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What Penn State Football Gains In Four-Star Offensive Lineman Landon Tengwall

James Franklin and his program earned a key commitment from offensive tackle Landon Tengwall on Thursday morning.

Tengwall is the first four-star rated player to join Penn State’s class of 2021 and the second offensive lineman behind Harrisburg native Nate Bruce. The 6’6″, 300-pound tackle is a bonafide star on the offensive line at Olney High School in Maryland and stands as the top-ranked player from his home state.

Along with plenty of pancake blocks, here’s exactly what Tengwall’s commitment means for Penn State.

Dominance In The DMV

Tengwall’s commitment is further confirmation that the Nittany Lions are continuing to develop a recruiting stronghold in the DMV. The big man is the first player from this region to join Franklin’s class of 2021, but Penn State recruited eight players from there in its previous class.

That class included three players from Maryland, including four-star defensive prospects Curtis Jacobs and Coziah Izzard as well as three-star offensive lineman Golden Israel-Achumba.

The Nittany Lions added five players from the region to their 2019 class, including Brandon Smith and Devyn Ford. Defensive tackle PJ Mustipher and wide receiver Daniel George were both recruited out of the Old Line State in 2018.

If Tengwall’s early verbal commitment is any indication, the Nittany Lions may be able to grab even more talent from the region in this cycle.

Only time will tell if Tengwall can convince Caleb Williams to join him in Happy Valley. Williams is a five-star dual-threat quarterback from Washington, D.C. who’s currently considered the No. 5 overall prospect in the country. He recently narrowed his possible destinations down to Clemson, LSU, Maryland, Oklahoma, and Penn State.

Early Success For Phil Trautwein

Phil Trautwein has only been Penn State’s offensive line coach for just about three months, but bringing in the seventh-ranked offensive tackle in the nation as his first recruit isn’t too shabby of a start.

While Trautwein can’t be credited with recruiting Tengwall all on his own, as Penn State has reportedly been recruiting him since he was in the eighth grade, it’s certainly a confidence boost for the young coach.

The Nittany Lions currently have just three recruits in their 2021 recruiting class, but two of them are offensive lineman. Nate Bruce committed to Franklin’s program long before Tengwall in October of 2019. The offensive guard from Harrisburg is a three-star prospect and is ranked as the 14th-best overall player from Pennsylvania.

Penn State is also firmly in the mix to earn a commitment from Nolan Rucci, the top-ranked player in the Keystone State. Rucci is rated as a five-star prospect at offensive tackle and stands at a towering 6’8″ and 289 pounds. He’s currently considered the 14th-best overall player in the country.

Whether he’s been there to develop it or not, Trautwein clearly has a strong offensive line base to work with in the class of 2021.

A Sign Of Improvement To Come?

Penn State’s offensive line has been a position group that has taken plenty of heat during James Franklin’s tenure in Happy Valley. Last season, the Nittany Lions allowed 32 sacks worth a total of 179 yards lost, which averages out to 2.46 sacks per game. With that mark, Penn State finished at No. 98 in the nation in that category.

Matt Limegrover’s group allowed 31 sacks for 195 yards lost the season before. The Nittany Lions parted ways with the former offensive line coach this past December and hired Trautwein just days later.

Although he has yet to coach in a game (let alone a full on-field practice), big-time commitments like Tengwall’s are a welcomed sign for Trautwein’s unit that has had its share of struggles. With two offensive linemen already verbally committed to the class of 2021 and some more stars possibly on their way, the Nittany Lions could have a much-improved group of hog mollies in the coming seasons.

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About the Author

Will Pegler

Will is a junior majoring in digital and print journalism and is an associate editor for Onward State. He is from Darien, Connecticut and is a lifelong Penn State football fan. He loves a good 80's comedy movie, The Office, and the New York Yankees and Giants. You can catch some of his ridiculous sports takes on his Twitter @gritdude and yell at him on his email [email protected]

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