Upcoming Announcements For Pitts and Franklin
Penn State will have a chance to add to its recruiting class in the coming days, as safety Derek Pitts and linebacker Brailyn Franklin will be making commitments on July 27 (today) and August 2, respectively.
Pitts' decision to announce this early comes as a surprise. He was expected to hold off on a commitment until December or January, but after visits to Penn State and West Virginia in back-to-back weekends, Pitts has decided to forgo his original plan. Right now, it appears that West Virginia will be landing Pitts' verbal, but the process may not be over. Even if he ends up jumping onboard with the Mountaineers, Pitts is still likely to take visits during the season.
On the other hand, it would be quite the shock if Franklin doesn't pledge to the Nittany Lions next week. Since landing his Penn State offer, it was only a matter of time before the Virginia native made it official. Should things go as expected, Franklin will be joining Dylan Rivers and the newly committed Brelin Faison-Walden at linebacker in the class of 2017. From there, the Nittany Lions will focus the majority of their efforts on Jordan Anthony and Nathan Proctor.
Faison-Walden and Sutherland Commit, Penn State Up To No. 31 in 2017 Rankings
The Nittany Lions received a pair of commitments last week from Faison-Walden and safety Jonathan Sutherland, and now find themselves climbing up the 2017 rankings. Currently, Penn State is ranked No. 31 in the nation according to 247Sports, jumping up 13 spots from where it was ranked last week this time. If they were to add Franklin next week, they're projected to jump to the No. 27 spot.
Conliffe and Hippenhammer trending elsewhere?
Although things are trending in the right direction for Penn State, it isn't all good news on the recruiting trail. Defensive tackle Elijah Conliffe visited Alabama last weekend, and landed an offer from the defending national champions. He shortly named the Crimson Tide his leader, and while things are far from over, it doesn't look good for the Nittany Lions. If Conliffe does decide to go south, look for Penn State to focus on New Jersey prospect Dalyn Wade-Perry and North Carolina prospect Matthew Butler at defensive tackle.
As for wide receiver Mac Hippenhammer, what was once viewed as a Penn State/Michigan State battle has turned into an Iowa/Penn State battle, with the Hawkeyes apparently having the upper hand following summer visits.
This comes as a surprise, especially following Hippenhammer's Lasch Bash visit which looked to had solidified the Nittany Lions at the top. This is simply my personal opinion, but this could be a case of a wide receiver wanting to see the new Joe Moorhead offense before making any definite moves for Penn State.
Four-Star Ohio Wide Receiver Visits Happy Valley
Penn State is still looking for a couple wide receivers in 2017, and one that could be a darkhorse candidate is Jaylen Harris. The four-star made his first visit to Penn State the past weekend, according to his twitter.
State College, PA— Jaylen Harris (@JHarris5_) July 24, 2016
While in normal years Harris would assuredly be snatched up by Ohio State, it looks like the Buckeyes won't have room for him, allowing an opening for Penn State and other programs. It still remains to be seen exactly where the Nittany Lions rank on Harris' list, but if his unofficial visit went well, it's not inconceivable to see Harris back on campus for an official visit at some point this season.