The 2018 class has come to a close, which means we now turn our full attention to the 2019 class. Let’s start with our offensive preview, where Penn State will hope to add to its plethora of skill position players, while continuing to add depth on the offensive line.
Quarterback - 2
Penn State already has three-star Taquan Roberson committed, but will push for another. At the top of the board is Garrett Shrader, but a number of schools feel good about him, namely South Carolina and Mississippi State (Hey, Joe). Getting Shrader back to Happy Valley for a visit this spring is a must if Penn State hopes to land the North Carolina signal caller.
Iowa’s Max Duggan also holds an offer and has a ton of moxie, but Scott Frost and Nebraska will be tough to beat out. Ricky Rahne has strong contacts in the midwest from his days at Kansas State, so we’ll see if he can work some magic with Duggan, who has yet to visit Penn State but did have James Franklin in town to visit him in November.
Two other names from the Mid-Atlantic/Northeast with impressive film: Sam Howell from North Carolina and Taisun Phommachanh from Connecticut. Penn State offered Phommachanh yesterday, while they have yet to make a move on Howell. Have no idea why James Franklin hasn’t offered Howell yet because he might be the best quarterback in the nation. I’d give up a kidney (there’s a reason the good Lord gave you two of ‘em) for him to sign with Penn State.
Running Back - 1
Virginia’s Devyn Ford is the prize here. He just put Penn State in his top six so the Nittany Lions seem to be in a good spot for him, though Clemson, Ohio State, and Virginia Tech are all legitimate contenders too. Keilan Robinson and Jordan Houston both have offers, but after taking a smaller running back like Ricky Slade in 2018, I’m not sure how the staff feels about taking another sub-5’10 running back, especially if they’re the lone back in the class.
Patrick Garwo is a Pennsylvania name to keep an eye on, but he doesn’t have a Penn State offer yet. Jamal Speaks of Maryland attended Marcus Allen’s alma mater — Wise High School — but, like Garwo, doesn’t hold an offer from the Nittany Lions yet either.
Wide Receiver - 2
Penn State took three wide receivers in 2018, meaning the need shouldn’t be as pressing in 2019, but still expect the Nittany Lions to take two next year. Top 100 wideout David Bell just visited for the Junior Day last weekend, but he’ll be tough to pull away from the Buckeyes. Canadian transplant John Metchie might be the most realistic option. He’s been high on the Nittany Lions for a while, and is good friends with 2018 signee Jesse Luketa.
On a national scale, Jeffery Carter (Texas), Kendrell Scurry (Tennessee), and John Dunmore (Florida) are names that could pop up during the spring for official visits. Dumore, specifically, has a great relationship with new Penn State assistant Ja’Juan Seider.
Tight End - 1
Despite taking two tight ends in 2018, Penn State should still be in the market for one in 2019. Jahleel Billingsley of Illinois was in Happy Valley for the Junior Day, and looks to be highly interested in the Nittany Lions. Penn State legacy Hayden Rucci could still be an option, even though he just committed to Wisconsin. Erick All (Ohio) and Nick Gallo (Pennsyvania) are two regional prospects who could pop up, although I think it’s doubtful either land an offer. Really, not a strong year for tight end in general.
Offensive Line - 3
Penn State will always take at least three offensive linemen in every class, and that won’t change next year. Xavier Truss of Rhode Island and Caedan Wallace of New Jersey are the premier names here, with each prospect having nine 247 Crystal Ball predictions for Penn State. Both of those recruitments are far from over though, but good to see the Nittany Lions jump out to an early lead.
Jakai Moore of Virginia and Darrian Dalcourt of Maryland have both visited Penn State, and have the Nittany Lions pretty high on their respective lists. Trevor Keegan (Illinois), Will Putnam (Florida), and Devonate Dobbs (Michigan) are all big names that have visited Happy Valley before, but I wouldn’t say Penn State sits particularly well for any of them. John Olmstead of New Jersey seems like he would be a prime target, but it doesn’t look like Penn State will be much of a factor there.
From the Pennsylvania side of things, Andrew Kristofic and Asim Richards could be players who earn offers. Kristofic already has offers from Ohio State, Notre Dame, Wisconsin, and Clemson, while Richards offer list shows a nice variety of regional offers — Boston College, Rutgers, Syracuse, and West Virginia.