FIRST OFF.... DEEP BREATHS
Okay, so, admittedly, this does not apply to everyone out there. Especially you Black Shoe Diaries readers who are among the best in terms of Penn State internet communities out there. Seriously, you guys rock.
That said, there is plenty of panic in the message board world right now over Penn State’s 2021 recruiting class only having two commits. Especially with the Nittany Lions coming off an 11 win season. Well, to anyone who is worried, take a deep breath and do your best Aaron Rodgers. R-E-L-A-X. Everything will be ok.
Yes, Penn State is coming off a terrific season and you would like to see them having a bit more momentum on the recruiting trail right now. That said, having four coaching staff changes in the off-season will impact recruiting. Especially since John Scott Jr. replacing Sean Spencer as defensive line coach and Taylor Stubblefield replacing Gerad Parker as wider receivers coach came at a time when recruiting was winding down due to the new February dead period. Recruiting is all about relationships, and recruits simply need to start to form relationships with the team’s four new assistant coaches. Something we have already started to see happen with new offensive line coach Phil Trautwein, since he has been on the job since January.
This staff, led by James Franklin, are too good on the recruiting trail for people to worry just yet. As they start getting players back on campus this month recruiting will start to gain steam once again. Remember, in 2018 at this time the Nittany Lions had just two commits, they did not pick up another until Caedan Wallace committed in April of that year, and that class went on to be the second best of the Franklin Era.
The Nittany Lions extended a pair of notable offers in the past week. The first of these offers was extended to Philadelphia cornerback Tyreek Chappell.
Chappell attends Northeast High School, which is a school Penn State has strong ties to. Former Nittany Lion defensive end, and new graduate assistant, Deion Barnes was previously the defensive coordinator at Northeast before returning to Penn State.
With Barnes connection to Northeast High School, the Nittany Lions should be in position to become one of Chappell’s top schools. Look for him to visit campus sooner rather than later, and for the Nittany Lions to be in a position to make a move during that visit.
The coaching staff also extended an offer to 2022 defensive end Bryce Carter.
Carter is a Chester, Virginia, native. He attends Life Christian Academy which produced 2020 signee, and early enrollee, Joseph Johnson III. The Nittany Lions became Carter’s seventh Power 5 offer, and are his most prestigious one yet. In recent cycles the Nittany Lions have recruited the Commonwealth of Virginia as well as any program, and Life Christian Academy is a school that has been good to Penn State. The Nittany Lions should be a big player in Carter’s recruitment until the end.
Last Thursday, three-star Texas offensive tackle Matthew Wykoff released his top 7 schools. This top group included the Nittany Lions.
Wykoff has not visited campus, but this move comes after the Nittany Lions extended an offer to the Lonestar State prospect on February 23rd. In order for the Nittany Lions to become a real threat in his recruitment they will need to get Wykoff on campus. Phil Trautwein has already proven to be a strong recruiter, so if a visit takes places the Nittany Lions could become a dark horse in his recruitment.
Also on Thursday, four-star Florida linebacker Deshauwn Alleyne released a top 5 that included the Nittany Lions.
Alleyne has yet to visit Happy Valley, but as we have seen with JaJuan Seider in the past some times with Florida prospects all it takes is one visit. With linebacker being down in the region in 2021, the Nittany Lions may push to get an official visit from Alleyne, and, if the interest is mutual, make him a priority at linebacker.
Penn Stat has also made the top 10 of four-star tight end Moliki Matavao.
Matavao attends Liberty High School in Henderson, Nevada. So, it goes without saying that the Nittany Lions need to get him on campus to be a real player in his recruitment. That said, Tyler Bowen is quickly emerging as one of the premiere tight end coaches in the country and due to Mike Gesicki and Pat Freiermuth, the Nittany Lions are now viewed as a destination school for top flight tight ends. All of this increases the odds of Matavao getting to campus and giving Penn State a real look.