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Penn State Recruiting Update: High School Performance

With Penn State’s 2016 and 2017 classes sitting at a combined 21 commitments, a number of future Penn State football players were in action this week at the high school level.

Class of 2016:

  • Jake Zembiec – Quarterback (Aquinas Institute; Rochester, NY) Bouncing back from a season-ending injury is never easy, especially when expectations are as high as they are for Jake Zembiec’s Aquinas Institute. Zembiec, through four games recorded on MaxPreps, is 52-76 passing for 900 yards. He also has 13 touchdowns and only two interceptions during that same stretch. Zembiec, of course, is a dual-threat quarterback and has also carried the ball 20 times for 68 yards and a score.
  • Miles Sanders – Running Back (Woodland Hills; Pittsburgh, PA) Many high schools don’t bother to record season-long stats for their players but I was able to find that Sanders broke two big plays on Friday against Baldwin. He ran for a 54-yard touchdown and brought back a pick six for 45 yards. For any additional questions regarding Sanders’ ability or season progress, please refer to his midseason highlights.
  • Michal Menet – Offensive Tackle (Exeter; Reading, PA) Traditionally, it’s really difficult to gauge an offensive tackle’s ability from his statistics. There are few people who record high school statistics to begin with, and to track an offensive tackle stat such as “pancakes” would simply be inefficient. We can, however, view Menet’s dominance from his performances on the defensive side of the ball. This season, Menet has 20 tackles and six sacks from his position on the defensive line. He has also tallied one forced fumble, one blocked punt, and one blocked field goal.
  • Shane Simmons – Defensive End (DeMatha; Hyattsville, MD) Stats are hard to find for Simmons, who is one of the strongest players in the class. DeMatha Catholic, Simmons’ school, is ranked in the top five nationally and Simmons has made strong showings at both defensive end and tight end this season against some of the nation’s strongest competition. Talent aside, Simmons is an integral part of this pledge class and Penn State recruiting going forward. Some of Penn State’s biggest targets in the near future are DeMatha stars, like Chase Young and Anthony McFarland Jr.

Class of 2017:

  • Sean Clifford – Quarterback (St. Xavier; Cincinnati, OH) Clifford, Penn State’s sole commitment in the class of 2017, is having success similar to that of Zembiec thus far. He has completed 63 of his 98 pass attempts and has thrown for eight touchdowns. He has also rushed for 59 yards and two touchdowns. James Franklin is making it clear through recruiting that he wants a dual-threat at the helm of his offense.

If these five’s high school performances are any indication, Franklin’s recruiting prowess is all it’s hyped to be.

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About the Author

Cade Reed

is a sophomore Finance major from Lebanon, Pennsylvania. Cade is our resident Penn State football optimist and he will defend Christian Hackenberg relentlessly in any forum. He is passionate about all things Penn State as he comes from a long line of Penn Staters before him. You can reach him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @TheRealCadeReed.


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