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.
* * *
Paris Palmer's commitment may be, quietly, the biggest commitment from the class of 2015. While other recruits may need to redshirt or take some time to get assimilated to college football, Palmer is a junior college transplant who has two years of college football experience under his belt, albeit at the junior college level. His commitment was especially important with the loss of Donovan Smith to the NFL. With his size, strength and experience, Palmer has the potential to be an impact player from the second he steps on campus.
Our third mid-year enrollee @C_R_E_A_M_75 with another warm welcome in the War Room! #PSUSigningDay pic.twitter.com/tbiVrlqBqM— Penn State Football (@PennStateFball) February 4, 2015
Hometown: Plymouth, NC
High School: Plymouth
Junior College: Lackawanna
Position: Offensive Tackle
247Composite Rank: ★★★★ (0.9049)
Positional Rank: #2 Offensive Tackle, #1 Player in North Carolina
Commitment Date: Dec. 12, 2014
247Sports Crystal Ball:
Junior College Stats
It's usually tough to find stats for offensive linemen. It's especially tough to find them for junior college offensive linemen. However, Palmer was part of a pretty solid OL at Lackawanna. The line opened things up for a really good running game, as Lackawanna ran for 1,699 yards in 10 games and 22 rushing touchdowns.
Palmer is approximately the size of a Toyota Tundra, as he measures in at 6'8" and 305 lbs. Unlike another mountain of an offensive lineman recruit in Sterling Jenkins, Palmer could step in and play right away due to his experience at the junior college level.
Of course, he wasn't exactly going up against the '86 Bears' defense during his time at Lackawanna, but Palmer is quick off of the line of scrimmage for his size, and it kind of goes without saying, but he's so big that he can manhandle just about anyone he faces. Sure, it'll be a bit different when he has to go against the Joey Bosas and the Shilique Calhouns of the world, but it's a great place to start from.
One especially impressive trait is that Palmer doesn't give up on plays, which is evident in his tape. Palmer keeps finding opponents to block, and he gets down field quickly on plays like screens and reverses, which as we saw this year, is something James Franklin and John Donovan love doing.
It's incredibly rare for a JuCo player to come in and redshirt. Just by virtue of that, it would be a shock if Franklin slapped a redshirt on Palmer. However, Palmer is also coming in as the most polished and experienced recruit at Penn State's biggest position of need: offensive tackle. There's a really good chance that he is going to be Andrew Nelson's bookend at tackle when the Nittany Lions kick off the 2015 campaign, whether he starts at left or right tackle. Add in the fact that Palmer is an early enrollee and has the luxury of being with the team for spring practice, meaning that he can go through the team's offseason workout routine/work with Herb Hand for an extra handful of months, and I'll go as far as to guarantee that Palmer will play during the 2015 campaign barring an injury.