Welcome to Black Shoe Diaries' coverage of National Signing Day 2016. Our goal is to make sure that you know everything you need to know about every member of Penn State's 2016 recruiting class, including what fans should expect from them, some highlight tape and more. We truly appreciate you taking the time to follow along with our coverage of all things Penn State recruiting-related over the past year, and we can't wait to continue to ramp up our coverage for 2017. So whether you've been reading the site for years, or a first-time reader who just stumbled upon Black Shoe Diaries, we hope you stick around.
With National Signing Day just a week away, we're kicking off our coverage by introducing the early enrollees. We finish our coverage of the early enrollees with Danny Dalton.
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Over the last few years, tight end has seemingly been a position of strength for Penn State. The Nittany Lions always seem to have some really talented guys at the position, and even though they aren't always putting up Gronk-esque numbers, you always feel like any of them could break out in a big way in the passing game at any time.
This is where Danny Dalton comes in. The three-star tight end out of Massachusetts is a really talented pass catcher, the kind of guy who can be a quarterback's best friend with some seasoning, but at the very worst is going to be a solid, consistent receiver. After committing to Boston College in February of 2015, Dalton de-committed a month later, received an offer from James Franklin in April of 2015, and on May 16, he became a Nittany Lion.
It's a special visit weekend in Happy Valley. #B1G welcome to Danny Dalton and our mid-year enrollees! #WeAre pic.twitter.com/MqABBJJYwf— Penn State Football (@PennStateFball) December 11, 2015
|High School||Marshfield (Ma.)|
|Positional Rank||#21 tight end, #1 player in Massachusetts|
|Commitment Date||May 16, 2015|
Like a lot of guys coming out of high school, Dalton is really good at one of the primary things that a tight end is supposed to do (catching footballs) and needs to improve at the other primary thing that a tight end is supposed to do (block people). Physically, he's a big dude who can afford to put on a few more pounds and isn't the fastest tight end on earth, but Dalton is refined as a pass catcher with solid hands. He shows some flashes as a blocker, but that's one of those things that he'll get better at as his career goes on and he gets more work at the college level. He isn't the physical freak of nature that some tight ends are, but he has the potential to be a steady and consistent tight end in college.
Could Dalton step in and make an impact as a pass-catching tight end this year? Absolutely, especially considering that he's already on campus. But the tight end depth chart has a number of guys on it – Mike Gesicki and Brent Wilkerson are the veterans while Nick Bowers and Jonathan Holland (if he sticks at tight end) are redshirt freshmen – so it may be prudent to get Dalton in the weight room and have him work on his ability as a blocker for his first year on campus. It wouldn't be a surprise at all if he plays well during spring ball and gets a fair amount of playing time as a freshman, but we'll take the pessimistic approach and say he redshirts.