When four-star safety Derrick Davis gave his verbal pledge to LSU on Saturday, the Nittany Lions missed out on perhaps their biggest remaining target for the Class of 2021.
With Davis off the board, and another Penn State target, four-star defensive tackle Rayshaun Benny, committing to Michigan State on Monday, the options to fill out the class appear to be dwindling. With the early signing period just more than a month away, here’s a look at some of the notable remaining targets for Penn State, as well other options for PSU to add to its collection of talent.
Four-star RB Donovan Edwards
The West Bloomfield, Michigan native is among the best running backs in the entire country, and he garnered his PSU offer two years ago, in November 2018. In October, he released his top seven teams, which included the Nittany Lions, as well as Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Notre Dame, and Oklahoma. Edwards, who would represent the highest-rated member of the PSU class if he were to join, seems like a long shot for the Nittany Lions, as Michigan could be the team to beat.
Four-star RB Ke’Travion Hargrove
With questions at running back with the health concerns of Journey Brown and a season-ending injury to Noah Cain, adding a running back in 2021 seems like a worthwhile investment for Penn State. Hargrove, from Ruston, Louisiana, could be a more realistic option than Edwards. PSU offered Hargrove in June, and the following month, he decommitted from Louisiana Tech and re-opened his recruitment. South Carolina and Florida State also offered just weeks prior to the Nittany Lions, and those two teams appear to be the biggest competitors to PSU at this juncture.
Four-star DE Elijah Jeudy
Jeudy may be in the crosshairs for Penn State for a second time, as the in-state standout previously committed to Georgia, but reopened his recruitment in September. Penn State initially offered the Philadelphia resident in April 2019, and he has visited campus several times. However, prior to his initial pledge to the Bulldogs, Penn State did not even make the cut for his final five teams – a collection that also included LSU, Oregon, Texas A&M, and Tennessee. However, Jeudy previously played at Northeast High School under former Penn State standout Deion Barnes, who joined the PSU staff in February. Jeudy plans to make his decision on signing day, and Texas A&M could be in the driver’s seat.
Four-star OG Drew Kendall
Penn State has typically enjoyed success recruiting in New England, and Kendall, a Dedham, Massachusetts native, ranks as a top ten guard in the entire nation. Penn State extended an offer to the 260-pounder in April, but Boston College and Michigan appear to be the current frontrunners for his services.
Four-star DT George Rooks
With just one defensive lineman in the fold for 2021 thus far, the Nittany Lions will likely look to bolster that unit. Rooks, from Jersey City, New Jersey, was initially offered in June 2018. Rated as the second-best player in New Jersey, Rooks seemingly also has interest in Michigan.
Three-star DE Davon Townley
While not nearly as heralded as another Penn State target, Rodney Gallagher, Townley has the potential to play both football and basketball at the college level. The Minneapolis native was offered by the Nittany Lions in June, and he recently received both football and basketball offers from Tennessee. It could be hard to pull him away from the home state Golden Gophers, however.
Three-star DE Keith Cooper
Cooper is a new addition to the list, as he was offered by Penn State on Monday. From Dickinson, Texas, Cooper has also garnered Big Ten offers from Indiana, Minnesota, and Illinois.
Speaking to Cooper’s recent offer, Penn State has previously had success with securing commitments from players the team offered late in the process. The Nittany Lions will likely extend more offers between now and early February, and if past years are any indication, some of those players could turn out to be significant contributors.
In the Class of 2019, Penn State offered three future commits within the final few months. Defensive linemen Smith Vilbert and Joseph Appiah Darkwa received offers in November and January, respectively, while defensive back Daquan Hardy was offered just hours before the February signing day.
In 2017, Penn State extended late offers to running back Journey Brown and linebacker Ellis Brooks, both of whom ascended to the starting lineup for the Nittany Lions.
Similarly, the Class of 2016 received a late boost with the addition of defensive tackle Antonio Shelton, who was offered in January of that year.
PSU makes the cut for White, Driver
A pair of notable Class of 2022 players recently trimmed down their list of prospective teams, and the Nittany Lions made the cut for both players.
Five-star Philadelphia defensive end Enai White, the top player in the state in 2022, included Penn State on his 13-team list released on Monday. White, who plays at Imhotep Institute, also included Ohio State, Clemson, Oklahoma, LSU, Alabama, Texas, Tennessee, Southern Cal, Ole Miss, Florida, Oregon, and Miami.
Additionally, on Friday, four-star safety Cristian Driver had the Nittany Lions among his dozen teams. Other teams consisted of Oregon, Nebraska, Texas A&M, LSU, Wisconsin, Ohio State, Florida, Alabama, Michigan, Texas, and Oklahoma. Driver, from Argyle, Texas, is the son of former NFL receiver Donald Driver, who was coached by Penn State head coach James Franklin in Green Bay.