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.
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Tuesday night at 9:30, Shaka Toney looked as good as gone. Tuesday night at 10:30, Shaka Toney re-affirmed his commitment to Penn State and new defensive coordinator Brent Pry. Recruiting is wild as hell, you guys. Whatever happened, yet another Pitt flip for a Penn State commit looked imminent, and instead Penn State retains a guy they really like. Keeping him away from Western PA, Temple (where decommit Karamo Dioubate may well end up by the end of the day), and in State College gives Penn State a prospect on the edge with legitimate speed, a guy who had a big senior year.
Another Wild Dog joins the family - Welcome to our newest Nittany Lion, Shaka Toney! #PSUSigningDay pic.twitter.com/q67z1yMpZ3— Penn State Football (@PennStateFball) February 3, 2016
|Position||Weak-side defensive end/Outside linebacker|
|High School||Imhotep Institute (Pa.)|
|Positional Rank||#61 weak-side defensive end, #20 player in Pennsylvania|
|Commitment Date||July 18, 2015|
The first thing you notice about Toney when you watch tape is his speed. Specifically, his first step is tremendous. When playing on the line, he's in the backfield in a flash, constantly putting pressure on quarterbacks before they can do much about it. This, despite the fact that he plays on the weak side, in the line of sight for right-handed QBs. That speed allows him to rack up sacks, QB hurries, and batted balls at an excellent rate. There are areas to work on, like using his hands more often rather than relying exclusively on speed, which he won't be able to do in college. His height and subsequent wingspan help him against the run, but he's very thin and can get swallowed up against bigger linemen who he can't beat on the first move. There isn't nearly as much tape on him at linebacker obviously, but in a small sample size he has decent instincts in coverage but hasn't shown much more than average lateral movement ability. Of course, with his natural speed, if he plays standing up that could change.
He probably projects as a hybrid outside pass rusher in his current state, but Toney can be molded. A full season with Dwight Galt will do him well, and if he can add serious muscle to his long frame while maintaining his speed, he has serious upside as a pass rusher. In the meantime, he will almost certainly redshirt.