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PSU Football Recruiting

Signing day central: PSU got dominated in the state

Penn State signed all 15 of its commits on national signing day Wednesday. The program used several former players, such as Micah Parsons, KJ Hamler and Jason Cabinda, to introduce some of the signees.

We have the full list of commit videos and introductions below. For more information on each player who committed, here’s a good overview from our signing day preview.

You can watch James Franklin and director of player personnel Andy Frank discuss recruiting during their signing day press conferences.

Penn State has the No. 21 class in the nation, according to 247Sports. In the Rivals rankings, PSU’s class ranks 28th.

Where do other Big Ten teams rank? These are their 247Sports national rankings:

Ohio State: No. 2

Michigan: No. 10

Wisconsin: No. 16

Maryland: No. 19

PSU: No. 21

Minnesota: No. 22

Nebraska: No. 23

And for good measure …

Pitt: No. 25

The final analysis: There are some really good players in Penn State’s recruiting class. But for this program, with the goals it has and who it’s competing against for those goals, this class was disappointing.

There are a lot of different ways to break down this recruiting class, but one of the most glaring is this: James Franklin promised to “dominate the state” in recruiting when he got the Penn State job, but this year the Nittany Lions got dominated in the state by other teams.

Of the state’s top 10 recruits in the 247Sports rankings, only one signed with PSU. That was No. 7 Lonnie White Jr., a wide receiver and an intriguing prospect from Malvern Prep. He is going to play both football and baseball at Penn State.

Ohio State signed two of the top five players in Pennsylvania: No. 2 Kyle McCord (QB) and No. 5 Marvin Harrison Jr. (WR).

Pitt also signed two top 10 players: No. 6 Elliot Donald (DT) and No. 10 Nahki Johnson (DE).

Beyond the top 10 in PA, Penn State signed: No. 14 Nate Bruce (OG) and No. 17 Khalil Dinkins (TE).

After that, you’ve got to go all the way down to No. 36 Sander Sahaydak (K) to find another PSU signee. No other player among the 67 listed in PA signed with Penn State.

So, all in all, the Lions signed:

**Only 1 top 10 recruit in PA

**Only 3 top 20

**Only 4 top 50

Franklin addressed the in-state recruiting issues when he said this Tuesday, and both he and Andy Frank made similar comments Wednesday, which you can see in the videos above.

“You look at the number of Division I players in the state of Pennsylvania over the last 30 years, it’s changed,” Franklin said. “You look at the population in the state of Pennsylvania, it’s gone down. You look at the number of high school graduates in the state of Pennsylvania, it has gone down. Still really good football is played here, still really good players are playing here.

“But (Penn State) is also a place where you gotta come and see it, and you got to have a plan to come and see it, whether it’s a game or whether it’s a spring game or whether it’s a junior day during spring practice. It’s a special place. But you got to come see it.

“Not being able to do all those things, not having spring ball, not having summer, we’ve just had to be really creative in terms of how do we show the campus, how do we give a campus tour. How do we give a facilities tour, how do we build connections and bonds with people.”

Franklin didn’t sound like he was trying to make excuses, more so just laying it out how the state didn’t quite have the depth of talent this year. Penn State didn’t give out as many offers because of all that and the pandemic.

Still, no matter how you slice it, the results are the results. Penn State did not land its share of the top recruits in the state, and that cannot be debated.

Update: 11:50 a.m.

**De’Jahn Warren, a 4-star CB from Lackawanna College who was committed to Georgia, teased Penn State fans with some tweets last week. He did indeed decommit from Georgia. But instead of choosing Penn State, he has committed to Jackson State, an FCS team which is coached by Deion Sanders.

These were the tweets that Warren sent last week, igniting speculation he could be choosing PSU. The lesson here is you can’t read too much into these kids’ tweets.

The tweets have been deleted, so these are screen shots:


A look at all of the players who signed with PSU on Wednesday.

The first players signed were twins Kobe King (LB) and Kalen King (CB). They were introduced by former PSU star and current NFL star WR Allen Robinson.

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Next up is DE Rodney McGraw.


Next up is Jason Cabinda introducing LB Jamari Buddin.


Next up is Adrian Amos introducing S Zakee Wheatley.


Next up is CB Jeffrey Davis Jr.


Next up is WR Harrison Wallace.


Next up is K Sander Sahaydak.


Next up is KJ Hamler introducing S Jaylen Reed.


Next up is WR Liam Clifford, brother of PSU QB Sean Clifford.


Next up is WR Lonnie White Jr.


Next up is TE Khalil Dinkins.


Next up is Donovan Smith introducing OT Landon Tengwall.


Next up is Micah Parsons introducing OG Nate Bruce.


Next up is QB Christian Veilleux.

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Cory Giger is a 15-year veteran of the Penn State beat and a journalist with 28 years of experience. He has won more than 100 state and national journalism awards during his career, plus he's a voter for the Heisman Trophy in football and Wooden Award in basketball.

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