Usually high school recruits have to wait until February of their senior year of high school to officially sign the Letters of Intent for the school they’re committing to. This year, the NCAA implemented a new early signing period, giving seniors the chance to sign their NLIs during a late-December 72-hour window.
The day started with everyone in the nation waiting to hear where prized recruit Micah Parsons would be taking his talents. The five-star defensive end recommitted to Penn State over national powerhouses like Ohio State, Alabama, and Oklahoma. Later in the day, James Franklin was also able to flip speedy receiver Jahan Dotson from UCLA.
While the early signing period left James Franklin with a lot of reason to be happy this holiday season, it hurt many schools. One of the schools that was impacted the most by the new early signing period was Ohio State. The Buckeyes seemed to be the favorite at one point to land Parsons, who even named his dog Brutus, until it was announced that they self reported a violation and chose to stop recruiting Parsons.
Urban Meyer also lost four-star quarterback Emory Jones to Florida and five-star defensive back Jaiden Woodbey to Florida State. Dropping those three top prospects resulted in Ohio State falling from the top recruiting class in the nation before the early signing period to the second-ranked class, while Penn State was able jump up to No. 4 by the end of the week.
With 21 of the 25 spots already signed for the class of 2018 (and three-star receiver Shaquon Anderson-Butts already committed to the Nittany Lions, but expected to sign in February) it appears that Penn State has three more spots to fill in February.
The Nittany Lions have heavily recruited legacy wide receiver Solomon Enis, who accidentally appeared in a couple videos with Penn State signees.
Penn State has also sought after defensive ends Tyreke Smith and Jayson Oweh, along with offensive tackle Rasheed Walker. Unsurprisingly, one of James Franklin’s biggest competitors each member of the trio will be Meyer and the Buckeyes. Seeing how this December went, don’t be surprised if the Nittany Lions manage to rise in the recruit rankings once again.