Editor’s note: Shortly after this article was published Friday morning, offensive lineman Chris Bleich de-committed from Penn State. The Nittany Lions now have seven ESPN300 recruits, tied with Ohio State for third most in the nation.
While Thursday didn’t bring yet another commitment to James Franklin’s already loaded 2018 recruiting class, there was other good news for the Nittany Lions. Eight Penn State commits were named to the ESPN300, one of the most meaningful rankings for high school players.
Two future Nittany Lions — quarterback Justin Fields and defensive end Micah Parsons — made the top ten at No. 3 and No. 8, respectively. Fields is the class’s best dual-threat quarterback while Parsons, who 247Sports ranks the No. 3 overall recruit and No. 1 defensive end, is now ranked No. 4 at his position.
Also included in the ESPN300 were running back Ricky Slade at No. 17, wide receiver Justin Shorter at No. 51, linebacker Jesse Luketa at No. 192, offensive lineman Chris Bleich at No. 241, tight end Zach Kuntz at No. 265, and tight end Pat Freiermuth at No. 272.
Penn State is tied with LSU with eight ESPN300 recruits. The only school with more is Miami, which has 16 total commits as opposed to Penn State’s 12. The Hurricanes have 11 players ranked among the top 300 juniors. However, Penn State does have three of the top 30 players compared to Miami, which only has one, who comes in at No. 30.
In the coming weeks, Penn State’s number of ESPN300 recruits could grow as priority targets Kwantel Raines, PJ Mustipher, Isheem Young, Fredrick Scruggs, and Nana Asiedu all made the ranking.