Paris Palmer, ladies and gentlemen!
Photo Credit: Sean Fitz (Lions247)
Home/HS/CC: Plymouth (NC)/Plymouth/Lackawanna C.C.
Recruited By: Herb Hand
Starz 'n Sheetz:
Stars: 4* 247Sports, Rivals, Scout, ESPN
Offer Sheet: Arizona State, Baylor, Cincinnati, East Carolina, Miami, Missouri, Ohio State, South Carolina (de-committed 12/11/14), South Florida, Temple
You check out the rest of Paris' Hudl tape right here.
I can confirm. Lackawanna JUCO OL Paris Palmer has committed to #PennState— Ryan Snyder (@RivalsSnyder) December 13, 2014
Paris Palmer originally committed to South Carolina back on March 23. After appearing to be destined to stick with the Gamecocks, everything changed once November rolled around. Palmer was a name that didn't really jump into play for the Nittany Lions until he took an official visit for the Michigan State game on Thanksgiving weekend, where he reportedly had a great time. After taking that visit, reports were that the Lions had pulled to nearly even in the race to get Palmer's signature with South Carolina.
Since the regular season has ended, Penn State's coaching staff made a very noticeable effort with Palmer, especially when compared with South Carolina's. James Franklin made sure he was present for the in-home visit to Palmer's house, while Steve Spurrier wasn't originally planning on putting in a similar effort. Whether it was that reason, or something else is yet to be seen, but the difference between how the two staffs handled the situation surely played a part in Palmer's flip to the Nittany Lions. A day after de-committing from the Gamecocks, Palmer is officially a Nittany Lion.
Palmer is expected to come in and make an immediate difference, and will be expected to challenge for and earn a starting spot right away. Needles to say, this is huge for a Penn State program that could use as much offensive line talent as it can get. After starting at left tackle for Lackawanna, he clearly understands the position, and has the absolutely dominating size to be able to handle it at the D1 level. He will be able to dominate his matchup with his length and his strength, not to mention the very solid footwork. He is exactly what the team needs, and everything they could have possibly hoped for in terms of an instant upgrade. Possibly the biggest advantage that Palmer provides though, is versatility.
Donovan Smith has flashed his potential from time to time the last few seasons, but has yet to do anything consistently for the Nittany Lions. Paris Palmer has the ability to step in and take over Smith's spot at LT right away, which gives Franklin and Herb Hand a ton of options as far as how to arrange their starting five. They could elect to move Donovan Smith inside to left guard, and try to create a dominant side of the line to work behind, or they could move him over to right tackle. Doing so would then allow Andrew Nelson to move inside to guard or center, where he may be better off based on what we saw from him last season. In fact, in my absolute ideal world, one of the redshirt freshman shows enough to warrant getting a shot at right tackle, allowing the Lions to run out an offensive line of Palmer-D. Smith-Mangiro/Laurent-Nelson-Sorrell/Brosnan/Beh.
Regardless of what the lineup ends up looking like, adding Palmer makes Herb Hand's job infinitely easier than it was last season, and should allow for the team to better protect Christian Hackenberg for the 2015 season. Being able to flip the long committed #1 Junior College offensive tackle is a massive accomplishment for James Franklin and Herb Hand. Palmer will have a chance to become an impact player right away for Penn State, which is something that he wouldn't have been able to do most other places.
Palmer's commitment brings Penn State's 2015 class to 20. You can follow Palmer on twitter at @C_R_E_A_M_75.
Welcome to Penn State, Paris!