STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — The Penn State football team took another step toward its 2018 season Saturday, concluding spring practice with annual Blue-White game festivities. This scrimmage attracted an announced crowd of 71,000 to Beaver Stadium, including a vast collection of recruits.
Members of the 2018 recruiting class, featuring six athletes who enrolled early and participated this spring, gathered on the field for a reunion of sorts. Their introduction to a welcoming Penn State crowd serves as a reminder that the Nittany Lions roster is set to expand upon summer enrollment.
The importance of newcomers was also apparent during Blue-White game action, as redshirt freshman receiver Mac Hippenhammer caught a pair of touchdowns and 2018 signee Micah Parsons tied for the team high with 8 tackles and added 1 sack.
Meanwhile, the sideline and bleachers were packed with prized high school prospects. Penn State coach James Franklin summed up the scene during his postgame press conference.
“I think we had 160 recruits here, unofficially,” he said. “We had a number of kids on official visits, and we’ve got to show all these kids how important they are to our program. Then on top of that, we have to run our own program and develop our own players. It’s a challenge.”
Nittany Lions targets representing the 2019, 2020 and 2021 recruiting cycles swarmed to State College. Caedan Wallace, an elite offensive lineman in the 2019 class, departed campus as a new Penn State pledge.
The 6-foot-5, 313-pound Hun School (Princeton, N.J.) junior committed to Franklin before kickoff. He is considered the No. 4 guard and No. 74 overall recruit in 247Sports 2019 composite rankings.
“This journey has been amazing,” Wallace tweeted. “Thank you to every coach who believed in my ability enough to offer me a scholarship to their university. After every journey, you must return home. I know where home is.”
A video accompanied his announcement:
C O M M I T T E D pic.twitter.com/22AQo23cO9
— special cäe #73🥞☠️ (@caedanw) April 21, 2018
Wallace, a former high school teammate of Nittany Lions defensive lineman Fred Hansard, holds more than 30 offers. His father, Charles Wallace, told Land of 10 that Penn State ultimately managed to separate itself during the process.
“After visiting multiple programs, it became clear that PSU was the right fit for Caedan and our family,” he said. “Coach Franklin and [offensive line coach Matt] Limegrover and the entire PSU community did an exceptional job in recruiting Caedan and our family.”
Wallace is a significant addition following a 2018 class that featured three 4-star offensive linemen.
“He can bring in just pure bully ball to PSU,” said 2018 defensive end signee Jayson Oweh. “He’s a bully; [it’s] crazy what he can do.”
Penn State now carries three verbal commitments in its 2019 class. Wallace joins local State College cornerback and fellow New Jersey standout Taquan Roberson, a quarterback who spent nearly six months as the Nittany Lions’ “latest” addition.
“Always great to have a Jersey guy join the family — even better that he’s going to be protecting me soon,” Roberson said.
Penn State entertained a number of standouts Saturday who could eventually enhance the roster. That list included elite in-state receiver Julian Fleming, 5-star defensive end Zach Harrison, top-ranked New Jersey recruit Antonio Alfano (defensive lineman), 4-star defensive backs Jaden Davis, Tyler Rudolph and Marquis Wilson, top-10 running back Devyn Ford and Delaware offensive lineman Saleem Wormley, who has been to campus three times in the past month.
“The spring game had a great atmosphere,” Wormley said. “I met a lot of fans and recruits [and] Caedan is a great addition to Coach Franklin’s team.”
The Blue-White game may not have resulted in the commitment spree some expected, but expect its ramifications to result in class growth for 2019 during the coming days and weeks. Meanwhile, the Nittany Lions move forward with strengthened foundations in the pursuit of premier underclassmen talent.
“We have an unbelievable recruiting staff that helped with organization and getting everything ready for us,” Penn State special teams coordinator Phil Galiano said. “The relationships that we built with our  signees and walk-on commits that are here, that part is easy. They’re like family already. The guys that we’re recruiting, we’re trying to build those relationships [and] we’re close with them already. It really isn’t much work; it’s just actually getting to be ourselves, spend time with them and enjoy being around them.”
Stay tuned to Land of 10 in the coming days for expansive coverage of how Blue-White Weekend developments impact Penn State recruiting efforts.