Will Fries, ladies and gentlemen!
Home/HS: Cranford, NJ/Cranford Senior High School
Weight: 270 lbs
Recruited By: Ricky Rahne, Herb Hand
Starz 'n Sheetz:
Stars: 4* Rivals, 3* 24/7, ESPN, Scout
Offer Sheet: Army, Boston College, Clemson, Duke, Maryland, Miami, Michigan, N.C. State, North Carolina, Northwestern, Old Dominion, Pitt, Rutgers, South Carolina, Syracuse, UMass, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, Wisconsin
#WeAre.....Better!!! Big Time! Big piece to the puzzle man the future is bright! Now back to the playoffs i don't care who wins we just did!— Josh Gattis (@Coach_Gattis) June 10, 2015
Thank you to all coaches that recruited me. I am honored to announce I will be continuing my athletic and academic career at Penn State!— Will Fries (@willfries55) June 10, 2015
It took some time, but James Franklin finally got his first recruit out of the state of New Jersey in the class of 2016. That recruit would be Will Fries, a 3/4-star offensive lineman out of Cranford Senior High School. He is the No. 10 player in the Garden State, the No. 40 offensive tackle in the country and the nation's 402nd-best recruit in the class of 2016, according to 24/7's composite rankings.
It was long assumed that Fries would eventually decide to play for Franklin, as his Crystal Ball was 87 percent Penn State (the other 13 percent of predictions belonged to Rutgers). As we discussed on the last episode of the Black Shoe Podcast, with how spaces for offensive linemen were filling up quickly in this class, it's not too surprising that Fries pulled the trigger.
With Fries' commitment, Penn State now has 10 players in the class of 2016 and four offensive linemen. He bumps Penn State up to the No. 11 class in the country, while the Nittany Lions' class is still No. 3 in the Big Ten.
Of course, Fries likely won't play until 2018 at the earliest, but he has the potential to be a really nice offensive linemen. His position is a bit up in the air, as he has played both guard and tackle in high school and the Nittany Lions are bringing in two other guys who project as tackles in Michal Menet and Alex Gellerstedt.
Still, no matter what, Fries will probably need to get a bit bigger, as he is 6'6" and 270 lbs. He has a huge frame and has the raw tools to eventually be a really good player, but Franklin, John Donovan and Herb Hand need to figure out where he will be the most successful along Penn State's offensive line.
The good news is, at the very least, Fries is going to provide valuable depth along the Nittany Lions' offensive line. While his ability to play anywhere will need to be addressed, it does mean that he can plug in for anyone if need be and, as long as he is coached up properly (his OL coach is Herb Hand, so he will be), he's going to be successful. Now, if Fries is able to add 20-30 lbs. and can keep his mean streak – which ESPN really likes – he's going to compete for a starting spot somewhere on the line.
As you saw above, Fries is on the Twitter machine. Give him a follow, you can find him at @willfries55.
Welcome to Penn State, Will!