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Blessed & Honored: 07/06/2021

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With the busy June recruiting period now in the rear view mirror let’s take a look at where things stand in the world of Penn State Football recruiting

Michigan State v Penn State Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

TOP RUNNING BACK TARGET SET TO ANNOUNCE

The recruitment of top-100 running back Nick Singleton has been a wild one. Entering the spring the Nittany Lions appeared to be way behind the 8-ball in the recruiting of the Reading native. Following a big spring for the Nittany Lion staff, Penn State appeared to surge to being the team to beat for Singleton.

A week after his official visit to Penn State, Singleton took an official visit to Notre Dame. Coming out of that visit he nearly committed to the Fighting Irish. Instead, he remain un-committed and took official visits to Texas A&M and Alabama. These OVs helped the Nittany Lions ride out the Notre Dame wave and regain momentum in his recruitment.

After the 247Sports crystal ball swung in favor of the Fighting Irish, ahead of Singleton’s commitment the Nittany Lions have regained control of the crystal ball. Singleton is set to announce his college decision on CBS Sports Headquarters this evening. All signs point toward the Nittany Lions landing their first of what the staff hopes will be two running back commitments this cycle, as well as the Nittany Lions landing their top running back target who happens to be one of the best running backs in the country.

TWO MORE COMMITS LOCK IN

Even though he was one of the first members of Penn State’s 2022 recruiting class, the Nittany Lions have been in a dog fight to keep offensive tackle Drew Shelton in the fold. Well, it appears, that Phil Trautwein and the Nittany Lions have won that fight.

Following visiting Penn State in back-to-back weekends, and three times in June, Shelton has Tweeted that he is 107% locked in to his commitment. This comes after the four-star prospect visited Florida and Rutgers this month, as well as having flirted with Florida State and Notre Dame.

Shelton is the highest rated offensive line commit in the class and one of the top offensive tackles in this cycle. Locking him down, especially with Shelton now attending IMG Academy in Florida, is a major recruiting win for Trautwein and the Nittany Lions.

Joining Shelton with being 107% locked in this week is athlete Mehki Flowers.

Flowers could play wide receiver or safety at the next level, and appears to be warming up to the idea of being a safety. Flowers competed as a safety at The Opening over the weekend and this is the position where is ceiling is the highest. Flowers long seemed like a commit who could flirt with other schools during the process, this, however, is not going to happen.

DREW ALLAR COMPETES AT ELITE 11 FINALS

This past weekend quarterback commit Drew Allar competed at the Elite 11 Finals in Los Angeles. Unsurprisingly, Allar turned heads during his time out in LA.

While 247Sports has Allar as a top-100 recruit there are some recruiting services, cough Rivals cough cough, who continue to underrate the future Nittany Lions signal caller. After this past weekend their tune may be changing.

Each of the first two nights of the competition Allar was highlighted among the top performers on the field.

Following his performance in LA, Allar did nothing to hurt his stock. There did not appear to be many knocks on Allar’s performance in LA. The only knocks on Allar seemed to stem from some of the accuracy question marks that stem from his junior film since, for some unknown reason, junior film makes up 50% of the evaluation during Elite 11 weekend. It would not be a surprise to see Allar finally be bumped to four-star status by Rivals. To be honest, it’s an embarrassing look for Rivals that he is not rate a four-star recruit by them.

Penn State has lacked one thing during the James Franklin Era. With no disrespect whatsoever directed at Trace McSorley, the Nittany Lions have lacked that truly elite quarterback capable of guiding a team to the college football playoff. It appears they finally have that signal caller in Allar.

TOP GROUPS

A trio of well known Penn State targets have released top groups that include the Nittany Lions. With a commitment coming this Friday, we will start with the top-5 of four-star running back Ramon Brown.

Coming out of his June official visit to Penn State the Nittany Lions appeared to be in the driver’s seat for Brown. However, he now appears to be without a spot in this class. With the Penn State appearing to be set to add Singleton, and more running back movement we’ll talk about shortly, the Nittany Lions appear to be on the brink of wrapping up running back recruiting without a spot for Brown. Either Virginia Tech or Maryland appears to be the program that will benefit from Penn State filling up at running back.

Another top-5 the Nittany Lions cracked was that of top-100 linebacker Shawn Murphy.

While the Nittany Lions have long been a player in Murphy’s recruitment and he was on campus pre-COVID, it appears they are not a serious contender to land his commitment. Murphy was supposed to visit campus in June and that visit never took place which is likely pretty telling. Murphy appears to be headed south.

Then there is the top-2 of four-star cornerback Cam Miller.

Penn State finds themselves in Miller’s top-2 along with Virginia Tech. The Florida native took a pair of visits to Happy Valley in June, and these visits appear to have put the Nittany Lions in the driver’s seat in his recruitment. With a likely summertime commitment coming form Miller, he is a name for Penn State fans to watch. With Penn State missing out on both Jaeden Gould and Jayden Bellamy, both of whom they appeared to once lead for, Miller has suddenly become a very important recruit.

PENN STATE TRENDING FOR FOUR-STAR RUNNING BACK

With the Nittany Lions appearing to be primed to land a commitment from Singleton this evening that will leave just one more spot for a running back in their class. It appears that spot may go to Kaytron Allen.

The Virginia native now attends IMG Academy and took an official visit to Penn State in the beginning of June. At the time this visit appeared to be due to his relationship with JaJuan Seider with the Nittany Lions not having much of a chance in his recruitment. Well, as Seider has done many times in the past, he worked his magic on the OV and now the Nittany Lions appear to be emerging as the team to beat.

Monday afternoon 247Sports Director of Recruiting Steve Wiltfong logged a crystal ball prediction for Allen in favor of the Nittany Lions. There have been rumors Allen could commit at some point this month and this could be done to secure the second running back spot in Penn State’s class. It appears that the Nittany Lions are well on their way to once again signing one of the best running back classes in the country.

COMMITMENT DATES

Three Nittany Lion targets have announced commitment dates for later this month. Going in chronological order, the first of the three will be pass rusher Anto Saka who is set to announce on July 17.

Saka took an official visit to Penn State in June. He also officially visited USC and Northwestern. While entering his OV to Happy Valley the Nittany Lions appeared to lead for Saka, things have since taken a turn. All of the recent buzz, as well as 247Sports crystal ball predictions, point toward Northwestern being the pick for Saka.

Next up will be top-75 defensive end Dani Dennis-Sutton who is set to announce his college decision on July 22.

Dennis-Sutton is Penn State’s top defensive target this cycle and has a legitimate chance to end up as a five-star prospect. Penn State is in an absolute battle to land a commitment from Dennis-Sutton going up against Alabama and Georgia, with the Bulldogs appearing to be their top competition.

The Nittany Lions have led for Dennis-Sutton throughout most of his recruitment and he attends McDonough School in Maryland which has become a bit of a pipeline for the Nittany Lions. Distance could also prove to be a factor for the Maryland native. Penn State is in a war against Alabama and Georgia to land Dennis-Sutton, but with less than three weeks to go until he announces his college decision, the Nittany Lions still hold each of his 247Sports crystal ball predictions. This recruitment, however, is far from over.

Finally, there is athlete Cristian Driver who will announce his college decision on July 29.

The four-star Texas native took an official visit to Penn State in June and everything seemed to go extremely well. Entering the OV the Nittany Lions held both of his 247Sports crystal ball predictions. Since the visit the Nittany Lions have picked up a third crystal ball prediction for Driver. All signs point toward the Nittany Lions receiving good news from the Driver camp at the end of the month.