The BSD Staff got together for a recruiting roundtable where they answered the question: what player (one offense, one defense) from the 2021 recruiting class excites you the most?
Offense: This was a tough call between Landon Tengwall and Lonnie White, but I’ll go Tengwall. In my opinion, we will see Tengwall on the field next fall. It would not be a surprise if his career is similar to Connor McGovern’s where we see him starting at guard before the end of his freshman season. Tengwall is one of the most seasoned, game ready offensive linemen that James Franklin has signed. We’ll see him put together a terrific career in Happy Valley. Also, as a former offensive lineman in high school, I appreciate watching offensive linemen maul people the way Tengwall can.
Defense: Ladies and gentlemen it is time to climb aboard the Kalen King hype train. King was Penn State’s top cornerback target in this class for a reason. He is physical and excels in man coverage. Like Tengwall, I expect King to make an impact as a true freshman. Between special teams, defense, and potentially the return game as he is a plus athelte, King is a player Penn State fans will get to know quickly. King will be an all-conference cornerback before his Penn State career ends.
Offense: The answer, for me, has to be Lonnie White. While I think Tengwall is probably the best recruit in the class when you combine floor and upside, White’s athleticism is mindblowing. He made the transition back to wideout in his senior year seamlessly and is also projected to be a potential first-round pick in the MLB Draft. Safe to say the kid is just a special athlete. He’s got good speed and agility, but what jumps out most to me is his physicality and his body control. He has legitimate Dez Bryant-esque upside and by all accounts, he’s a super hard-working, intelligent kid. If he sticks to footbal, White could be a game-breaking wideout at PSU.
Defense: Like Marty, I’m going with Kalen King. If he were a little further along in his development I might go with Rodney McGraw, but King just has almost everything you want from a cornerback prospect. He’s comofortable in man coverage. He’s got great, quick hips that allow him to turn and run effortlessly. He reads the game well and attacks downhill when it comes to tackling. King plays with an intensity that you love to see from defensive backs and could be a big time player with a little bit of seasoning.
Offense: I’m definitely not as recruiting-savvy as my cohorts on this round table, and this class in particular has slipped below my radar. That being said, I’m not going to overthink this: Landon Tengwall is the OL of the future for Penn State. He’s long, thicc, and will hold down the outside of the offensive line as a multi year starter.
Defense: Sike, this one I will overthink! Kalen King is the higher rated recruit, but I don’t have very many concerns at CB. Penn State has had a rocky road at safety, which is Jaylen Reed’s natural position. He’s a touch taller and a bit heavier than King, and could end up being the boost Penn State needs in the secondary.
Offense: Landon Tengwall is the pick here for a couple reasons. First, he is an offensive lineman. Penn State desperately needs more dominant OL (and has needed them for quite a few years). Tengwall needs to be good. Secondly, he has been probably the most consistent voice of the class on social media, and it would be nice if the person who was the vocal leader of the class (along with Liam Clifford) ended up being one of the best performing players. Last, and not least...his name is Landon. Lando...Landon. C’mon.
Defense: I’m a sucker for tall defensive backs, and since he also goes to school a town over from the school I teach in, Zakee Wheatley is the pick here. A 6’2’’ safety with good cover skills? Yes, please. Just keep him at safety, would you?