Penn State reached its mideason bye week with a 6-0 record, rolling past Northwestern, 31-7, last weekend. The Nittany Lions have now won 15 of 16 games overall, and 12 consecutive Big Ten contests, while recruiting efforts have also been a success.
Coach James Franklin is well underway piecing together his finest Penn State recruiting class since arriving on campus in January 2014. The Nittany Lions carry 11 commitment from players considered top 300 overall prospects in 247Sports 2018 composite rankings, including nine prospects listed top 10 at their particular position.
Here is a look at where things stand for Penn State recruiting efforts:
Where Penn State’s recruiting class ranks
Penn State remains No. 3 overall in the 247Sports composite class rankings, trailing only Ohio State and Texas. The Nittany Lions look up at only the Buckeyes in Big Ten recruiting class rankings and actually spent much of the cycle ahead of Ohio State on this list.
Only three college football programs presently hold more blue-chip pledges than the Nittany Lions (13). This class includes athletes from 12 states, and nine of them are evaluated as top 10 overall recruits at their respective positions in composite rankings.
Latest news for Penn State football recruiting
Top defensive end target Jayson Oweh received an offer from Michigan on Wednesday, adding a new wrinkle to his recruitment. The Blair Academy (Blairstown, N.J.) standout will use an official visit at Penn State in November, while Florida, Notre Dame and Ohio State are also in the mix for his commitment.
Meanwhile, in-state safety Kwantel Raines is prepared to announce his collegiate choice Oct. 30. Along with Penn State, he is seriously considering schools such as Florida, Pittsburgh and West Virginia.
Expect a monumental recruiting week ahead as Penn State prepares for its Oct. 21 showdown vs. Michigan. This matchup figures to feature one of the program’s greatest attendance totals, including several premier recruits.
Penn State 2018 offers, by the numbers
- Reported offers: 154
- 5-star offers: 13
- 4-star offers: 97
- In-state recruits offered: 13
- California recruits offered: 5
- Florida recruits offered: 20
- Georgia recruits offered: 9
- New Jersey recruits offered: 9
- Ohio recruits offered: 10
- Texas recruits offered: 13
Penn State football commits for 2018
There are 23 Nittany Lions commits. They are listed below in order of composite ranking.
- WR Justin Shorter, 5 stars, South Brunswick (N.J.)
- RB Ricky Slade, 4 stars, Woodbridge (Va.)
- T Nana Asiedu, 4 stars, Stafford (Va.)
- TE Zack Kuntz, 4 stars, Camp Hill (Pa.)
- DT PJ Mustipher, 4 stars, Owings Mills (Md.)
- S Isheem Young, 4 stars, Philadelphia
- DE Dorian Hardy, 4 stars, Paramus (N.J.)
- TE Pat Freiermuth, 4 stars, North Andover (Mass.)
- OL Fredrick Scruggs, 4 stars, Erie (Pa.)
- WR Daniel George, 4 stars, Oxon Hill (Md.)
- DT Aeneas Hawkins, 4 stars, Cincinnati
- LB Jesse Luketa, 4 stars, Erie (Pa.)
- CB Jordan Miner, 4 stars, Zephyrhills (Fla.)
- OL Antwan Reed, 3 stars, Muskegon (Mich.)
- WR Shaquon Anderson-Butts, 3 stars, Harrisburg (Pa.)
- LB Nick Tarburton, 3 stars, Perkasie (Pa.)
- S Isaiah Humphries, 3 stars, Sachse (Texas)
- CB Trent Gordon, 3 stars, Manvel (Texas)
- DT Judge Culpepper, 3 stars, Tampa (Fla.)
- 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)
5 top uncommitted Penn State targets
The Nittany Lions continue to search for more talent in the 2018 recruiting cycle. Here are five notable targets still searching for the right collegiate fit:
- DE Micah Parsons, 5 stars, Harrisburg (Pa.): Parsons belongs in the discussion as America’s premier defensive prospect and bringing him back into this class following his April de-commitment could be a difficult task. The Nittany Lions extended an offer during his freshman season, and he committed to Penn State before the end of his sophomore year. Parsons also is considering schools such as Georgia, Nebraska and Ohio State.
- OT Rasheed Walker, 4 stars, Waldorf (Md.): The Nittany Lions’ in-conference competition includes Maryland and Ohio State in the pursuit of this 6-foot-6, 300-pound blocker. Franklin has built a strong recruiting track record in Maryland, most recently reeling in commitments from 4-star talents George and Mustipher. It remains unclear whether Penn State will have room for a fifth offensive lineman.
- WR Solomon Enis, 4 stars, Phoenix: Enis provides the size (6-4), production (1,100 receiving yards last season) and pedigree (his father is former Penn State running back Curtis Enis) college coaches covet. Several Pac-12 schools are in contention to keep Enis near the West Coast, and with three receivers already on board, there is some uncertainty about how the Nittany Lions intend to handle this recruitment.
- DE Jayson Oweh, 4 stars, Blairstown (N.J.): If Oweh is the fallback option in case Parsons elects to go elsewhere, it’s a tremendous Plan B. At 6-5, 236 pounds with sub-4.5 speed in the 40-yard dash, Oweh opened the 2017 season on Sept. 16 with a 4-sack performance. Ohio State is the primary contender here, while Florida and Notre Dame also are in the mix. Oweh will commit Jan. 4 during the Under Armour All-America Game.
- DE Tyreke Smith, 4 stars, Cleveland: Smith has developed a strong relationship with the Nittany Lions staff and is expected to visit Penn State multiple times before announcing his decision at the Under Armour All-America Game. Along with Penn State, this 6-3, 260-pound playmaker is considering offers from Alabama, Ohio State, Oregon and Southern California.
Position breakdown for Penn State commits
Here’s a breakdown of the number of commits by position and how many are projected by Land of 10 to be signed:
- QB: 1/1 (Levis)
- RB: 1/1 (Slade)
- TE: 2/2 (Freiermuth, Kuntz)
- WR: 3/3 (Anderson-Butts, George, Shorter)
- OL: 4/5 (Asiedu, Effner, Reed, Scruggs)
- DL: 4/6 (Culpepper, Hardy, Hawkins, Mustipher)
- LB: 3/3 (Katshir, Luketa, Tarburton)
- CB: 2/2 (Gordon, Miner)
- S: 2/2 (Humphries, Young)
- K: 1/1 (Pinegar)
Geographical breakdown of Penn State commits
Here is a review of Penn State’s commits by state:
- Pennsylvania: 7 (Anderson-Butts, Katshir, Kuntz, Luketa, Scruggs, Tarburton, Young)
- Florida: 2 (Culpepper, Miner)
- Maryland: 2 (George, Mustipher)
- New Jersey: 2 (Hardy, Shorter)
- Texas: 2 (Gordon, Humphries)
- Virginia: 2 (Asiedu, Slade)
- Connecticut: 1 (Levis)
- Illinois: 1 (Effner)
- Iowa: 1 (Pinegar)
- Massachusetts: 1 (Freiermuth)
- Michigan: 1 (Reed)
- Ohio: 1 (Hawkins)