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Oh, Hello: Three-Star VA Safety Elijah Gaines Commits to Penn State

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Penn State dips into familiar territory for its latest 2020 commit.


Height/Weight: 6-foot-2, 193 pounds

Hometown/High School: Alexandria, VA (Episcopal)

Ranking: ★★★ (0.8702 247Sports Composite)

Notable Offers: Michigan, Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Virginia Tech, Virginia, Pitt



Gaines, who hails from the same high school as current Penn State Jonathan Sutherland, picked up his offer from the Nittany Lions back in April following offers from Michigan and Notre Dame. He took an unofficial visit back in June before returning for his official visit for the Nittany Lions game against Pitt. He made the call shortly thereafter and announced his commitment on Friday, becoming the 26th member of Penn State’s 2020 class.


Gaines is long and rangy. He’ll need to add around 15-20 pounds to his 6-foot-2 frame, but it’s easy to see what coaches like. He flies from sideline to sideline and has impressive ball skills. He also has the ability to come down into the box in a big nickel package and is comfortable stepping in and stopping the run. Given his frame and play style, he’s a perfect candidate to step in for the departing Jaquan Brisker a couple years down the road.