Height/Weight: 6-foot-4, 320 pounds
Hometown/High School: Graham, WA (Graham-Kapowsin H.S.)
Ranking: ★★★ (0.8756 247Sports Composite)
Notable Offers: Washington (previously committed), Minnesota, BYU, Oregon State, UCLA
Penn State only recently got involved with Vega Ioane, offering the Washington product on January 13 and then hosting him for an official visit during the last weekend in January. Most thought that Ioane’s recruitment would end with him re-committing to Washington, but instead the Nittany Lions pulled off a stunner, scooping up Vega on National Signing Day over the in-state Huskies.
This is a very pleasant NSD surprise, something we don’t often see with James Franklin and Co. They often do their damage early in the recruiting process, usually having little focus or interest in these “late” flips. But obviously, Ioane liked what he saw in Happy Valley, and now gives the Nittany Lions an additional offensive lineman in the class — basically, taking the scholarship of the Maryland-bound Andre Roye. Unlike Roye though, Ioane will be a guard all the way. He continues Phil Trautwein’s trend of recruiting bigger offensive linemen who already walk around 300+, as Ioane is listed at 330 pounds by Penn State.
Unlike a lot of other 330 pounders at the high school level, Franklin said today that he was “shocked” when he met Ioane because of how well he carries the weight.
“I was shocked. You know, a lot of times you see guys on film, and you’re not really sure what they’re going to look like in person. And he showed up here, and he was 336 pounds, and carried it as well as anybody I’ve ever seen. Probably looked like he was 295.” (Via Mark Wogenrich of Sports Illustrated)
Also, credit to newly-named special teams coordinator Stacy Collins here. No doubt that his ties to the northwest played a part in getting Ioane to campus, and eventually, building that relationship with Franklin and Trautwein. Nice pull for the new coach in just his first couple weeks.