Commits: Jesse Luketa and Charlie Katshir
Targets: Jack Lamb, Brian Asamoah, Shayne Simon
Analysis: The Nittany Lions took three linebackers last year, bringing in Ellis Brooks, Brelin Faison-Walden, and Brailyn Franklin, and now they’ll look to bring in another three-man class. Currently, Penn State has two linebackers committed — Jesse Luketa and Charlie Katshir — who made their respective pledges to the Nittany Lions within one day of each other back in February. The two seem like a good fit together, with the 6-foot-3, 239-pound Luketa destined for the middle, while Katshir should be able to play either outside spots.
At the top of the linebacker board is most certainly Jack Lamb. The California prospect is a Penn State legacy, with both of his parents being graduates of Dear Old State. He visited Happy Valley back in April, and figures to make his way back to State College sometime over the summer. UCLA, Notre Dame, Oregon, and Washington all remain in the picture here, with the Bruins and Fighting Irish being the two main programs to keep an eye on.
Looking past Lamb, there aren’t a ton of other options at linebacker. Brian Asamoah’s offer may not be committable right now, and while Penn State likes Shayne Simon, he’s yet to make it to campus. Not to mention, his head coach is Rich Hansen, who James Franklin certainly isn’t BFFs with following Brandon Wimbush’s decommitment that Hansen played a big role in back in 2014.
We’ll touch more on Kwantel Raines below, but it’s not inconceivable that Raines could grow into a linebacker. At 6-foot-3, 200 pounds, he’s already a pretty big kid that has the frame to move down into the box.
Commit: Isaiah Humphries
Targets: Isheem Young and Kwantel Raines
Analysis: Safety recruiting has remained the same for nearly a year now — land Isaiah Humphries, Isheem Young, and Kwantel Raines. Penn State already has Humphries locked up, although the Texas defensive back has flirted with taking official visits elsewhere. The Nittany Lions are the big favorites to land Young, who is expected to announce his commitment sometime in the summer. And while Raines doesn’t have much of a timeline laid out for his recruitment, this one should come down to Pitt or Penn State.
Commit: Trent Gordon
Targets: Jordan Miner, Verone McKinley III, Judson Tallandier
Analysis: It wasn’t the strongest year in the Mid-Atlantic for cornerbacks, and when you toss in the fact that Penn State just took a four-man class last year, it’s evident why cornerback hasn’t been a highly-touted position in 2018. The Nittany Lions do already have one committed in Trent Gordon, but it remains to be seen if they’ll push for two. Certainly, Penn State would like to have Florida’s Jordan Miner or Texas’ Verone McKinley III, but both will be tough pulls from the South.
If Penn State decides to make a move on one of the local cornerbacks, keep an eye on DeMatha’s Judson Tallandier. He has great length at 6-foot-2, and has performed well on the camp scene. Whether it’s in the summer or sometime in the fall, he’s definitely a prospect who could play his way into an offer from the Nittany Lions.