When receiver/defensive back Mehki Flowers gave his verbal pledge to Penn State last week, he added another talented piece to the Nittany Lions’ second-ranked Class of 2022.
More specifically, he became the fifth Pennsylvania player to commit to Penn State, all of whom are ranked among the top 12 in the state. Flowers (No. 4), offensive lineman Drew Shelton (*No. 5), defensive end Ken Talley (No. 7), wide receiver Anthony Ivey (No. 8), and quarterback Beau Pribula (No. 12) already give the Nittany Lions an impressive haul in the state for this class, a stark contrast to 2021.
With James Franklin seemingly motivated to revert back to his “dominate the state” mantra, here’s a look at the other players who currently rank as the top 12 prospects in Pennsylvania via the 247 Sports Composite. Several of these remaining players represent priority targets for the Nittany Lions, while others have yet to even receive an offer from Penn State.
Although Shelton recently announced his intentions to relocate to Florida and play his senior year at IMG Academy, he’s still considered a Pennsylvania prospect for now.
No. 1 Enai White – defensive end, 6-5, 230
Rating: 5-star, 98.45, 29th nationally
High School/Hometown: Imhotep Institute/Philadelphia
White is not only the top recruit in the state, but he’s in the discussion for the best defensive end in the entire class. Playing at the same charter school that produced Nittany Lions standout pass rusher Shaka Toney, White could follow that same path to Penn State. The Nittany Lions offered White in May 2019, and he visited campus on multiple occasions since then. Last May, White included the Nittany Lions among his top 20 teams, but he hinted recently that he will pare down that list to six. Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas A&M, USC, Washington, and Big Ten schools Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio State, and Rutgers are among his significant offers.
No. 2 Keenan Nelson – cornerback, 6-1, 200
Rating: 4-star, 96.27, 82nd nationally
High School/Hometown: St. Joseph Prep/Philadelphia
Despite being a top 100 player in the Class of 2022, Nelson was largely overshadowed this past season on St. Joe’s, as he played alongside three seniors who garnered significant attention en route to winning the PIAA Class 6A Championship. Nelson already has great size for a corner, and could potentially shift to other positions on the defensive side. The Nittany Lions scored a major recruit at defensive back from St. Joe’s Prep in the Class of 2015, with John Reid, but Penn State has missed on several key targets at the school since then, including D’Andre Swift, Kyle McCord, and Marvin Harrison Jr. The Nittany Lions extended their offer this past March. Other notable schools that have offered include Arizona State, Georgia, Miami, Notre Dame, Oregon, Virginia Tech, and West Virginia, as well as Big Ten schools Michigan State, Nebraska, Rutgers, and Wisconsin.
No. 3 Nicholas Singleton – running back, 5-11, 195
Rating: 4-star, 95.27, 111th nationally
High School/Hometown: Governor Mifflin/Reading
James Franklin boasts a strong track record with Pennsylvania running backs during his time at Penn State, a list that includes Saquon Barkley, Miles Sanders, and Journey Brown. Singleton could be the top target at the position for PSU in the class, especially as it appears likely that the Nittany Lions will not recruit a running back in the Class of 2021. This past season, Singleton was instrumental in Governor Mifflin capturing the first district title in team history. His offer sheet lists Arizona State, Florida, Notre Dame, UNC, USC, Virginia Tech, and WVU, as well as Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Northwestern, Ohio State, Rutgers, and Wisconsin within the Big Ten. Penn State extended an offer in July 2019.
No. 6 Anthony Johnson – inside linebacker, 6-1, 230
Rating: 4-star, 93.41, 165 nationally
High School/Hometown: Neumann Goretti/Philadelphia
Another player from the Philadelphia Catholic League, Johnson could be an option to continue the strong tradition at linebacker for Penn State. The Nittany Lions have recruited the position extremely well in recent seasons, and Johnson is one of the better prospects at LB in 2022. His notable offers consist of Alabama, Oregon, Pittsburgh, Texas A&M, Virginia Tech, and WVU, in addition to Big Ten options Nebraska, Ohio State, and Rutgers. The Nittany Lions extended an offer nearly two years ago, in January 2019, and Penn State was among the schools he has visited. Penn State recently had another Anthony (TJ) Johnson on the roster, a defensive back from Ohio who was with the Nittany Lions in 2016 and 17.
No. 9 Abdul Carter – outside linebacker, 6-3, 220
Rating: 4-star, 90.08, 290th nationally
High School/Hometown: La Salle College/Glenside
Carter is the first of two La Salle players in the top 10 in Pennsylvania, and he’s garnered offers from Kentucky, Ole Miss, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Tennessee, and USC, as well as Maryland, Michigan, and Rutgers in the Big Ten. The Nittany Lions extended an offer last April.
No. 10 Samuel Brown – running back, 6-1, 195
Rating: 4-star, 89.50, 311th nationally
High School/Hometown: La Salle College/Glenside
Another player from La Salle College, Brown has yet to garner an offer from Penn State, although he visited the Nittany Lions previously. Brown released his top 11 list on Dec. 31, which included Arizona State, Cincinnati, Duke, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Texas A&M, Virginia, WVU, and Big Ten options Michigan State, Nebraska, and Rutgers.
No. 11 Tyreese Fearbry – defensive end, 6-5, 210
Rating: 4-star, 89.50, 318th nationally
High School/Hometown: Perry Traditional Academy/Pittsburgh
The top-rated player from the Pittsburgh area, Fearbry was just offered by the Nittany Lions today. His offers include Arizona State, Cincinnati, Coastal Carolina, Kentucky, Toledo, Pittsburgh, and West Virginia, as well as Michigan State from the Big Ten. Perry Traditional Academy is a member of the Pittsburgh City League, as opposed to the WPIAL.