By Mary Cunningham

Penn State has gotten off to a fast start in today’s National Signing Day!

The Nittany Lions received their first commit of the day. Three-star defensive tackle Corey Bolds (above) announced his verbal commitment via Twitter less than an hour before he can make his pledge official. The 6-foot-3, 276-pounder is the No. 14 prospect from Paramus, N. J. and the No. 45 defensive tackle in the country. He chose Penn State over Rutgers, Michigan, Ohio State, Clemson, Georgia and Maryland, among other schools. His commitment brings Penn State’s 2017 class to a tentative 20 members.

Sean Clifford was the first player to commit to Penn State’s 2017 recruiting class back in July 2015 — and he was the first to sign with the Nittany Lions on Wednesday morning. Clifford, a four-star quarterback out of Cincinnati, has been a leader of the 2017 class. He’s the No. 6 player from Ohio and No. 8 pro-style quarterback nationally. Despite that label as a “pocket passer”, Clifford believes he can fit wtih Joe Moorhead’s offensive system, predicated on the read-option. “When I watched Trace McSorley this year, I kind of compare myself to his game,” Clifford told the Centre Daily Times on Monday. “I can’t wait to get up to Penn State to show off what I have.”

C. J. Thorpe is officially a Nittany Lion. The four-star guard out of Pittsburgh’s Central Catholic sent in his NLI, a big boost for Penn State. Thorpe was being recruited late by Michigan and UCLA, but reaffirmed his commitment to the Nittany Lions a couple weeks ago. Thorpe, a 6-foot-3, 318-pound offensive guard, played well in the Under Armour All-American Game. He’s the No. 4 propsect in Pennsylvania and No. 6 guard in the country.

The first bit of disheartening news for the Nittany Lions: four-star wide receiver Mark Webb signed with Georgia. Webb, from Archbishop Wood, is widely considered the top wideout in Pennsylvania. He’s the No. 22 wideout in the country. Penn State’s coaching staff made heavy, late pushes to secure the commitment of Webb, but to no avail.

Journey Brown’s next stop is Penn State. The No. 14 player in Pennsylvania, Brown is a talented running back out of Meadville, known for putting up 722 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns — in one game as a junior. The 5-foot-11, 194-pounder is expected to be Penn State’s lone running back in the 2017 class.

Four-star defensive end Yetur Matos makes it a quartet of signees for the Nittany Lions. Matos, the No. 5 strongside edge rusher in the country, hails from Fredericksburg, Va. as the No. 6 prospect in the state. He had offers from Alabama, Clemson, Pittsburgh, North Carolina and Tennessee, among others. He’s the first defensive player to sign on Wednesday in a class expected to be filled with talent for Brent Pry to work with.


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