Blue White Illustrated

December 2023

Penn State Sports Magazine

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 51 of 67

5 2 D E C E M B E R 2 0 2 3 W W W . B L U E W H I T E O N L I N E . C O M P enn State's class of 2024 ranked 13th in the nation according to On3's Team Rankings at the start of November. With 15 four-star prospects committed, it's no surprise that some of the Nittany Lions' top players have put together excellent senior seasons. For many of them, it's all about win- ning a state championship now, with high school playoffs having begun in most states. How did Penn State's future players perform this season? We tracked down stats for most of the class's skill players below. Antoine Belgrave-Shorter Mandarin High, which is located in Jacksonville, Fla., entered its final reg- ular-season game against Bartram Trail with a 7-2 record. The Mustangs started the season 4-0 before losing two in a row. They rallied for three wins in Oc- tober before their regular-season finale. Belgrave-Shorter ranked ninth on the team in tackles with 36 through nine games. The three-star cornerback also had 4 pass breakups, 2 tackles for loss and an interception during that span. Tyseer Denmark Denmark started out his high school career at Roman Catholic, but the Phil- adelphia native and future Penn State wide receiver transferred just before his senior season to Imhotep Charter. In the Panthers' first eight games, Denmark amassed 27 receptions for 320 yards and 4 receiving touchdowns. Those totals led the team in all categories. Imhotep Charter finished its regular season with a 9-0 record. The Panthers' offense averaged 44 points per game, while the defense hadn't allowed a point since September. Those trends allowed the team to rest its starters ahead of the Philadelphia Public League playoffs, which began on Nov. 3. Ethan Grunkemeyer Grunkemeyer and his teammates at Olentangy (Ohio) High defeated Dublin Jerome 44-13 in the first round of the OHSAA Region 2 playoffs on Oct. 27. A four-star quarterback from Lewis Center, Grunkmeyer led Olentangy to a 9-1 regular-season record, which was the school's best since 2015. Grunkmeyer completed 217 of 311 at- tempts (69.8 percent) for 2,851 yards, 31 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. Xavier Gilliam Gilliam, a three-star defensive end, transferred to Quince Orchard High this past summer when his family moved to Gaithersburg, Md. In the first eight games of the regular season, Gilliam was excellent for the Cougars, ranking sec- ond on the team with 37 tackles. He led the team by a wide margin in tackles for loss with 14 and had 6 sacks. Following back-to-back state champi- onships in 2021 and '22, Quince Orchard had won 37 games in a row heading into the playoffs. The Cougars had a bye week in the first round and were set to resume play Nov. 10. Peter Gonzalez Central Catholic finished its regular season with a 9-1 record. The Vikings were arguably the best team in Pitts- Penn State Commits Shine During Senior Seasons RYA N S N Y D E R | RYA N . S N Y D E R @ O N 3 . C O M FOOTBALL RECRUITING Cornerback Antoine Belgrave-Shorter had made 36 tackles through nine games, helping Mandarin High in Jacksonville, Fla., compile a 7-2 record heading into its regular-season finale. PHOTO BY CHAD SIMMONS/ON3

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Blue White Illustrated - December 2023