With Penn State football’s bye week upon us, we might as well fawn over some future Nittany Lions.
Last weekend was another strong one for Penn State’s verbal commits as players from the Classes of 2024, 2025, and 2026 all balled out. But, first, let’s feature some tape from of the program’s newest commits.
James Franklin landed a 1-2-3 punch in the days following the White Out, adding three players to his 2025 class. Four-star linebacker DJ McClary was the first of the trio.
The New Jersey prospect recently dropped a mid-season highlight tape, which features nearly five minutes of content.
McClary, who is clearly the best athlete on the field in many of these clips, has been playing all over the place. On defense, he has six TFLs, a sack, and a pick-six through five games. He’s also seen time at quarterback and has been lethal out of the wildcat, logging six rushing touchdowns. He also has three passing touchdowns.
Four-star running back Tiqwai Hayes was the next prospect to commit after McClary. His high school, Aliquippa, is 5-0 to start the season, and Hayes’ highlights from the teams’ most recent win over Amridge are live.
The final recruit in the post-White Out trio was four-star athlete Brady O’Hara. The in-state prospect’s stats are incomplete on MaxPreps, but you can easily see his freaky athleticism on display on his Hudl page.
You can see the highlights from his most recent game against Armstrong High School below.
Once again, four-star athlete/safety Quinton Martin made headlines — and this time, he garnered some national recognition.
ESPN featured Martin in its story on last week’s top plays by high school prospects. Martin scored four touchdowns in the first half of Belle Vernon’s blowout victory over South Allegheny High. His effort earned him a nomination for Westmoreland County Player of the Week.
Class of 2026 prospect Messiah Mickens added to his highlight-reel season with a ridiculous one-handed grab.
What a catch! Here's one of our Play of the Week nominees - Big Spring at Trinity. Shamrocks quarterback Caleb Wray throws to Messiah Mickens who makes the one-handed grab for a first down. #highschoolfootball #top plays pic.twitter.com/GKwSJCjR4R— WGAL (@WGAL) October 3, 2023
The Pennsylvania native has now scored 13 total touchdowns in six games.
And last, but certainly not least, it’s time for Grunk Watch. Quarterback Ethan Grunkemeyer completed 12 of his 15 passes for 200 yards in Olentangy’s win over Thomas Worthington. Some politicking on Twitter by the quarterback earned his entire offensive line a nomination for Columbus Athlete of the Week.