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National Signing Day 2015: Welcome to Penn State, Sterling Jenkins

The big time Pittsburgh native was one of the first signals that showed the country how serious James Franklin's Dominate the State mantra, really is.

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Welcome to Black Shoe Diaries' coverage of National Signing Day 2015. We're here to make sure that you know exactly who the newest Nittany Lions are, where they come from, and what we can expect of them. Each of these reports will include their vital information, their high school statistics, highlight tape analysis, outlook for their freshmen seasons and more. We sincerely hope you enjoy getting to know the stars of tomorrow. If you've been reading along with our recruiting coverage all year, we appreciate the support and are glad you hung around with us for the ride that was the 2015 recruiting class. If you are a new reader, welcome! We're glad you're here, and we hope you stick around for 2016!

To navigate your way to other members of the 2015 recruiting class, simply head back to our draft board and click on the player of your choice.

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At the time he committed, Sterling Jenkins was arguably the number one player in Pennsylvania, and chose the Nittany Lions over Michigan and Ohio State, and held offers from big name programs all across the country (including Alabama). His high ranking has been bumped down a bit since the time of his commitment, but he is still a huge (literally) talent, who after getting some time to develop and refine his skills, will be the left tackle of the future at Penn State. Sterling officially enrolled at Penn State this winter.

Stats

Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

High School: Baldwin

Position: Offensive Tackle

Height/Weight: 6'8"/305

247Composite Rank: ★★ (0.9138)

Positional Rank: #17 Offensive Tackle, #5 Player in Pennsylvania

Commitment Date: May 6, 2014

247Sports Crystal Ball:

High School Stats

Sterling only played offensive tackle in high school, so there aren't any statistics to report.

Highlight Tape

Scouting Report

The high rankings that Sterling attained as a high school prospect was derived from the massive potential that he possesses. As a high school player, he wasn't quite as dominant as you would expect a player of his size to be, but he still performed at a high level. With his massive frame, he still has plenty of room to continue adding good weight and strength, which will allow him to become an immovable object at left tackle somewhere down the line. There is a reason that he was invited to Under Armour All-America game this holiday season. The potential of someone that size who already has quick feet is immense.

Jenkins (#72 in the gif above) does a lot of things well already, but that is against high school level competition. Against the top talent in the country at the Under Armour All-America game, he was exposed just a bit. There is still work to be done as far as technique goes for Sterling, more in the run blocking game than the pass blocking game. For all the size he has, he will surely work a lot with Herb Hand on using it more to his advantage. That all being said, Jenkins made massive strides from his junior year to his senior year, becoming a much better player in nearly every aspect of his game. If he can improve that much in one season of high school ball, you can bet that Herb Hand can't wait to start working with him in live practice situations.

Bud Elliot of SB Nation Recruiting had similar things to say about Jenkins, and his future. Bud told me, "I love the frame, but he did seem a bit stiff to me when I saw him in Columbus. Maybe not an instant-impact starter type."

Immediate Outlook

Redshirt, Yes

Sterling is all but guaranteed to redshirt his first season at Penn State. He still has a lot of work to do, and as I mentioned earlier, still has room to add strength. Equally important as developing physically in his first year though, is his continuation to develop mentally. As he told me back in October in a fantastic interview, "Linemen need a certain mentality, along with being physically strong enough to take on the guys you're playing against. I think I've made some strides to get to that mentality."

The lack of depth ahead of Jenkins on the depth chart seems to signal an each chance at playing time. This is certainly attainable for him, as long as he gets in the work this season that he needs to. If he can put everything together, there is no reason why Jenkins can't be a First Team Big Ten-type performer by the time he finishes his Penn State career. He is certainly someone to listen to updates about all season long, from the day spring practice first starts.

Sterling is a fantastic young man who has been a very willing and open person to talk to about his own recruitment, as well as the class as a whole. He is a leader for the class, and will one day be a leader on the field. It is my true pleasure to welcome Sterling to the Penn State family.

Everything Else

Welcome to Penn State, Sterling!