Early National Signing Day is here as Penn State’s class begins to fill up! With the signatures coming in as we speak, the BSD Staff sat down for a (digital) discussion on what offensive players we are most excited by in the class.
Lando: “Who doesn’t love cornerstone OL like Penn State hopes J’ven Williams and Alex Birchmeier will be? We know that the Nittany Lions have been the victim of highly-touted lineman recruits in the past, but these two bodyguards/road-pavers for Drew Allar, Nicholas Singleton, and Kaytron Allen have the potential to be the next duo of blocking studs since the days of Hartings, Rivera, Johnson, Conlin, and Greeley. Williams should be in the conversation at LT, as should Birchmeier at one of the guard spots. Williams has shown potential to be an excellent pass blocker, and Birchmeier’s ability to get to the second level in run blocking is much-needed in the college game. Leggo good offensive line play!”
Chris: “I’ll echo Lando on this one, and look for the Lions to continue to build along the offensive line. It seems every recruiting class lately has 1-2 future studs on it, and I’m excited to continue that tradition. It’s also nice that this pair figures to address both interior and exterior needs. If there’s one criticism I have of Penn State’s OL recruiting, it’s that too often they recruit guards and then try to push them to the tackle positions. Williams is a true tackle, while Birchmeier is a true interior lineman.”
Patrick: “I’ll break up the offensive line talk and go with one of the skill position guys: Carmelo Taylor. He has legitimate sub-4.4 speed which is obviously great, but what good is that speed if you lack the vision and the wiggle? I mean, Brandon Polk was a nice player but I don’t need to see that again. Fortunately for Taylor, I think he offers greater upside with the ball in his hands. I’m excited to see him, both at wide receiver but also on special teams at punt and/or kick returner.”
Bennett: “James Franklin said time and time again that his tight end room was as good a group at that position that he’d ever coached. With Brenton Strange likely off to the NFL, Andrew Rappleyea helps replinish that group. Much like Strange and Theo Johnson and Tyler Warren, Rappleyea looks to be a versatile piece that could see the field early.”
Marty: “It’s a lazy comparisons, I know, but this kid (Rappleyea) screams Pat Freiermuth 2.0. This includes my belief that Rappleyea can and will see the field next fall. Rappleyea is the best all-around right end Penn State has signed since the aforementioned Freiermuth, and can be an absolute matchup nightmare for opposing defenses while also being a plus blocker.”
Eli: “Penn State didn’t load up on offensive skill players the way it did in the previous class (for obvious reasons), until the last few commitments, the Lions had more offensive linemen than anyone else on the offensive side of the ball. So with that, I’m going to go with a generic “offensive linemen” as my player I’m excited about. The Lions already have plenty of fire power on the roster, with key pieces coming in to maintain depth, especially at running back. And, after last season’s surprisingly serviceable line, it’s time to transition from “adequate” to “a strength,” so seeing so many highly rated linemen come in, and hopefully contribute sooner rather than later, is something to get excited about.”