TOP WIDE RECEIVER TARGET SET TO COMMIT
For quite some time now Pittsburgh area produce Rodney Gallagher has been Penn State’s top wide receiver target for 2023. James Franklin, Taylor Stubblefield and the Penn State staff have done all they can in Gallagher’s recruitment. That said, with him now set to announce his college decision on Wednesday it does not appear that the Nittany Lions will be the choice.
All signs point toward Gallagher choosing West Virginia on Wednesday. It appears that a lucrative NIL deal will prove to be the deciding factor in Gallagher choosing the Mountaineers. Regardless of the reasoning, losing Gallagher is a big recruiting blow to Penn State.
Gallagher has been their top wide receiver target, and one of their top overall targets, for a long time. Gallagher is also one of the best pure athletes to come out of Western PA in recent cycles. This is a huge gut punch to the Nittany Lions and a recruiting loss that can not happen. This is not a recruiting battle that the likes of Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Ohio State, or Michigan would lose, even in the age of NIL.
LET’S TALK NIL
Penn State has made progress with NIL. That said, they remain well behind the eight ball in comparison to the rest of the big boys in college football. That, obviously, is not a good thing for the Nittany Lions.
Pennsylvania state laws are hurting Penn State in a big way with NIL. In the commonwealth of PA, NIL deals can not be discussed with potential college athletes before they are on campus. This is something that is not illegal elsewhere, West Virginia included, and that is hurting Penn State.
By all accounts Patrick Kraft has the ability to be a terrific athletic director for Penn State. This includes his ability to rally donors/boosters to help with NIL. Kraft will fight an uphill battle, especially with the current NIL laws in Pennsylvania, but it’s a battle he must find a way to win. Also, hopefully, losing Gallagher will be a wake up call to the people it needs to be a wake up call to. Especially if that helps prevent it form happening again this cycle, potentially with another Pittsburgh area prospect and West Virginia.
As Penn State continues to expand their wide receiver board, especially as it appears that Gallagher is set to commit to West Virginia, a new offer went out this past week. This offer was extended to Texas prospect Anthony Evans.
Penn State having success with Texas wide receivers is not unheard of, just ask Parker Washington. In recent weeks Evans has saw his recruitment explode as he’s added offers from Florida State, Georgia, Oklahoma, and Texas A&M, among others, in addition to Penn State. For the Nittany Lions to have any chance in this recruitment moving forward they will need to land one of the five summer official visits that Evans will schedule.
The Nittany Lions also continue to look for offensive tackles in the 2023 cycle. While Evan Link remains the top remaining target, Connecticut native Miles Walker picked up an offer last Thursday.
After a great conversation with Coach Leonard and @CoachTrautFB, I’m proud to announce that I have received an offer from Penn State University. @coachjfranklin @PennStateFball @CoachMHannigan @Coach_Wayne55 @WickFootball_20 pic.twitter.com/oQdDYsaICK— Miles Walker (@mileswalker76) May 19, 2022
Walker is another player who has saw his recruitment start to take off in recent weeks. Since April, Boston College, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Pitt, Syracuse, Texas A&M, and West Virginia are among the Power 5 offers taht Walker has added, in addition to his offer from the Nittany Lions. If Penn State turns up the heat on Walker and gets him to campus for an official visit, they could be difficult to beat in this recruitment.