Blue White Illustrated

September 2021

Penn State Sports Magazine

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 52 of 75

S E P T E M B E R 2 0 2 1 5 3 W W W . B L U E W H I T E O N L I N E . C O M J ames Franklin has put together some very impressive recruiting runs over the years. In his first full year in charge, Franklin and his staff hit the ground running, landing seven commitments in 12 days. That run, which began in early Febru- ary 2014, occurred just a month after he left Vanderbilt to accept the Penn State job. It featured one of the best prospects to ever play for the school in running back Saquon Barkley and came at a time when players couldn't sign for almost an entire year. What's more, it created an expectation among Penn State fans that recruiting was about to go to an- other level. In the years that followed, the Lions put together some other impressive runs, most notably two years ago, in the summer of 2020, when they earned ver- bal commitments from 12 players in a 15-day span. That run featured plenty of players who are still making their way up the depth chart, but one of them, wide receiver Parker Washington, has already shown that he will be a force in the Big Ten over the next several years. That brings us to the summer of 2021. With the COVID-19 pandemic having shut down in-person recruit- ing for more than a year, it was un- derstood that the summer months were going to be busy, especially June. Franklin and his staff seized their op- portunity, hosting more than 1,300 high-school-aged players at seven camps from June 1-27, and that doesn't include the Lion Strong 7-on-7 and Big Man Challenge, in which 54 high school teams from all over the Mid- Atlantic region competed in a tourna- ment that lasted the entire day. Wi t h re ga rd to p ros p e c t v i s i ts, whether official or unofficial, by BWI's count, Penn State w e l c o m e d m o r e than 120 prospects. T h e re we re o n ly two d ays d u r i n g that span, which the NCAA ironi- cally called a "quiet period," in which the Nittany Lions' staff truly got a break. By the end of June, Penn State had landed just one commitment, from wide receiver Tyler Johnson of Ridgeway, Va. Fans found themselves feeling anxious, wondering how all of those visits could result in only one addition to the class. That's when the floodgates opened. In a four-day span beginning July 2, the Nittany Lions added six new players to their class. Their run started with a commitment from junior college offen- sive lineman J.B. Nelson of Lackawanna College in Scranton, Pa., and it ended when running back Nick Singleton of Governor Mifflin High in Shillington, Pa., announced his intention to sign with Penn State. In between, the staff added underrated linebacker prospect Keon Wylie of Imhotep Charter in Phila- delphia, as well as three four-star defen- sive line prospects: Tyreese Fearbry of Pittsburgh, Zane Durant of Orlando and Kaleb Artis of New York. Fearbry later decommitted, announc- ing on July 29 that he was reopening his recruitment. But that bit of bad news was overshadowed by a string of recruit- ing successes both before and after Fear- bry's change of heart. On July 16, another four-star run- ning back, Kaytron Allen, who grew up in Norfolk, Va., and now plays at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., decided that he, too, wanted to attend PSU. One day later, the Lions enjoyed a rare win in Louisiana, with cornerback Jordan Al- len of Lafayette announcing that he was joining the class. All of those developments led up to the biggest decision of the past four years for Penn State, when Dani Den- nis-Sutton, a five-star defensive end Summer Surge Boosts Penn State's 2022, '23 Classes Five-star DE Dani Dennis-Sutton headlines a monthlong recruiting binge RYA N S N Y D E R | S N Y D E R 4 2 0 8 8 @ G M A I L . C O M A 6-5, 253-pound defensive end from Owings Mills, Md., Dennis-Sutton announced his commitment on July 22, helping lift Penn State's class to No. 1 in the Team Rankings for a few weeks. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM FOOTBALL RECRUITING Rk. School Commits 1. Notre Dame 24 2. Penn State 24 3. Ohio State 15 4. Florida State 18 5. LSU 15 Rk. School Commits 6. Alabama 14 7. Georgia 14 8. Oklahoma 15 9. Oregon 16 10. Clemson 12 RIVALS' 2022 TEAM RECRUITING RANKINGS As of August 10

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Blue White Illustrated - September 2021