The second commitment of the weekend is another linebacker to add to the tradition of Linebacker U. Shaka Toney, ladies and gentlemen!
Hometown/High School: Philadelphia, PA/Imhotep Institute
Recruited By: Josh Gattis and Brent Pry
Starz n' Sheetz:
Starz: 3* 247, Rivals, Scout, Not ranked on ESPN
Sheetz: Penn State, Buffalo, Duke, UMass, North Carolina, 5B, Rutgers, Temple, Vanderbilt
Penn State's second commit of the day is three-star Philadelphia native Shaka Toney. Welcome to the family, @toney_7!— Black Shoe Diaries (@BSDtweet) July 18, 2015
Shaka Toney has been on Penn State's radar for some time now, and has long been one of the staff's primary targets for outside linebacker. He's been rumored to have been ready to commit at any moment, and he finally felt ready to do so this weekend at the Lasch Bash in front of nearly the entire 2016 recruiting class and many other targets.
While his ranking may not be the highest in the class, he's someone who the staff has held very in very high regards for some time. The staff has been known to be very fond of players who truly dominate at the high school level and are leaders for their squads. Well, Toney is coming off a junior season where he racked up 90 tackles and 17 sacks, so I'd say he fits the bill.
Toney's commitment puts Penn State in an interesting spot for it's remaining linebacker target, Aaron Hansford. Hansford also plays the outside linebacker position, and while he and Toney are certainly different players with different skill sets, they are far more similar than Toney and, say, Brendan Ferns.
(Speaking of Ferns, before you ask, this does not affect his recruitment.)
As mentioned, Toney is very much an outside linebacker, and is destined to fill that role in college. While fellow new commit Cam Brown could still grow into a defensive end, Toney will likely stick at linebacker. That's not to say he doesn't have the same versatility though, just to a slightly lesser extent. The staff still has plenty of options left on the board with guys like Oluwole Betiku and possibly Terrell Hall at defensive end, as well as Aaron Hansford at outside linebacker, so Toney and Brown's flexibility is a great weapon for the staff.
Toney's commitment brings Penn State's 2016 class to 18, and also moves them up to the number six class in the country according to 247Sports.
You can follow Shaka on twitter at @toney_7.
Welcome to Penn State, Shaka!