Height/Weight: 6-foot-1, 205 pounds
Hometown/High School: Waterbury, CT (St. Thomas More)
Stars: ★★★★ (0.8967 247Sports Composite — No. 313 overall)
Notable Offers: Clemson, Florida, Michigan, Ohio State, Virginia Tech, Wisconsin
Tyler Rudolph saw his recruitment take off during the summer after his sophomore season, when he picked up a number of regional offers after strong performances at school camps. While Penn State held off on offering the Connecticut defensive back that summer, it didn’t take much longer for the Nittany Lions to pull the trigger as they offered Rudolph while he was on a visit in Happy Valley on November 18.
Rudolph would go on to land a number of other good offers, namely Clemson, Michigan, and Ohio State. But it was the Tigers specifically that made a mark on Rudolph. He visited Clemson for its spring game on April 14th, and while the Nittany Lions probably never succumbed their lead, it was clear that Dabo Swinney and Co. were a real threat for Rudolph.
Fortunately, timing was good for the Nittay Lions, as they got Rudolph back on campus the weekend after for his official visit. Whatever fires Clemson might have potentially started, it seemed like Penn State was able to put out, and it was just one month later that Rudolph officially made the call for the Nittany Lions.
His offer list says all that needs to be said, but Rudolph is an impressive defensive back recruit. Tremendous size at 6-foot-1, 205 pounds which makes him an ideal fit at safety, but yet, Rudolph has the athleticism and speed to play cornerback. Personally, I think he’d be a better fit at safety, but staying at cornerback isn’t out of the question, and it’s just that type of versatility that Franklin loves in the secondary.
Rudolph’s commitment — and more so, his tweet for his commitment date — was really the first domino to fall for Penn State’s secondary recruiting. Since he sent out that tweet on Tuesday night, the Nittany Lions landed commitments from JUCO DB Jaquan Brisker and CB Marquis Wilson. And while Virginia defensive back Cam’Ron Kelly didn’t make a commitment, he did announce that he would be making his pledge June 8th. All three of those decisions coming off the heels of Rudolph’s weren’t coincidences.
Assuming Kelly reserved his potential spot and ends up picking the Nittany Lions, that would give Penn State five secondary players in the 2019 recruiting class: Keaton Ellis, Rudolph, Wilson, Brisker, and Kelly. Obviously, one would assume that secondary recruiting is just about wrapped up. I say “just about” because I think Penn State would still take Massachusetts-turned-Texas safety Lewis Cine, but outside of him, I think the door will be closed for any other defensive back recruits.