On Thursday, Penn State took a few hits on the recruiting trail as four-star quarterback Marcus Stokes decomitted and flipped to Florida. Next, 4-star running back Treyaun Webb, who was reportedly a Nittany Lions lean, also committed to Florida over Penn State. Finally, 4-star wide receiver Cameron Seldon selected Tennessee over the Nittany Lions.
As much as Thursday afternoon stung, Penn State will be fine, and here is why.
Stokes was not a fit at Penn State
Stokes is a dual-threat quarterback that thrives best in the spread offense. He is only 6-foot-1, 180-pounds, and he may not have the size to handle the rigors of the physicality of playing in the Big Ten. Although he will be playing against Georgia and Alabama in the SEC, he will be playing more finesse teams and playing in better weather in the south, and a player like Stokes would be better off in Gainesville.
They already have better young quarterbacks and skill players
Drew Allar is thought to be the best quarterback in the 2022 recruiting class, and if all goes well, a future first-round pick in the NFL. He has prototypical arm talent, can move well enough in the pocket, and if he can learn the playbook, he could live up to the hype. Christian Veilleux has very similar traits as Allar, and he had playing time last year and threw for three touchdowns in a game last year against Rutgers. Beau Pribula would have more hype if it wasn’t for Allar. He may not have the big arm as the other two, but it is more than good enough, and he is more mobile than them. Stokes would be at best the fourth-string quarterback, possibly redshirt, and most likely go into the transfer portal. The quarterback position was a luxury in the 2023 recruiting cycle, not a necessity for Penn State.
The same thing goes for Webb. Penn State already has freshman Nicholas Singleton, who won almost every national award you can think of and is being compared to Nick Chubb and Saquan Barkley. Kayron Allen is also a big, physical back that has the total package with pass-catching ability, excellent vision, and breakaway speed. Webb will be buried on the depth chart and may wind up hitting the transfer portal as well. I haven’t even mentioned the depth at wide receiver on the roster as well as 2023 commits at the position made Seldon a luxury as well.
They will have everything that they need this cycle
The main objective for Penn State in this recruiting cycle (and should be every cycle) is to improve in the trenches on both sides of the ball. They have done that with the commitments of Alex Birchmeier, Anthony Donkoh, and J’ven Williams. One player I did not include is recent 247Sports Crystal Ball prediction four-star offensive tackle Evan Link. On the defensive front, they got commitments from Jameial Lyons, Tommarian Parker, and Tyriq Blanding. They will most likely add in-state running back London Montgomery. However, the cherry on top of this recruiting class would be the commitment of four-star linebackers Tony Rojas and Ta’Mere Robinson.
All in all, losing out on Stokes, Webb, and Seldon may be a letdown, but Penn State was better off going for substance over styles.