Despite his first National Signing Day taking place just a few weeks ago, coach James Franklin isn’t taking any time off before recruiting some of the country’s best talent in the class of 2015. Penn State received verbal commitments today from two Pennsylvania natives, three-star linebacker Jake Cooper and three-star defensive lineman Ryan Buchholz, according to Lions247.
— Jake Cooper (@WelcomeToMyCoop) February 24, 2014
— Ryan Buchholz (@RyanBuchholz9) February 24, 2014
Cooper helped lead Warminster, Pa.’s Archbishop Wood High School to the PIAA State Championship title and was a team captain last year. The 6-foot-2, 220-pound junior tallied 152 tackles in 2013, along with six sacks and one interception, which he returned for a touchdown. He was named a first-team All-State selection at the AAA level.
The linebacker held offers from Northwestern and Pitt, among others, but evidently the recruiting efforts of defensive coordinator Bob Shoop won him over. You can see his highlight tape here.
Buchholz is a 6-foot-6, 230-pound defensive end out of Great Valley High School in Malvern, Pa., who recorded 70 tackles and 10 sacks as a junior in 2013. He had offers from 13 schools, including West Virginia, Rutgers, and Pitt, but told Lions 247, “I feel more comfortable and a lot better with [Franklin’s staff].”
He was a first-team selection for his league, and was recruited by defensive line coach Sean Spencer. You can watch his highlight tapes here.
All in all, this brings the Class of 2015 to six verbal commitments, with four players coming from Pennsylvania. The class of 2014 only had three recruits from PA, so Franklin’s goal to #DominateTheState seems to be coming to fruition sooner rather than later. These commitments today have also launched Penn State into the lead for “Best Recruiting Class of 2015″ among Big Ten Schools, according to 247Sports.com.