EARLY SIGNING PERIOD DAY 1 RECAP
Wednesday’s National Signing Day kicked off the early signing period for college football. This period will run through Friday. After that, players will have to wait until the first Wednesday of February to sign with college programs.
Entering the day Penn State had 23 commits. 22 of the 23 commits signed with the Nittany Lions on Wednesday. As for the one who did not, well, we will get into that here shortly. The class currently ranks 14th nationally according to both 247Sports and On3. Both recruiting services also rank the Nittany Lion class as the second best in the Big Ten behind Ohio State.
With another top 15 class almost completely in the books, it gives Penn State arguably the best back-to-back classes that they have signed during the James Franklin Era. Stacking classes of this caliber can help the Nittany Lions continue to build toward becoming a consistent top 10 program in the country.
This class supplements last cycle’s class extremely well. Penn State signed a very strong offensive line class with five-star J’Ven Williams, borderline five-star Alex Birchmeier, and another high ceiling tackle in Anthony Donkoh.
It is also a loaded defensive class. Tony Rojas, Ta’Mere Robinson, and Kaveion Keys were the staff’s top three linebacker targets, and, to their credit, they landed all three. This gives James Franklin the strongest linebacker class he has ever signed.
Penn State’s defensive back class is also very deep and very talented. This group includes Elliott Washington and King Mack who could play next fall. While defensive end looked a bit shaky at times, adding Mason Robinson and Joseph Mupoyi late to go with Jameial Lyons helps ease these concerns.
Last cycle’s class was highlighted by offensive skill talent. Adding three high ceiling offensive linemen, as well as a deep and talented defensive class this cycle is what compliments the 2022 class so well.
This season the Nittany Lions saw 10 freshman burn redshirts. While it may not hit double digits, the 2023 class is another one that could see a large number of redshirts burned. In addition to Washington and Mack, Birchmeier, Rojas, Keys, and tight end Andrew Rappleyea could all be in position to burn redshirts next fall.
UN-COMMITTED PROSPECTS PENN STATE WAS STILL PURSUING
The only two un-committed prospects the Nittany Lions were in the mix with entering the day were four-star Florida wide receiver Edwin Joseph and four-star Florida cornerback Daniel Harris. Joseph officially visited early in the fall and was high on the Nittany Lions, but after the staff never appeared to push for Joseph he signed with Florida State.
As for Harris, his recruitment became a rollercoaster after he de-committed from Georgia in November. At first, it appeared he could quickly commit to the Nittany Lions. After this never happened, the Bulldogs once again began to gain momentum in Harris recruitment.
His recruitment would continue to seem to swing like a pendulum between the Nittany Lions and Bulldogs. However, in the final 24 hours before NSD the Bulldogs started to seize the momentum in his recruitment for good. This led to Harris signing with Georgia on Wednesday morning.
CONRAD HUSSEY STILL UNSIGNED
The biggest drama of the day for the Nittany Lions involved four-star safety commit Conrad Hussey. A teammate of cornerback signee King Mack, Hussey has been committed to the Nittany Lions since April. However, entering the day, things looked bleak for Penn State.
Wednesday morning most of the smoke in Hussey’s recruitment was around Florida State. It appeared that Hussey could be on his way to signing with the in-state Seminoles.
As the day went on Hussey never signed with Seminoles, nor did he de-commit from the Nittany Lions. As of this writing Hussey remains unsigned. Will he signed before the end of the early signing period on Friday? That remains to be seen. However, Hussey not signing on Wednesday is likely a positive for the Nittany Lions as they were unlikely to be the pick had he signed.