2018 Penn State Recruiting Class Ranked No. 4
The new December signing period is equivalent to an early Christmas for college football fans all over the country. Being a mere five days before Christmas, Santa was especially gracious to Penn State football fans. The 2018 Penn State recruiting class ranked No. 4 in the nation by 247Sports. This is the first time since 2006 that the Nittany Lions are ranked in the top 10. The 2018 class is highlighted by four number one prospects in four different states. Top-ranked WR Justin Shorter from New Jersey, TE Pat Freiermuth from Massachusetts, RB Ricky Slade out of Virginia and finally, Athlete Micah Parsons from Pennsylvania. That is a total of 21 signees for the 2018 Penn State recruiting class on just the first National Signing day.
Dominate the State…maybe the East?
There are 12 different states and Canada represented in the 2018 Penn State recruiting class. Spanning from Ontario to Iowa to Texas and Florida. Six of the 21 come form Pennsylvania and two each from Florida, Marylnad, Texas and Virginia. Furthermore, the newest class of Nittany Lions that signed their NLIs early includes three five-star and 9 four-star signees. Finally, six of the 21 signees will be enrolling at Penn State early in January.
Small Preview of the 2018 Penn State Recruiting Class
Justin Shorter – WR
Shorter is the No. 1 prospect from New Jersey coming out of South Brunswick High School. He is listed at 6-4, 220 lbs. and the No. 8 prospect in the country according to ESPN. Shorter will look to make an instant impact, Head Coach James Franklin stated that, “Justin Shorter is the best HS wide receiver as [he] has ever seen.” Furthermore, over the last three seasons, Shorter had 119 receptions for 1.908 yards and 22 touchdowns. In the State tietle game on December 2nd, he had a season high seven catches and one touchdown catch en route to an 18-14 victory over Manalapan. Finally, Shorter will bring size to a receiving corps to flank Juwan Johnson with the departure of DaeSean Hamilton to graduation.
Ricky Slade – RB
Slade is a four-star recruit by all three major recruiting outlets out of Woodrbridge, VA at C.D. Hylton High School. He comes in at 5-9, 185 lbs. and adds to the great running backs that have been recruited the last few years by Penn State. Slade is the No. 1 player coming out of Virginia and the No 2 RB in the country by all three major recruiting outlets. He rushed for more that 300 yards in two games this season and was selected to the Under Armour All-America Game. He finishes high school with 5,499 career rushing yards and 30 touchdowns as a senior. Slade will be a great addition to the running back group, behind Mile Sanders, who is poised to take over if Saquon Barkley enters the NFL draft.
Pat Freiermuth – TE
Freiermuth is the No. 1 ranked player in Massachusetts out of Brooks School and a four-star recruit by all three recruiting outlets. Furthermore, he is the No. 132 overall prospect in the country. He is reminiscent of current Penn State great, Mike Gesicki, at 6-5, 250 lbs. He earned All-New England Class B as a Junior and Senior and had 26 receptions for 613 yards and seven touchdowns this past season. Finally, Freiermuth also was a four-year letterman in basketball, which will help him make an instant impact at the TE position that is losing Gesicki to graduation and undoubtedly the NFL.
Micah Parsons – ATH
Parsons had a roller-coaster ride throughout his recruiting process. The Harrisburg, PA native originally committed to the Nittany Lions very early on, but reopened his commitment and garnered offers from Ohio State, Oklahoma and Alabama to name a few. He is a five-star recruit, the No. 1 prospect in Pennsylvania and the No. 4 overall prospect by 247Sports. Parsons decided to re-commit to Penn State at 10 am on National Signing Day and sent his NLI in later in the day. Parsons recorded 55 tackles, 10.5 sacks and 17.5 tackles for loss on defense. Finally, he added 1,239 rushing yards, 99 receiving yards and 29 offensive touchdowns on offense as a senior.
According to head coach James Franklin; Parsons will start out at Mike Linebacker in the spring to see where he fits. Parson could stay at linebacker or move to defensive end, but will undoubtedly make an impact early.
Isaiah Humphries – S
Humphries comes from Sachse High School in Rowlett, Texas. He is 5-11, 190 lbs. and will be enrolling early in January. The safety is a legacy for Penn State. His father, Leonard, played for the Nittany Lions from 1988-1992 and was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in 1992. Humphries is a three-star recruit by all three major recruiting outlets and the No. 31 safety in the 2018 class. Furthermore, he was voted the District 10-6A Defensive Player of the Year as a senior. Look for him to add muscle when he enrolls early in January and bring his leadership skills to the Nittany Lions defense that will be looking for a young safety to make an impact early.
Just A Snap Shot
These five Nittany Lions are just a snap shot of the 21 early signees. The class is the first top-ten ranked class for the Nittany Lions since 2006 and looks to fill many needs for Penn State moving forward. Franklin stated after the day was over that there are still needs at Offensive Tackle, but with another signing period still to come there is plenty of time to add to an already talent laden class.
Finally, the 2018 Penn State recruiting class was able to get one other surprise yesterday, in addition to Parson, in WR Jahan Dotson from Nazareth, PA. Dotson was originally committed to UCLA, but a late push by the Nittany Lions kept the Pennsylvania native home. Dotson is a good addition for the Penn State receiving group, as he brings great speed, he won the PIAA State championships in the 4×100 relay.
Overall, the 2018 Penn State recruiting class looks to be well rounded and full of talent that can make an immediate impact for the Nittany Lions.