Penn State improved to 2-0 on the season Sept. 9 with a 33-14 win over Pittsburgh, landing its first 2019 prospect pledge afterward. The 2018 Nittany Lions recruiting class continues to hold steady at 23 commitments.
This total remains unmoved since an Aug. 10 commitment from 4-star defensive tackle Aeneas Hawkins. He became the 10th Penn State pledge in a six-week span, resulting in limited scholarship availability well in advance of National Signing Day.
Here is a review of where things stand with this impressive Nittany Lions class, along with the latest notable developments.
Where Penn State’s recruiting class ranks
Penn State sustains its spot at No. 3 overall in composite class rankings, as the Nittany Lions have yet to fall out of the top-5 this year. The team spent a significant amount of time atop the rankings but Ohio State overtook everyone in May and remains at No. 1, while Texas surged to No. 2 with a strong summer.
The Nittany Lions carry 13 blue-chip prospects in the class, representing the fourth-highest total in this recruiting cycle. It’s a group led by 5-star receiver Justin Shorter and eight other athletes considered top-10 players at their position.
Latest news for Penn State football recruiting
There have been some substantial developments during recent days when it comes to Penn State’s primary defensive targets: Jayson Oweh, Micah Parsons and Tyreke Smith. It remains unclear whether the Nittany Lions will have room to add more than one of these defensive ends, but the program is an enviable position as a legitimate contender for all three.
Parsons, a 5-star recruit who previously spent 14 months committed to Penn State, will be on campus Saturday for the team’s game against Georgia State. He will travel from nearby Harrisburg (Pa.) alongside high school teammate Shaquon Anderson-Butts, who pledged to Penn State on July 15.
We also now know 4-star defensive ends Jayson Oweh and Tyreke Smith will visit Happy Valley at least twice before unveiling their respective collegiate decisions Jan. 4 at the Under Armour All-America Game.
Oweh, a New Jersey product, plans to attend the Georgia State game this weekend, then return Nov. 18 for an official visit in conjunction with Penn State’s game against Nebraska. Smith will make the trip from Cleveland for an Oct. 21 matchup with Michigan before using an official visit in State College on Dec. 8, according to Steve Wiltfong of 247Sports.
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 currently are 23 Nittany Lions commits. They are listed below in order of composite ranking.
- WR Justin Shorter, 5-star, South Brunswick (N.J.)
- RB Ricky Slade, 4-star, Woodbridge (Va.)
- T Nana Asiedu, 4-star, Stafford (Va.)
- TE Zack Kuntz, 4-star, Camp Hill (Pa.)
- DT PJ Mustipher, 4-star, Owings Mills (Md.)
- S Isheem Young, 4-star, Philadelphia (Pa.)
- DE Dorian Hardy, 4-star, Paramus (N.J.)
- TE Pat Freiermuth, 4-star, North Andover (Mass.)
- OL Fredrick Scruggs, 4-star, Erie (Pa.)
- WR Daniel George, 4-star, Oxon Hill (Md.)
- DT Aeneas Hawkins, 4-star, Cincinnati
- LB Jesse Luketa, 4-star, Erie (Pa.)
- CB Jordan Miner, 4-star, Zephyrhills (Fla.)
- OL Antwan Reed, 3-star, Muskegon (Mich.)
- ATH Shaquon Anderson-Butts, 3-star, Harrisburg (Pa.)
- LB Nick Tarburton, 3-star, Perkasie (Pa.)
- S Isaiah Humphries, 3-star, Sachse (Texas)
- CB Trent Gordon, 3-star, Manvel (Texas)
- DT Judge Culpepper, 3-star, Tampa (Fla.)
- LB Charlie Katshir, 3-star, Mechanicsburg (Pa.)
- OL Bryce Effner, 3-star, Aurora (Ill.)
- QB Will Levis, 3-star, Middletown (Conn.)
- K Jake Pinegar, 2-star, 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-star, Harrisburg (Pa.): Parsons belongs in the discussion as America’s premier defensive prospect, and bringing him back into this class 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 is also considering schools such as Alabama, Nebraska and Ohio State.
- T Rasheed Walker, 4-star, Waldorf (Md.): Rasheed Walker would solidify this offensive line group’s elite status. The Nittany Lions face a few regional threats such as Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia Tech, 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 Daniel George and PJ Mustipher.
- WR Solomon Enis, 4-star, Phoenix: Solomon 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, but he’ll follow up a spring game visit to Happy Valley in September. Enis plans to use an official visit for the Nittany Lions game against Indiana.
- DE Jayson Oweh, 4-star, Blairstown (N.J.): If Oweh is the fallback option in case Parsons elects to go elsewhere, it’s a tremendous Plan B. Some would argue Oweh carries perhaps more upside than many defensive linemen ranked ahead of him. Hitting the field at 6-5, 236 pounds with sub-4.5 speed in the 40-yard dash, he is primed to break out in 2017 during just his second season of high school football. His decision is down to Notre Dame, Ohio State and Penn State.
- DE Tyreke Smith, 4-star, 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 on Jan. 4. 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: 3/4 (Anderson-Butts, George, Shorter)
- OL: 4/5 (Asiedu, Effner, Reed, Scruggs)
- DL: 4/5 (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’s 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)