Fresh off a tremendous May on the recruiting trail, Penn State didn’t need to wait long for positive news in June. The Nittany Lions secured a verbal commitment Friday afternoon from 4-star defensive lineman Hakeem Beamon.
Beamon, a 6-foot-4, 255-pound prospect, picked Penn State from a scholarship offer sheet that featured Alabama, Ohio State, South Carolina, Virginia and Virginia Tech.
I want to thank God, my family, my trainer and L. C. Bird for everything thing they’ve done for me. I also want to thank every team that recruited me. With all that being said, I would like to announce that I’m committed to Penn State University ⚪️🔵🦁 #WeAre #WildDogs 🐾 pic.twitter.com/BW94nX3wih
— Hakeem Beamon (@hakeem_beamon) June 1, 2018
The Lloyd C. Bird (Chesterfield, Va.) High School standout previously pledged to North Carolina in June 2017. He backed off that decision and reopened his recruitment on March 19.
Beamon, listed 17th nationally among strongside defensive ends in the 247Sports composite rankings, becomes the ninth member of Penn State’s 2019 class. He is the sixth addition since May 17, joining fellow Virginia products Devyn Ford (running back) and Brandon Smith (linebacker).
The Nittany Lions continue a successful conquest of a talent-laden Virginia recruiting landscape. Smith and Ford are No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in composite state prospect rankings, while Beamon is No. 7.
Penn State could soon expand that list. Cam’Ron Kelly, a 4-star defensive back who used an official visit to Happy Valley in April, will announce his college choice during a Thursday morning ceremony at Oscar Smith (Chesapeake, Va.) High School. He is ranked fourth among Virginia recruits.
Beamon, who received a Nittany Lions offer in January, most recently traveled to Penn State alongside his mother on May 12. He returned home impressed by the experience and the staff’s vision for his development.
“I had a good talk with Coach Franklin,” Beamon told Blue-White Illustrated’s Ryan Snyder after that visit. “He was mainly just saying that I’m a top priority for them and that they need me there. They like me at defensive end. He was saying that they’re looking for a guy that can drop back in coverage but also get after the quarterback. They think that I can do all of that and also destroy tight ends and tackles.”
Penn State signed four defensive linemen in its 2018 class, though Nick Tarburton’s spring-camp transition from linebacker pushed that total to five. This is the first such commitment of a 2019 cycle that has quickly become quite rewarding.
Given his physical measurements with another high school season ahead, Beamon may ultimately make his impact as an interior defender, though the Nittany Lions are compelled by his ability to disrupt opponents off the edge.
Beamon was recently named defensive line MVP at The Opening Charlotte (N.C.) regional camp, where he finished the 40-yard dash in 4.9 seconds, according to 247Sports’ Barton Simmons.
“Beamon is a little bit raw but he has some outstanding physical tools,” Simmons said. “Some real suddenness in his get-off and really natural athletic movement skill.”
Penn State continues its climb in composite college football class rankings as a result of this pledge. The Nittany Lions leapfrogged the Texas Longhorns at No. 15 overall and are listed third among Big Ten programs behind Michigan (No. 6) and Ohio State (No. 12).