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[Live Blog] Early Signing Period 2021

As a wild year of Penn State football begins to wrap up, #WeAre…Better season rolls on.

College football’s 2021 early signing period is officially underway, and the Nittany Lions are set to welcome several players to their newest recruiting class throughout Wednesday. According to 247Sports, James Franklin currently has 15 players committed to his program in this class. That gives Penn State the No. 4 class in the Big Ten and the No. 20 class in the country.

While this year’s group may feel a little small, much of that can be put on the fact that the Nittany Lions signed a massive 27 players during the 2020 recruiting cycle. There will still be plenty of action to kick off this year’s early signing period, so follow along here as several high school prospects make their commitments to Happy Valley official.

7:18 a.m.: Here we go! The Nittany Lions start things off with a little help from former star Penn State wide receiver Allen Robinson, who announced the signing of brothers and defensive prospects Kalen and Kobe King.

Kalen, a cornerback from Cass Technical High School, remains the higher ranked player of the two. He’s considered a four-star prospect by 247Sports and the No. 8 overall player from the state of Michigan. He received a total of 32 offers, including looks from Michigan, Michigan State, and Wisconsin.

Kobe, on the other hand, is ranked as the No. 12 player from the pair’s home state. The inside linebacker out of Cass Technical is considered a three-star prospect and stands at 6’0″, 223 pounds.

The pair of defensive stalwarts verbally committed to James Franklin’s program back in early April.

7:36 a.m.: Rodney McGraw is up next, and the Nittany Lions have officially added another star defensive prospect.

The three-star defensive end from Elkhart, Indiana originally committed to his home state’s Hoosiers in January 2020, but eventually decommitted and verbally joined the Nittany Lions in May.

As a junior at Elkhart Central High School in 2019, McGraw recorded 73 total tackles — 21.5 for a loss — and finished with nine sacks. Along with that impressive stat line, the 6’5″, 225-pound defender enjoys role as center on Elkhart’s basketball team.

7:45 a.m.: It’s another Michigan native! Detroit Lions linebacker turned f*llback Jason Cabinda helped announced the signing of Jamari Buddin Wednesday morning.

The three-star linebacker from Belleville, Michigan verbally committed to the Nittany Lions back in July. He’s ranked as the No. 11 player from his home state and the No. 25 outside linebacker in the nation.

Buddin is joining the Nittany Lions over offers from Florida, Ole Miss, and of course Michigan and Michigan State.

7:54 a.m.: Zakee Wheatley has arrived.

Former Penn State safety and Green Bay Packers star Adrian Amos helped announce the signing of the four-star safety from Severn, Maryland.

Wheatley was part of a flurry of verbal commitments to Penn State’s class of 2021 back in early April. The 6’2″, 180-pound safety played his high school ball at Archbishop Spalding High School and did it all, as he played wide receiver and starred on the defensive side of the ball throughout his career.

247Sports’ Brian Dohn described Wheatley as an impressive athlete who’s “fearless in going after ball over middle.” While he seems to have the talent to do it on both sides, as of now the Nittany Lions have signed him as a defensive back.

8:21 a.m.: The Nittany Lions are only getting stronger on the defensive side of the ball. Three-star cornerback Jeffrey Davis Jr. is officially headed to Happy Valley.

The three-star cornerback from West Hartford, Connecticut is ranked as the No. 3 player from his home state and joins the Nittany Lions over 10 other offers. Similar to Wheatley, Davis has also shown off his athleticism by playing wide receiver at Kingswood-Oxford High School.

Davis joins Penn State over Boston College, Michigan, and Rutgers, among others.

8:29 a.m.: Here comes some offense for the Nittany Lions. Four-star wide receiver Harrison Wallace has put pen to paper and is officially headed to James Franklin’s program.

Wallace flipped his commitment from Duke to Penn State earlier this month. The talented wideout is ranked as the No. 21 player from his home state of Alabama and the No. 88 pass-catcher in the country.

“I chose Penn State because the program is just a fit for me,” Wallace said just over a week ago. “I love the coaching staff, and the facilities and academics are a perfect match for me.”

Assuming Liam Clifford and Lonnie White stay committed to the Nittany Lions, Penn State will bring in three wide receivers with this recruiting class of 2021.

8:36 a.m.: For the brand, baby. Jordan Stout helped announced five-star kicker Sander Sahaydak’s signing to Penn State.

The Bethlehem, Pennsylvania native is ranked as the No. 8 kicking prospect in the nation by Kohl’s Kicking, and he’s considered the No. 2 kicker in the nation by 247Sports.

Just after his his verbal commitment in the spring, Sahaydak showed off his leg by nailing five consecutive 62-yard field goals.

The star Pennsylvania specialist joins the Nittany Lions over offers from Army and Rutgers.

8:45 a.m.: There’s yet another Michigan native for the Nittany Lions. Pontiac, Michigan’s own KJ Hamler helped announce the signing of four-star safety Jaylen Reed.

Reed, who hails from Detroit, is ranked as the No. 9 player from his home state and the No. 17 safety in the nation, according to 247Sports. He verbally committed to the Nittany Lions back in April, and picks them over offers from Georgia, Oregon, and USC, along with 28 others.

As a junior at Martin Luther King High School in 2019, Reed had an interception, eight forced fumbles, and a whopping 119 tackles.

8:54 a.m.: We know him! Sean Clifford’s younger brother, Liam, is officially a Nittany Lion.

Clifford is ranked as a three-star prospect and the No. 20 player from his home state of Ohio, according to 247Sports.

The wideout has impressed during his senior season at St. Xavier High School, especially in early October. Clifford put together a record-breaking performance by hauling two touchdowns and totaling 300 (!!!) receiving yards in a 62-37 win over St. Ignatius.

9:08 a.m.: Welcome to Happy Valley, Lonnie White Jr. The four-star athlete from Malvern, Pennsylvania has made his commitment official.

White verbally committed to Happy Valley back in May, but he’s only gotten more attention since then. He’s now considered the No. 7 player in the state of Pennsylvania and the No. 34 wideout in the nation, according to 247Sports.

The speedy athlete joins Penn State over Michigan, Syracuse, and Virginia Tech, among others.

9:15 a.m.: Here come the tight ends, folks.

Three-star Wexford, Pennsylvania prospect Khalil Dinkins is officially a Nittany Lion.

The 6’3″, 220-pound tight end committed to the Nittany Lions this past October, and is considered the No. 17 player in the state by 247Sports. As a junior at North Allegheny High School in 2019, Dinkins made 16 catches for 399 yards and six touchdowns.

Dinkins committed to Penn State over Pitt, among 14 others. That decision is particularly interesting, however, considering his father, Darnell Dinkins, was a talented safety for the Panthers in the late 90s and went on to play eight years in the NFL.

9:28 a.m.: Penn State’s top-ranked recruit in the class of 2021 has arrived.

Four-star offensive tackle Landon Tengwall made his commitment official Wednesday morning, as announced by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Donovan Smith.

Tengwall verbally committed to the Nittany Lions in late March, and is considered one of the top offensive line prospects in the nation. According to 247Sports, Tengwall is the top player from his home state of Maryland and the No. 7 offensive tackle in the nation.

Coming in at 6’6″, 300 pounds, Tengwall has racked up 27 offers from top programs around the nation. He joins James Franklin’s program over Alabama, Auburn, and Florida, among others.

Tengwall and Nate Bruce are currently the only offensive linemen expected to commit to Penn State in this recruiting cycle.

9:41 a.m.: Another big fella!

Fellow offensive lineman Nate Bruce has put pen to paper and is officially headed to Happy Valley.

The three-star offensive guard out of Harrisburg is considered the No. 14 player in Pennsylvania and the No. 30 offensive guard in the nation, according to 247Sports. He verbally committed to James Franklin all the way back in October 2019, as he was the second player to join the class of 2021.

Bruce stands at 6’4″, weighs 320 pounds, and could be a force on Penn State’s offensive line in the years to come. Despite his size and well-documented talent, Bruce received just four other offers besides Penn State. He elected to stay home and play for the Nittany Lions over Virginia Tech and Bowling Green, among others.

9:51 a.m.: It’s quarterback time, eh?

Four-star signal-caller Christian Veilleux, who’s originally from Ontario, has made his commitment to Penn State official.

Veilleux verbally committed to the Nittany Lions this past April and is considered the No. 19 pro-style quarterback in the nation, according to 247Sports. He played his high school football at The Bullis School in Potomac, Maryland and received 21 offers from several top-tier programs.

As a junior at The Bullis School in 2019, the 6’3″, 201-pound gunslinger threw for 1,696 yards and 17 touchdowns. He also rushed for 268 yards and four scores.

The Nittany Lions’ only quarterback in this 2021 class joins over offers from Clemson, LSU, and Michigan, among others.

10:16 a.m.: That’ll wrap up Penn State’s signings for the day. Director of Player Personnel Andy Frank will meet with the media at 2:30 p.m. to discuss the Nittany Lions’ class of 2021.

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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, Peaky Blinders, 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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