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National Signing Day 2015: Welcome to Penn State, Ryan Buchholz

One of the commits whose profile has been elevated the most going into National Signing Day is excited to become a Nittany Lion.

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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There are always players who commit before their senior years, and subsequently make their future schools look like geniuses after the take their game to a whole new level in their final high school season. Ryan Buchholz is yet another example of one of those players. The eastern Pennsylvania native not only will help continue the #DominateTheState movement, but he gives the Lions an imposing figure to put at the end of the defensive line.


Hometown: Malvern, PA

High School: Great Valley

Position: Defensive End

Height/Weight: 6'6"/240

247Composite Rank: ★★ (0.9056)

Positional Rank: #14 Defensive End, #6 Player in Pennsylvania

Commitment Date: February 24, 2014

247Sports Crystal Ball:

High School Stats

Unfortunately, MaxPreps only had data for Ryan's senior season. Thankfully, Ryan's senior season was otherworldly.

Grade GP Tackles Tackles for Loss Sacks Passes Defended Forced Fumbles
Senior 13 38 28.0 10.0 15 4

Highlight Tape

Scouting Report

At his size, Ryan Buchholz is nearly impossible for a high school offensive lineman to deal with. Not only did that size allow for Buchholz to record an absurd 28.0 tackles for loss and 10.0 sacks during his senior season, but it allowed him to channel his inner JJ Watt, and swat down 15 passes on the year. Ryan was the definition of disruptive for opposing quarterbacks. His three star rating, quickly fell by the wayside, as he shot up 247Sports' rankings, nearly into the top five players of Pennsylvania, and to a four star ranking in the composite rankings. For good reason.

From obliterating blocks of offensive linemen, to crashing down on the ballcarrier to force a fumble, Buchholz did it all this season, and was a big reason that his team made it to the second round of the state playoffs this past season (where they would lose to Jake Cooper and Ryan Bates' Archbishop Wood). Buchholz won't be able to achieve the same type of domination of college linemen as he did high school linemen (not yet anyway). However, his frame is one that translates to any level of football. If he can continue to improve his pass rushing moves and block shedding capabilities, he could be a starter for the Nittany Lions as early as his sophomore season.

Ryan also self-assessed his game for Black Shoe Diaries...

I would say my weakness is watching the play too much and right away trying to figure out what's going on. My coach would always tell me to fire off the ball and not put my head up and watch the pay right away, but for some reason I always do because I want to make the play. My most important strength is my height and length, because I would be abel to create separation with the linemen and then make plays. Over the past couple years, I think I have improved most on my pass rush and using my hands. I kind of just integrated my moves myself, I was never really taught them and I believe I have improved on it a lot.

Immediate Outlook

Redshirt No

With the departures of both of last year's starting defensive ends (Deion Barnes and CJ Olaniyan), I don't see any way that Penn State avoids dipping into the 2015 class talent pool for help at defensive end, whether it be in a rotational role or challenging for a starting spot. Of all the defensive ends coming in this season, Buchholz is probably the one who has the best chance to play early. The size alone will play a big factor, as having someone who knows how to bat passes down at the line is always a huge plus. The defensive line for this upcoming season is also set up in a way that having someone a little more inexperienced on the outside may be okay. Stud defensive tackle pairing, Anthony Zettel and Austin Johnson, is returning in 2015, and is the main focus of opposing offensive coordinators as we speak. Those two alone simply cannot be blocked by two guys. One of the defensive ends will likely have a constant stream of one on one blocking. For some at Buchholz's height and weight, there is good reason to believe that he will be able to beat plenty of division one right tackles, even right now.

It will take an inspired performance in camp, as well as some luck, but I think Ryan Buchholz will be an integral part of the defensive line rotation by the end of the season, at the very least.

Everything Else

Welcome to Penn State, Ryan!