nana Asiedu (No. 9 tackle in composite rankings) last April and signed him in December. Walker, listed 6th at the position, is likely to either push Penn State’s total to match Ohio State or provide the Buckeyes with a third elite tackle prospect. We’ll find out soon when the North Point (Waldorf, Md.) High School senior reveals his choice.
10:30 a.m. – Ohio State has landed a commitment from top-ranked tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere. The Buckeyes beat out Florida, Michigan and Notre Dame. Ohio State is considered Penn State’s primary competition for 4-star tackle Rasheed Walker, who announces at noon. It will be interesting to learn if this decision has any impact on Walker’s outlook. The Buckeyes are the only Big Ten program ranked ahead of Penn State in composite class rankings, as Urban Meyer aims to sign his sixth top-two class since 2006.
9 a.m. – It’s certainly safe to assume there will be a significant shuffle in class rankings as Signing Day progresses but Penn State should be assured of a top-10 class. The addition of one or two more blue-chip prospects could potentially keep Penn State in the top five. The Nittany Lions have never finished with a top-five overall class in composite rankings, landing in the top only once (2006) since the modern rankings system was established.
7:40 a.m. – Good morning, Penn State supporters and college football fans! National Signing Day is upon us, and we have one early piece of news to pass along. Rasheed Walker, a 4-star tackle, shared he will announce at noon ET, approximately an hour later than initially expected. His finalists are Penn State, Ohio State and Virginia Tech.
Tweets by TDsTakeProjected Penn State signees on National Signing Day
* — denotes prospect signed during early signing period
- LB Micah Parsons, 5 stars, Harrisburg (Pa.) *
- WR Justin Shorter, 5 stars, South Brunswick (N.J.) *
- RB Ricky Slade, 5 stars, Woodbridge (Va.) *
- T Rasheed Walker, 4 stars, Waldorf (Md.)
- DE Jayson Oweh, 4 stars, Blairstown (N.J.) *
- T Nana Asiedu, 4 stars, Stafford (Va.) *
- DT PJ Mustipher, 4 stars, Owings Mills (Md.) *
- TE Zack Kuntz, 4 stars, Camp Hill (Pa.) *
- WR Jahan Dotson, 4 stars, Nazareth (Pa.) *
- TE Pat Freiermuth, 4 stars, North Andover (Mass.) *
- OL Fredrick Scruggs, 4 stars, Erie (Pa.) *
- LB Jesse Luketa, 4 stars, Ottawa (Ottawa, Ont.) *
- LB Nick Tarburton, 4 stars, Perkasie (Pa.) *
- WR Daniel George, 4 stars, Oxon Hill (Md.) *
- CB Jordan Miner, 4 stars, Zephyrhills (Fla.) *
- CB Trent Gordon, 3 stars, Manvel (Texas) *
- DT Aeneas Hawkins, 3 stars, Cincinnati *
- DT Judge Culpepper, 3 stars, Tampa (Fla.) *
- S Isaiah Humphries, 3 stars, Sachse (Texas) *
- LB Charlie Katshir, 3 stars, Mechanicsburg (Pa.) *
- OL Bryce Effner, 3 stars, Aurora (Ill.) *
- QB Will Levis, 3 stars, Middletown (Conn.) *
- K Jake Pinegar, 3 stars, Ankeny (Iowa) *
Commitment times for Penn State targets on Signing Day
4-star T Rasheed Walker (Waldorf, Pa.) — noon ET
4-star WR Solomon Enis (Phoenix) — 1 p.m. ET
Latest updates on Penn State recruiting on Signing Day
- Penn State signs elite tackle recruit Rasheed Walker, beating out Ohio State and Virginia Tech
- Nittany Lions legacy Solomon Enis picks Utah.
- Longtime Penn State commit Shaquon Anderson-Butts will attend junior college due to academic issues
- What Nittany Lions fans need to know on National Signing Day
- Final prediction for the Penn State recruiting class
- A look back at the de-commitments that shaped Penn State’s class
- Penn State and Ohio State battled for prized tackle Rasheed Walker
- Nittany Lions running back signee Ricky Slade helped push for Rasheed Walker
- A look at why defensive end Jayson Oweh chose Penn State over Ohio State
- Early enrollee Jesse Luketa journeyed across national border to chase dream at Penn State