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Blessed & Honored: 11/10/2020

It’s been a busy week in the world of Penn State football recruiting

NCAA Football: Maryland at Penn State Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports


Penn State remains in dire need of good news on the recruiting trail for the 2021 cycle. Leading up to the weekend, it appeared they would get that good news from Derrick Davis Jr. Well...

Saturday afternoon, as Penn State was getting trounced by Maryland, Davis Jr. committed to LSU. This cmae despite Davis Jr. having never visited LSU before last weekend, while he had visited Penn State 10+ times.

Davis Jr., an in-state product from Pittsburgh powerhouse Gateway High School, seemed like a Penn State lean for the past year or two. Instead, the top-100 recruit wound up being the latest body blow for Penn State on the recruiting trail in 2021. There is no denying that Penn State’s recruiting efforts in 2021 simply are not good enough. Period.


One position Penn State has tried to hit hard on the recruiting trail in 2021 is defensive end. Right now, Rodney McGraw is the lone defensive end commit for the Nittany Lions. However, their board continues to extend.

The defensive end board grew when the Nittany Lions offered Gharin Stansbury on Thursday evening.

Stasbury is a Louisiana native. He is currently committed to Arizona State. Now, John Scott Jr. and the Nittany Lion coaching staff will start to push for Stansbury.

Monday morning, another 2021 defensive end offer went out. This one was extended to Texas native Keith Cooper.

The Nittany Lions became Cooper’s 12th Power 5 offer. His senior film is impressive, and he appears to have some tools to be a good defensive end at the collegiate level.

With the team’s need at defensive end this cycle, there is no reason to think the Nittany Lions won’t push for Stansbury or Cooper. That is, if the interest does indeed go both ways.


2022 safety Cristian Driver released a top 12 over the weekend. This group included the Nittany Lions.

Driver is the son of former NFL wide receiver Donald Driver, who has a connection to James Franklin from their time together in Green Bay when Franklin was the elder Driver’s position coach. Ever since Penn State offered the younger Driver, who hails from Argyle, Texas, the Nittany Lions have been a school he has mentioned among those he is most interested in. While pulling Driver would be a surprise, it would not be a surprise to see him pop up on campus for a visit whenever the recruiting dead period ends.

The Nittany Lions have also made the top group for a pair of 2022 five-star prospects. We’ll start with offensive tackle Gunner Givens.

Givens is a native of Daleville, Virignia. Throughout his recruitment, the Nittany Lions have appeared to be among his top schools. A big reason for this is his relationship with Penn State offensive line coach Phil Trautwein. Right now, the Nittany Lions appear to be in the top three of this group along with Clemson and Virginia Tech.

Finally, there is the big fish in Pennsylvania for 2022 - defensive end Enai White.

The consensus five-star prospect is ranked by 247Sports as the 6th best player in the 2022 cycle. White attends Imhotep Charter in Philadelphia, the same school that produced current Nittany Lion defensive end Shaka Toney. Penn State has a lot of work ahead of them if they are going to keep White home, but making his first top group is one of those steps.