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Committany Nation: Rounding Up the All-Star Games, Early Enrollees At Penn State, And Rounding Out The 2017 Class

We’re just a little over three weeks away from National Signing Day, as James Franklin prepares to put the final touches on the 2017 class.

NCAA Football: Rose Bowl Game-Penn State vs Southern California Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Notes From The Under Armour and Army All-American Game

Penn State had four of its commits partaking in one of the two major All-Star Games — Sean Clifford (though he was injured), C.J. Thorpe, and Lamont Wade represented the Nittany Lions at the Under Armour Game, while Donovan Johnson was the lone commit at the Army Game.

For those at the Under Armour practices all week, it sounds like both Thorpe and Wade impressed. Thorpe was routinely mentioned as one of the top offensive linemen in attendance. Meanwhile, Wade lived up to his lofty ranking, too. Here’s what Mike Farrell of Rivals had to say on both of the Penn State commits:

(From Thursday’s practice notes)

Thorpe continues to be one of most surprising players this week. The Penn State commit has been Team Armour’s toughest interior offensive lineman. Thorpe is aggressive and is that guy that plays to the echo of the whistle. James Franklin’s and Joe Moorhead’s offense needs more quality interior offensive linemen and Thorpe fits that mold.

(From “Top performers from Under Armour week”)

Wade, the nation’s top-rated cornerback, had a very good week of practice. The Penn State commit dominated Thursday’s practice and played very well in the game on Sunday despite not getting many throws in his direction. Wade’s intensity, enthusiasm, and physicality are a lot like that of former Tennessee star Eric Berry but Wade isn’t as big as Berry was.

As for Johnson, there wasn’t a ton of news I could find, but there are these two tweets:

Wade, Faison-Walden, Miranda, and Hamler Enrolled At Penn State

With classes starting today, all four of the Nittany Lions’ early enrollees — Lamont Wade, Brelin Faison-Walden, Mike Miranda, and KJ Hamler — are officially students at Penn State. Besides for Hamler who will probably redshirt while his ACL heals, the other three prospects have a relatively decent shot at playing time next season, so coming in an extra semester early is a big benefit if they want to get on the field in 2017.

Finishing Touches On The 2017 Class

With Chris Godwin and Garrett Sickels gone, Penn State now has a little more wiggle room with the 2017 recruiting class. The Nittany Lions are currently set to have 85 scholarship players next season, so accounting for some natural attrition in the coming months, James Franklin should have spots for one or two more players in the 2017 class.

At this point, Penn State doesn’t necessarily have any desperate needs or holes, so it’ll be about quality, not quantity. The three most likely targets continue to be: DB Tariq Castro Fields (Jan. 13 OV), LB/DE Nathan Proctor (Jan. 13 OV), and DT Elijah Conliffe. The Nittany Lions are also scheduled to host tight end Peyton Hendershot on January 27 ($), but the Indiana product is still without a Penn State offer.

Beyond that, it’s not exactly clear on how this class will finish up. The dead period ends on January 12, meaning that’s when the staff will be able to visit and host prospects, so we should get a better idea in the next couple days as we hit the homestretch before Signing Day.