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Early National Signing Day 2019: Open Thread

It’s time to sign some ‘croots!

Matthew O’Haren-USA TODAY Sports

The second annual Early National Signing period is upon us as Penn State looks to begin to put the finishing touches on their 2020 recruiting class. Be sure to check back here throughout the day as it will serve as our recruiting hub. We’ll be updating this post with the latest information regarding Penn State’s 2020 recruiting class and the day’s signees. We’ll also have supplemental pieces that are going to be posted throughout the day regarding Penn State football and more, so make sure to check those out as well. If you can’t follow along on here, you can also join the fun on Twitter @BSDTweet.

So without further ado, let’s welcome some new Nittany Lions!


No. 27 Coziah Izzard

Long term Izzard projects to to be a defensive tackle for the Nittany Lions as he’s already 6-foot-3 and 285-pounds. Athletic and powerful, Izzard in high school had overwhelming success at breaking through opposing offensive lines, he still has parts of his game to work on but nothing major that Sean Spencer couldn’t fix. Also, with Izzard’s signing now in, Penn State’s 2020 recruiting class is now complete barring any last minute surprises.

No. 26 Ji’ayir Brown

The second Lackawana Community College signee of the day is cornerback Ji’ayir Brown. Personally, I don’t know much about Brown but stealing from our own Patrick Koerbler’s “Oh, Hello” post on Brown; Brown “has really good size at 6-foot, 203 pounds, and playing cornerback for Lackawanna, shows nice instincts, awareness, and the ability to play the ball.” He also notes that Brown could potentially play safety for the Nittany Lions.

No. 25 Malick Meiga

Another Canadian prospect, eh? Meiga is quite the prospect and comes from the football hockey rich region of Quebec, Canada. Meiga is a rather raw wide receiver prospect but has a skillset that wide receivers coach Gerald Parker can work with. He won’t see the field early on in his career but by years three, four, and five, he should become a contributor in the Penn State offense.

No. 24 Brandon Taylor

At 6-foot-2 and 275-pounds, it wouldn’t be shocking to see the Ohio native move to defensive tackle down the road but for now he’s staying at defensive end. Taylor for his size as tremendous quickness and explodes off the line of scrimmage, getting past offensive lineman and terrorizing backfields. If he can keep his quickness, he could be quite the menacing wild dog under the tutelage of Coach Chaos.

No. 23 Ibrahim Traore

Traore is a prospect with an incredibly high ceiling as an offensive tackle, and not just because he’s 6-foot-5 and needs literally high ceilings. A beast of a man at tackle, he also plays lacrosse and has fantastic feet. While he’s taking a big step up in competition from New York high school ball, Traore may have the most upside of any lineman in Penn State’s class.

No. 22 Keyvone Lee

Lee is a big back that should only add to the versatility of the #LawnBoyz as JaJuan Seider continues so recruit South and Central Florida as well as anyone in the country. The Clearwater product is 6-foot, 210-pounds and has breakaway speed when he gets into high gear.

No. 21 Bryce Mostella

Mostella is an intriguing prospect and one that is a bit hard to project long term. There’s a lot to like about the Michigan native and there’s a lot for Sean Spencer to work with as well. He has great size at 6-foot-5 and 235-pounds but will still need to pack on the pounds under the watchful eye of Dwight Galt. Much like Vanover, there’s some positional flexibility here as well.

No. 20 KeAndre Lambert-Smith

An explosive receiver out of the Tidewater region of Virginia, Lambert-Smith is one of the most advanced high school wide receivers that Penn State has recruited in the James Franklin era. Elite in almost every sense of the word, Lambert has the potential to play right away for the Nittany Lions next season.

No. 19 Amin Vanover

Vanover brings some positional versatility to Sean Spencer’s Wild Dogs as he could play either as a 5-tech defensive end or a 3-tech defensive tackle. He’s a big kid with the frame to carry even more weight than the 260 pounds he currently holds. Ultimately, Vanover is a prospect that’s a couple years ago, but we’ve seen Spencer succeed with those types of players in the past.

No. 18 Joseph Johnson III

It took some time to get Joseph Johnson III into the fold but the Penn State coaching staff was able to do so in July. Penn State has announced him as a cornerback which is no surprise despite the size to play safety, Johnson fits Penn State’s cornerback mold as long and athletic, similar to Amani Oruwariye and Keaton Ellis. He’ll be a candidate to see early playing time in Happy Valley.

No. 17 Micah Bowens

A quality quarterback prospect, Bowens signing with Penn State may be bigger win off the field than it will be on the field as he’s a product of Las Vegas powerhouse Bishop Gorman. That being said, on the field, Bowens recently finished up a highly productive high school career. He’s an athletic quaterback who can be mobile when needed but is also comfortable in the pocket. He’ll need to spend time with whomever his quarterback coach is in Happy Valley, but with some work Bowens could develop into a starting quarterback for the Nittany Lions.

No. 16 Nick Dawkins

Chocolate Thunder Jr., Nick Dawkins is the latest official member of the 2020 recruiting class. Dawkins, the son of legendary former Sixer Darryl Dawkins (RIP), was a mauler of a guard these past couple years for Parkland High in Allentown (Pa.). Dawkins obviously has great genes and may not be done growing yet. As of now, it looks like he projects to the interior line at the next level.

No. 15 Curtis Jacobs

Penn State’s top-ranked signee is in and fans should be over the moon about it. Jacobs is a linebacker that moves like a wide receiver or a defensive back. He’s not afraid to get in there and mix it up in the run game, but perhaps more importantly he’s nothing short of an elite coverage linebacker the likes of which Penn State hasn’t seemed since Sean Lee.

No. 14 Parker Washington

One of my personal favorites in this class, Washington is just a wide receiver who is seemingly always open and catches everything. Think DaeSean Hamilton. He lit up the Texas high school scene and will do the same in college. He’s a polished route runner, he has great a agility, and a he catches everything. Washington is the type of kid QBs love, especially on third down, because he’s always finding the part of the field where the defense has vacated.

No. 13 Norval Black

Black, who will have three years to play two for Penn State, doesn’t wow you when you look at him or with his measurables, but when he gets on the field all he does is make plays. He was the leading receiver for the Lackawanna Falcons, which fell just short of the JuCo national championship. He’s got great hands and really attacks the ball in the air. Black could be a pleasant surprise for those who haven’t followed his JuCo career.

No. 12 Enzo Jennings

Jennings is a future star in the secondary for Penn State. He’s one of their highest-rated recruits for a reason, and that’s because he has elite athleticism and fantastic ball skills. While he can play corner, he likely ends up at free safety for the Nittany Lions and could give them the elite ball hawk they’ve lacked on the back end for years.

No. 11 OL Golden Israel-Achumba

Just a hoss of an interior offensive lineman, Israel-Achumba is destined for the guard spot for Matt Limegrover’s offensive line. Like Fashanu, he hails from the DMV, coming from Maryland’s DeMatha Catholic, a traditional powerhouse. Israel-Achumba is a dominant run blocker and the way he anchors, could become an elite interior pass blocker as well.

No. 10 WR Jaden Dottin

Dottin was one of the first members of the 2020 class and one of the first wideouts in what would become a four-wideout class for Gerad Parker and the Nittany Lions. He’s a big, physical prospect from Connecticut with plus ball skills and a knack for finding the end zone, something Penn State has missed since the departure of Chris Godwin.

No. 9 OT Jimmy Christ

Christ was a late addition to the Nittany Lions recruiting class when numbers were rather tight so the coaching staff was high on him to say the least. He has huge size at 6-foot-7 and 295-pounds and strong skill base to work with. He’ll need some work before hitting the field but offensive line coach Matt Limegrover has a lot to work with in Christ.

No. 8 LB Tyler Elsdon

First and foremost, the most important thing to know about Elsdon is he also played fullback in high school. Like James Franklin said in Penn State’s official livestream today, Elsdon has “earned it”. This new addition to linebacker did just that as the coal region product camped at Penn State multiple times and kept working to earn an offer from the Nittany Lions. Once he got that offer it was an easy decision for the Schuylkill County native and as a fellow “Skook” native (it’s Dylan btw), I’m excited to see his growth over the next few years.

No. 7 DT Fatorma Mulbah

As we said when Mulbah first committed, it’s hard to project Mulbah long term. That being said, Mulbah has the testing numbers and measurables to develop into something for Penn State down the road. He’ll need time to work on his craft and weight room but he’s going to be worth keeping an eye on long-term.

No. 6 DT Cole Brevard

Defensive tackle has been a position that James Franklin and his staff have struggled to recruit at times but Penn State got their DT out of the way early in this cycle. He has a skillset for Sean Spencer to work with and could turn into the next great Wild Dog on the Nittany Lions defensive line.

No. 5 RB Caziah Holmes

Another JaJuan Seider special, Holmes is one of two Florida commitments for the Nittany Lions in the cycle. A speedster with 4.49 speed, Holmes may be a running back but he’s a player the Nittany Lions will use in a variety of ways whether that’s putting him back as a kick and punt returner or putting him in the slot.

No. 4 LB Zuriah Fisher

A recruit that has skyrocketed up the rankings in his senior season, Fisher signified a big in-state win for the Nittany Lions as they were able to land an Alquippa product for the first time in 30-years. There’s a chance he makes the move to the defensive line in the near future but either way, Fisher will have a chance to be a disruptive pass rusher and terrorize opponents in the backfield.

No. 3 TE Tyler Warren

The first tight end to commit to Penn State in the cycle, Warren may not be as highly rated as Theo Johnson but he has his own great deal of potential and is very athletic and physical. A quarterback for the majority of his school career, Warren has made the position change in preparation of coming to Happy Valley. If it means anything, he kind of looks like former Nittany Lion, Mike Gesicki too, so do what you wish with that information.

No. 2 TE Theo Johnson

The most recent recruiting victory for James Franklin and his staff, Johnson chose the Nittany Lions over Georgia, Iowa, and Michigan. With Penn State’s recent success with tight end development, Johnson has a chance to be a real special player.

No. 1 OT Olu Fashanu

A massive offensive lineman from Gonzaga High School in Washington, D.C, Fashanu was a rather notable recruiting victory for the Nittany Lions in this cycle.