Now QB Christian Hackenberg will have some help in coach James Franklin’s offense.
By Sarah Berkowitz
Today is national signing day for high school players all across the nation, and nowhere is it more important than at Penn State.
It marks the beginning of the future for Penn State — which just got out of scholarship “jail” for the first time since the Jerry Sandusky scandal in 2011 — and the players that will eventually call it home.
Where does Penn State’s class stand?
According to Penn.Live.com, the program has 25 verbal commitments in its class of 2015, making James Franklin’s first class at Penn State a full class.
Late last night Penn State also landed a verbal pledge from Altoona, Pa., linebacker Kevin Givens, who flipped from Pittsburgh. He will play defensive end at Penn State per Rivals.com’s Ryan Snyder, though, and that has been reflected below.
The positional breakdown of the class is fairly straightforward, and fills needs the program was hoping to address in this cycle:
Running back: 2
Wide receiver: 3
Tight end: 1
Offensive guard: 2
Offensive tackle: 2
Defensive end: 4
Defensive tackle: 1
By state, there are 11 verbal pledges from Pennsylvania, five from New Jersey, two from Maryland and Virginia, and one from Connecticut, Washington, D.C., Indiana, North Carolina, and Wisconsin.
Should I expect any surprises on Signing Day?
As of right now, Penn State is not expected to add any additional high school prospects between now and Wednesday.
Can coaches still talk to prospects?
In a limited nature, yes. Each school that is expecting to sign a prospect sends him a National Letter of Intent to sign and fax to the school they choose Wednesday. Penn State, and every other school, is allowed an unlimited number of phone calls to any prospect it sends a NLI too. Face-to-face contact is prohibited starting Monday.
Are any class of 2015 members already enrolled?
Yes. Three 2015 verbal commitments, Indiana quarterback Tommy Stevens, Pittsburgh Baldwin tackle Sterling Jenkins, and Scranton, Pa., Lackawanna junior college transfer and tackle Paris Palmer enrolled at the start of the spring semester in January.
The rest of the class is expected to arrive in June.
Is there anything about this class I should quibble about?
Not really. Penn State probably would have been benefited by signing another defensive tackle, but Wisconsin consensus three-star Robert Windsor is a solid pull. The same goes in the offensive trenches, but the late addition of Palmer helped sure up a need there.
Elsewhere, three linebackers is a good number, and the program continues to replenish and improve its depth in the secondary and at the other skill positions.