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.
To read up on all of the other members of the 2016 recruiting class, simply head back to the main draft board, where recruits will be added as their official letters of intent roll in.
* * *
Shane Simmons was the second player to verbally commit to Penn State, way back in July of 2014. At the time, it was thought the race to keep him in the fold leading up to today. Instead, he became not only one of the most talented members of the class, earning a 5-star rating from 247 sports, but also one of the biggest leaders in the group. Today, with zero drama, he officially becomes a Nittany Lion.
The first National Letter of Intent is in and @Shizzeee_ is officially a #PennState Wild Dog! #WeAre pic.twitter.com/JStUpl5YVk— Penn State Football (@PennStateFball) February 3, 2016
|Position||Weak-side defensive end|
|High School||DeMatha Catholic (Md.)|
|Positional Rank||#41 player overall, #4 weak-side defensive end, #2 player in Maryland|
|Commitment Date||July 30, 2014|
When Shane verbally committed in 2014, he was one of the elite pass rushers in the country. After a junior season, and 2015 camp circuit that did not meet expectations, questions began to arise over whether he was more athlete, than football player. A dominant senior season, and even better performance at the Under Armour All American game quelled those fears, shooting him back up the national rankings.
That first step, and all around very good speed, are still his best attribute, but his hands are very underrated. As he gets stronger, and works with Coach Spencer, it only figures he will only add to that athleticism you cannot teach.
Shane himself said he expects to redshirt his first year, and learn the position, but he may prove to be too good to keep off of the field. He is a bit small for a defensive end at only 222 pounds, but at least early in his career, there may be a role for him as a rush linebacker. In either case, Penn State has not only a very gifted player to add to a talented defense, but one that is passionate about his school, and ready to make a big impact.