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Penn State Football

James Franklin Hints At Recruiting Focus For Penn State

Head coach James Franklin falls to 4-16 against Ohio State and Michigan.

Penn State coach James Franklin held a Thursday press conference recapping the team’s performance on Early Signing Day. He also seemed to give a hint towards his staff’s recruiting strategy for the recruiting class of 2025, focusing on one player in particular. 


Franklin pointed out how his staff managed to bring the top ranked player in the state of Pennsylvania in each of the past two recruiting classes: both Nick Singleton, the 2022 Big Ten Freshman of the Year, and Belle Vernon athlete Quinton Martin, who will enroll at State College in January.

“It’s awesome. We’ve got a pretty good run going right now, again, with the state of Pennsylvania and the No. 1 player in the state of Pennsylvania,” Franklin said. “We’ve got to do it again next year. That’s not looking as promising right now as it has been the last couple years, but we’re going to battle and to find a way to get that one done as well.”

In accordance with NCAA rules, Franklin didn’t specify who he was talking about. College coaches can’t mention recruits by name until they sign their Letter of Intent or a financial aid agreement, but that doesn’t mean we’re in the dark about who Franklin could’ve been referring to. 

Who Does Penn State Want?

As it stands, the top recruit for the Class of 2025 is 6-foot-6, 230-pound Imhotep Charter defensive end Zahir Mathis, a reigning state champion who earned high school All-American honors from a number of publications. 

Mathis holds more than thirty Division 1 offers and is amidst the grueling process of narrowing down where he wants to go to school. When Mathis tweeted out the top five offers he wants to focus on in October, he named Ohio State, Florida State, Texas, Tennessee and South Carolina—notably, no Penn State. 

As Franklin alluded, Penn State would face an uphill battle in trying to wiggle its way back into Mathis’ recruiting process. 

It sounds like Penn State plans to pull out all the stops in attempting to secure the recruiting coup, though, and Franklin mentioned the role that players like Martin and Singleton can play in helping to recruit the talented young pass rusher.

“They have a responsibility to help us sign the No. 1 player in the state next year, as well,” Franklin said. “We take a lot of pride in that.”

Penn State has enjoyed success recruiting Imhotep recently, signing four-star recruits Tyseer Denmark and Kenny Woseley II earlier this week.

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