Ladies and gentlemen, Lamont Wade!
Hometown/High School: Clairton, PA/Clairton H.S.
Height & Weight: 5-foot-9, 190 pounds
Recruited By: Terry Smith
Starz ‘n Sheetz
Rankings: Five-star on Rivals and Scout; Four-star on 247Sports and ESPN
Offers: Penn State, Pittsburgh, Tennessee, UCLA, West Virginia, Alabama, Auburn, Boston College, Maryland, Michigan, Nebraska, North Carolina, Northwestern, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Syracuse, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech, and Wisconsin
From essentially the moment Lamont Wade stepped on Clairton’s football field in 9th grade, he’s been a legitimate Division-I recruit. The WPIAL cornerback earned early offers from Pitt, Temple, and West Virginia, before seeing his offer list grow to include some of the nation’s elite programs; obviously, including Penn State.
Since James Franklin’s tenure has started in Happy Valley, he’s harped about how important relationships are in recruiting. Nothing points to that better than Wade’s recruitment, as Franklin and cornerbacks coach Terry Smith have developed a bond with Wade over the last three seasons that can’t be stated enough. While Penn State’s Big Ten Championship season obviously had a lot to do with Wade ending up in the Blue and White, Franklin and Smith deserve a ton of credit. They made Wade a priority from the start, and now with his commitment, they’ve been rewarded.
Now with Wade in the fold, Penn State’s 2017 class rises from No. 15 to No. 13. Wade is the Nittany Lions’ highest ranked recruit, and will be the third cornerback in the class, joining D.J. Brown and Donovan Johnson, who also committed earlier this week.
Wade is about as complete a football player that Penn State has gotten in sometime. Really, the only thing he’s lacking is length, but besides for that there are few concerns about Wade. He’s a great athlete, and a smart, tough football player. Natural cornerback that has the instincts and swagger you want out of someone in the secondary. Also offers some versatility as he could slide over to safety due to his muscular build and tackling ability.
Wade will be enrolling early, and because he’s already pretty physically developed, the chances that he’ll need a redshirt are slim. Even with Penn State bringing back Grant Haley, John Reid, Christian Campbell, and Amani Oruwariye, it’s going to be tough to keep Wade off the field.
Beyond next season, Wade should find himself in contention for a starting spot. He has the makings of a multi-year starter, and a future captain of the team.
Welcome to Happy Valley, Lamont!