Although Penn State has 22 players signed to its 2018 freshman class and is ranked fourth by two popular recruiting web sites, the Nittany Lions still hope to make a significant addition or two during Wednesday’s second signing day.
Two players, both owning consensus four-star rankings, remain on the table for the Lions and both will make their decisions known Wednesday. Offensive tackle Rasheed Walker of Waldorf, Md., has Penn State, Ohio State, and Virginia Tech as his finalists. Wide receiver Solomon Enis of Phoenix, son of former Nittany Lions running back Curtis Enis, will choose between his father’s alma mater and Utah.
Penn State signed 21 players in the early signing period on Dec. 20, and added a 22nd player a short time later in four-star defensive end Jayson Oweh of Howell, N.J. Oweh, who signed his letter of intent in secret, announced his decision publicly on Jan. 4 at the UnderArmour All-American Game.
The Nittany Lions’ 2018 class is ranked fourth in the nation by Rivals and 247 Sports while ESPN has them at No. 5. All three sites rate the Lions’ class as second in the Big Ten behind Ohio State.
Six players who were signed in December enrolled last month for the spring semester, including five-star defensive end Micah Parsons of Harrisburg. Head coach James Franklin said before the Fiesta Bowl that Parsons would be given a chance at middle linebacker during spring practice.
Wednesday’s signings will not have the suspense of past first Wednesdays in February, which used to be the only signing day for college football.
ESPN recruiting analyst Tom Luginbill said more than 70 percent of the players in this year’s Football Bowl Subdivision recruiting class have signed. Twelve of the most highly regarded players are expected to announce their decisions Wednesday on ESPN.
Luginbill said he liked how Penn State filled needs along the offensive and defensive lines, including Parsons, Oweh, defensive tackle PJ Mustipher of Owings Mills, Md., and guard Fredrick “Juice” Scruggs of Erie.
“I’m really impressed with how they filled their needs, the caliber of player that they’re adding to the trenches,” Luginbill said. “I think it’s going to make them a team that’s going to be a formidable contender for a Big Ten championship and a college football playoff contender on a consistent, sustained basis going forward.”
Eight Lions invited to NFL Combine
All-America running back Saquon Barkley leads a contingent of eight Penn State players invited to the NFL Combine beginning March 1 in Indianapolis. Other Nittany Lions heading to the combine are linebacker Jason Cabinda, tight end Mike Gesicki, wide receiver DaeSean Hamilton and their entire starting secondary — cornerbacks Grant Haley and Christian Campbell, and safeties Marcus Allen and Troy Apke.