It is time to look at who the 2021 Penn State early enrollees are for the 2021 recruiting class. There are seven new Nittany Lions enrolling a semester early. All seven started classes on January 19th. So, who are those seven? Quarterback Christian Veilleux, offensive linemen Landon Tengwall and Nate Bruce, defensive end Rodney McGraw, linebacker Kobe King, and corners Kalen King and Jeffrey Davis Jr. all left high school early.
2021 Penn State Early Enrollees
All seven of these early enrollees bring something different to the table for Penn State. All seven will also fare differently from enrolling early. Each of these new Nittany Lions will have players at their positions to help with the transition, even during the COVID-19 protocols in place. Let’s take a look at the different early enrollees and which players and coaches will help mold them.
The first position to look at is the quarterback. The newest addition to the group is Veilleux. The signal-caller hails from Ontario by way of The Bullis School in Potomac, Maryland. According to the 247Sports Composite rankings, Veilleux is a three-star pro-style quarterback. He stands six-foot-three-inches tall and weighs 201 pounds. His measurements resemble current Nittany Lion quarterback Sean Clifford’s very well. The current Penn State starting quarterback entered Happy Valley standing six-foot-two-inches tall and weighing 210 pounds. Veilleux had offers from Arizona State, Clemson, and fellow Big Ten schools Michigan and Rutgers.
New Offensive Coordinator Mike Yurcich will get to work with Veilleux sooner rather than later. Yurcich will be getting an accurate pocket passer with mobility. In addition, he has good footwork and is football smart. He will, however, need to work on his arm strength, but that is an upside of enrolling early. Getting to work with the Penn State strength staff will benefit Veilleux greatly.
The Offensive Linemen
Tengwall and Bruce are the two offensive linemen that decided to enroll early. These two will work with offensive line coach Phil Trautwein. Trautwein has one season under his belt with the Nittany Lions and is getting two good ones in Tengwall and Bruce. Tengwall is six-foot-six-inches and weighs 300 pounds. He won’t have to do much to trim down, as he is already in football shape. Further, he is quick and has great footwork. The extra time with Trautwein will undoubtedly put Tengwall on track to be a starter in the fall.
Bruce also enrolled early this spring. The Harrisburg native will benefit from the extra time with the strength and conditioning staff along with Veilleux. He is unlikely to see a lot of time in the fall, but look for him to be a fixture on the line in the coming years.
Four for the Defense
There are four early enrollees for the defense this spring. One defensive end, one linebacker, and two corners. The first addition is McGraw. A position that Penn State will like to get some depth at is defensive end and that is exactly what McGraw will do. He will get to learn from projected starter Adisa Isaac. Isaac finished the 2020 season with 13 total tackles, one-and-a-half for loss, and one-and-a-half sacks. McGraw is a big end from Indiana, gaining an offer from the Hoosiers. Through 2018 and 2019 McGraw tallied 13 sacks, seven forced fumbles, and 39.5 tackles for loss. Look for him to be in the rotation in the fall if he takes advantage of additional time this spring.
Next up are the King twins from Michigan. The first King is Kalen at the secondary position. He is a four-star recruit and the top-rated defensive product in the class. King had offers from 10 other Big Ten schools and chose Penn State over Michigan and Michigan State. He will have plenty of Penn Staters to learn from with Tariq Castro-Fields returning to a talented young group. Then there is Kobe King, the inside linebacker that will be able to learn from the likes of Jesse Luketa and Ellis Brooks. He will have plenty of time to develop behind both of them.
Finally, Davis Jr. enters the mix in the secondary. Just as with King, Davis Jr. will be able to learn from Castro-Fields and Joey Porter Jr., just to name a few. He won’t be relied upon heavily early in his career which will be good to help him develop. Something that will benefit him greatly is that he is also a track athlete that runs a four-point-four second 40-yard dash.
All seven have a bright future ahead at Penn State at varying degrees. Regardless of how soon each will make their contributions on the field, all will benefit from the extra time of enrolling early. It is a strange time in college football right now, but enrolling early is usually a good idea even in the strangest of times.