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Committany Nation: Penn State Recruiting Overview — Offense

Penn State could see its wide receiver and offensive line classes grow in the next couple weeks.

NCAA Football: Penn State Blue-White Game Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

There’s just over 100 days until Penn State Football is back, but in the mean time, recruiting will take the forefront. If you haven’t noticed, the Nittany Lions are putting together a pretty solid 2018 recruiting class, and it should only get better in the next couple of months. Let’s take a look to see how the offensive side of the ball is shaping up.


Commit: Justin Fields

Targets: None

Analysis: Penn State wrapped up its quarterback recruiting in December when Georgia QB Justin Fields made the call for the Nittany Lions. Since then, Fields has been fielded (get it, “Fields” was “fielded” do you guys get it) by pretty much every major team in the country — Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Florida State, and Florida to name a few. While he maintains he is 100% committed to Penn State and simply isn’t burning bridges with other programs, Fields has kept the line of communication open with the aforementioned schools.

It’ll be a continuous fight to keep Fields in the fold, but fortunately, I’m sure James Franklin was prepared for this. It’s not easy to pull consensus top-20 players out of the South, so there was bound to be bumps in the road. There will probably be more bumps in the road in future, especially if Joe Moorhead leaves to take a head coaching job elsewhere after the 2017 season.

Running Back

Commit: Ricky Slade

Targets: None

Analysis: Charles Huff continues to bring in stupid talent to Penn State’s backfield, now adding five-star Ricky Slade. The Virginia product has stayed busy on the camp circuit, landing an invite to Nike’s Opening camp in June.

Wide Receiver

Commit: Justin Shorter

Targets: Daniel George, Jahan Dotson, Solomon Enis, Shaquon Anderson-Butts

Analysis: Penn State’s wide receiver recruiting seems pretty simple: land Daniel George and Jahan Dotson. The Nittany Lions are in a very good position for the duo, and with both expecting to decide sometime in the summer, it looks like Penn State could have its wide receiving class wrapped up before the season. A group of Shorter, Dotson, and George would give Josh Gattis three of the top 40 wide receivers in the country. Granted, I’m not a numbers guy (I’m actually a sabermetrics guy), but that seems like a pretty good ratio.

Solomon Enis is certainly an intriguing option, and could be talented enough to push the class to four, but it remains to be seen just how much Penn State will factor into his decision. Despite being a legacy, the trek from Phoenix, AZ to State College, PA is still a long ways.

Tight End

Commits: Zack Kuntz and Pat Freiermuth

Targets: None

Analysis: The Nittany Lions passed on a tight end in 2017, and for good reason, as they landed two of the top tight ends in the country in 2018 — Zack Kuntz and Pat Freiermuth. The duo looks to be pretty complimentary of each other, with Kuntz being a better receiving threat while Freiermuth should play the role of the more traditional tight end.

Offensive Line

Commits: OT Nana Asiedu, OT/G Bryce Effner, OT/G Antwan Reed

Targets: OT Rasheed Walker, OT TJ Bradley (JUCO), OT Jaelyn Duncan, OT Qadir White, OT Christian Armstrong, OT/G Blake Zubovic, OG Matthew Jones, OG Juice Scruggs

Analysis: Interesting times on the offensive line. Penn State was expected to take four offensive linemen in the 2018 class, but after adding Bryce Effner last weekend, it’s now looking like the Nittay Lions will take five in the class. It gets a little sticky, so let’s break it down the best we can.

Out of the commits, only Nana Asiedu has a set position. He’s locked in as an offensive tackle and should be a good one. Antwan Reed and Effner both have the size for tackle, but also could move inside to guard too. Moving forward, that versatility should give the Nittany Lions some options on the recruiting trail, whether they want to take two tackles or two more players who project as guards.

Right now, Penn State is in a very good position to land Rasheed Walker. The Maryland product has been a lean to the Lions for a while, with all six of his 247 Crystal Ball predictions pointing towards Penn State. A haul of Asiedu and Walker at offensive tackle would be pretty sweet.

After that, offensive line recruiting could go a couple different ways, but it’s looking like the two main players are WPIAL’s Blake Zubovic and TJ Bradley, a JUCO from Lackawanna C.C. When Effner hopped on board, I think many thought that Zubovic might have lost his spot. I don’t believe that’s the case — at least yet. Certainly, he’s probably filling more pressure, but if Zubovic called up the Penn State coaching staff right now (being 5/14), I’d be willing to bet they’d accept his commitment.

As for Bradley, he’s a long, intriguing tackle prospect. And by “intriguing” I mean he hasn’t played football in six years. Seriously, the 6-foot-9 Bradley hasn’t played a snap of football since 2011. Instead, he focused on basketball, but after that didn’t work out, he turned back to football. We’ll see where exactly Penn State stands, but it’s been noted that James Franklin has a strong relationship with the coaching staff at Lackawanna C.C.

Beyond those two, Matthew Jones and Juice Scruggs look like they’re both headed to Ohio State. Christian Armstrong has legitimate interest in Penn State, but he’ll be a really tough pull from the South. And while Qadir White and Jaelyn Duncan are both good looking prospects, it’s hard to see the Nittany Lions still having room in the class when both prospects are ready to commit.