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PSU Football Recruiting

Recruiting notebook: Breaking down offensive commits, and top targets left at each position

Photo from Mehki Flowers Twitter

With Penn State garnering its 12th commitment in the Class of 2022 earlier this week, it seems likely that the Nittany Lions are about halfway to the finish line. With a reasonable estimate that the class will consist of 23-25 players, the Nittany Lions should really begin to narrow their focus to select targets at key positions. Here’s a look at the recruiting board on offense, which includes the players already committed, and who else might join the group as the cycle progresses.

Quarterback

Commits: 2 (Drew Allar, Beau Pribula)

Projected spots remaining: 0

Notable targets: None

Penn State was always expected to take a pair of signalcallers in this class, and it appears as though the work is all but finished for the Nittany Lions. Pribula, a smaller but athletic QB in the mold of Trace McSorely, was among the initial members of the Class of 2022, while Allar, who has prototypical size and impressive arm strength, joined the mix in March. Earlier in June, the QBs simultaneously reaffirmed their intentions to be pillars of the Nittany Lions’ class, as they shut down their recruitment. Barring an unforeseen change, it’s unlikely that Penn State will even offer another QB in the class, let alone push for a commitment.

Running back

Commits: 0

Projected spots remaining: 2

Notable targets: Nicholas Singleton, George Pettaway, Kaytron Allen, Omarion Hampton, Ramon Brown, Damari Alston

After failing to add a running back via the recruiting class in 2021, Penn State is almost certainly in the market to add a pair this year. The potential options are enticing, as the Nittany Lions are squarely in the mix for at least a half dozen four-star talents. Singleton, from Reading, Pennsylvania, represents the highest rated of those options, and he’s also a priority as Penn State puts more emphasis back in recruiting the Keystone State. Singleton released his nine finalists in March, but Penn State, Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Texas A&M, and Alabama were the schools that received his official visits. Pettaway, ranked just one spot behind Singleton, took an OV to Michigan last weekend, and he’ll be at Penn State this week, while Florida and UNC also appear to be among his top options. Allen was among a small group of official visitors at Penn State the first weekend of June, and he’s also taken OVs to Florida and Georgia since, as well as an unofficial stop at Florida State. While he attends IMG Academy in Florida, Allen hails from Virginia. Hampton, from North Carolina, was among the most touted players to take an OV to Penn State last weekend. His previous visits went to Florida and Auburn, while Ohio State is on the ledger for this weekend. However, nearby UNC also represents a major contender in his recruitment. Brown visited PSU earlier this month, and his other treks included WVU, South Carolina, Maryland, and Virginia Tech this weekend. All five of those schools, as well as Kentucky and Virginia, were listed among his top seven in May. From Atlanta, Georgia, Alston will make his official visit to Penn State this weekend. He’s had perhaps the busiest month of any of the aforementioned targets, as he’s taken OVs to LSU and Northwestern, as well as unofficial trips to Florida, Georgia Tech, Florida State and UNC, and he also attended a camp at Auburn. While there’s more than a dozen other uncommitted players who hold a PSU offer, it seems like it’d be a disappointment if the Nittany Lions can’t secure at least out of the aforementioned group.

Wide receiver

Commits: 3-4 (Kaden Saunders, Anthony Ivey, Tyler Johnson, Mehki Flowers)

Projected spots remaining: 0-1

Notable targets: Darrius Clemons, Nicholas Anderson, (possibly) Cristian Driver

While Saunders and Ivey have been anchors of the Class of 2022 receiving corps for quite some time, Johnson became the newest addition earlier this week. He has been a fast riser who only received his offer last month. Flowers, meanwhile, could potentially land at either receiver or at safety. Regardless of Flowers’ future position, Penn State would likely add Clemons if he wanted to join the class. Clemons, from Portland, Oregon, is the top player in his state, is rated as the 20th-best WR in the entire class, and boasts more size (6-foot-3, 205 pounds) than any of the PSU commits at the position. He’ll visit Penn State this weekend, following trips to Auburn, Southern Cal, and Michigan. Oregon, Notre Dame, Arizona, Stanford, Northwestern, and Oregon State are his other top choices. Anderson, a four-star Texas native, took an OV to PSU earlier in June, along with Southern Cal, Notre Dame, and Oregon this upcoming weekend. Driver, meanwhile, is more likely to be a safety, but his versatility means he could at least be in the discussion at wide receiver, the position at which his father, Donald Driver, excelled. With so many moving parts, the Nittany Lions could potentially end up taking anywhere from three to five players at WR.

Tight end

Commits: 1 (Jerry Cross)

Projected spots remaining: 0-1

Notable targets: None

Earlier this year, Penn State had a pair of tight end commits in Cross and Holden Staes, but the latter ended his commitment to the Nittany Lions in February, and has since pledged to Notre Dame. Cross recently reaffirmed his decision, and Penn State has been relatively quiet in regard to identifying and pursuing other targets. Among the players Penn State has offered, Jaleel Skinner is the top ranked, and he’s still uncommitted, but he did not include PSU among his top 10 teams last month. Two other uncommitted tight ends also hold an offer from the Nittany Lions, but it doesn’t seem like either of them are realistic targets currently. Micah Riley-Ducker, a three-star prospect who is on the cusp of four-star status, has already taken four official visits this month, and he’s expected to utilize his fifth and final OV to Iowa this weekend. Three-star prospect Jack Nickel decommitted from Notre Dame in April, but Michigan State, Virginia Tech, and Cal appear to be the top contenders at this point for the Georgia native. Penn State still has months to extend new offers at the position, but as of now, it seems likely that Cross will be the lone TE in the class.

Offensive line

Commits: 2 (Drew Shelton, Maleek McNeil)

Projected spots remaining: 1-3

Notable targets: Aamil Wagner, Gunner Givens, Ryan Brubaker, Andre Roye, JB Nelson

Shelton represents a four-star talent who hails from Downington, Pennsylvania, but he transferred to IMG Academy over the winter, and has since visited Florida. Keeping him committed to Penn State will perhaps be more important than adding any of the uncommitted targets. McNeil, meanwhile, joined the Nittany Lions’ class in May. Wagner, from Dayton, Ohio, will take his final official visit to Penn State this weekend. His preceding OVs included Ohio State, Kentucky, Notre Dame, and Maryland. Ranked 110th overall, Wagner would become the highest rated member of the offensive line if he were to join the Nittany Lions Class of 2022. Givens released a top six in November, but he’s only taken OVs to Penn State and Virginia Tech. Standing 6-foot-5, 290 pounds, Givens played tight end earlier in his high-school career at Lord Botetourt in Daleville, Virginia. Brubaker, an in-state target who plays for Cocalico, has Penn State in his blood, as his father, Jeff, was a member of the Nittany Lions’ 1986 National Championship squad. In addition to a stop at Penn State this month, Brubaker also took visits to Stanford, South Carolina, and Tennessee, while a trip to Vanderbilt remains. Roye took his official visit to Penn State last weekend, and shortly afterwards, he released his top six, a group that included PSU, Rutgers, Maryland, Arizona State, Stanford, and Boston College. Roye is a three-star talent from Baltimore, Maryland, who attends St. Frances Academy. Lastly, Nelson plays at Lackawanna College, which has been a pipeline for Penn State during James Franklin’s tenure. Originally from Mount Lebanon, Pennsylvania, Nelson is unranked. His other offers consist of WVU, Maryland, NC State, and Ole Miss. Adding five total offensive linemen in this class would not be shocking, but with some top options already off the board, the Nittany Lions may opt for a smaller haul in 2022.

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Commentator, host and writer for high-school and college sports, including @WestmorelandSN, @CarlowCeltics, @PACSports, @PSNKsports and Latrobe Bulletin.

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