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Penn State Football Adds 10 Preferred Walk-Ons On Second Signing Day

Aside from one newly inked scholarship signee in Davon Townley, Penn State football had a relatively quiet and stress-free second National Signing Day period.

In addition to the 16 newly inked scholarship players, the program officially announced the arrival of 10 preferred walk-ons run-ons who will join the Nittany Lions this season.

Despite entering Penn State’s program without national traction, the run-on class possesses no shortage of talent. In total, the class features four defensive and three defensive prospects. Additionally, Joe Lorig’s special teams unit received a huge boost with three new specialists.

Here are a few of the new signees that highlight Wednesday’s influx for Penn State football.

Ben Knapp, Tight End

Hailing from Canton, Pennsylvania, Knapp chose the Nittany Lions to pursue a “childhood dream.” In a shortened four-game senior season, the 6’5″ 245-pound tight end broke the Canton High School record with 100 receptions, including 18 touching catches. Additionally, Knapp finished second in Canton history with 1,616 receiving yards.

The rangy tight end also received interest from Washington & Jefferson and Lake Erie College during his recruitment.

Bobby Walchak, Linebacker

After excelling as a running back at Pottsville Area High School, the versatile Walchak is taking his talents to Brent Pry’s side of the ball as a projected linebacker in Happy Valley.

As a four-year varsity player, Walchak finished his offensive career with 1,556 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns, while averaging 6.7 yards per carry. The do-it-all star was equally as productive on the defensive side of the ball, as he tallied 212 tackles in the same number of games.

Walchak also attracted interest from Long Island University, Dayton, and Sacred Heart, but chose to represent his home state at the next level.

Evan Clark, Quarterback

At 6’3,” 215-pounds, Clark possesses elite size at the quarterback position. During his senior season as the signal-caller for Manheim Township High School in Lancaster, he threw for 1,505 yards and 18 touchdowns at a 69.5% completion rate. More impressively, the gunslinger had 0 interceptions in seven starts.

During his recruitment, Clark garnered interest from Virginia Tech and Robert Morris, but did not receive any scholarship offers.

Ethan Susen, DB

Susen played an integral role in leading Wilmington High School to a 12-1 record and a Pennsylvania State Championship appearance during his senior season. The two-way athlete finished his career as a Greyhound with over 4,000 yards on the ground, shattering the previous school rushing record.

Despite Susen’s offensive ability, he will enter James Franklin’s program as a projected defensive back.

Gabe Nwosu, Kicker/Punter

At 6’6″ 220-pounds, the Maryland native fits the Joey “Big Toe” Julius mold as the next fan-favorited specialist in Happy Valley. Despite entering the program as a walk-on, the talented prospect is a five-star product according to Kohl’s Kicking.

Nwosu handled both the kicking and punting roles at the Bullis School, where he was high school teammates with newly enrolled quarterback Christian Veilliuex.

The special teams ace selected the Nittany Lions over Fordham and William & Mary.

Kaleb Brown, Defensive Back

Following a stellar performance in Penn State’s virtual combine for high school prospects, Brown was offered a run-on roster spot by Terry Smith. During the event, Brown clocked a 4.56 40-yard dash time and 3.87-second pro agility drill.

The versatile athlete started at quarterback for Wilson High School in Eastern Pennsylvania, as he threw for 567 yards and six scores during his 2020 campaign.

Mitchell Groh, Punter

The Nittany Lions made another splash on special teams by landing one of the nation’s 20 best punters, according to Kohl’s Kicking metrics. The Pennsylvania-native immediately turned the heads of James Franklin’s staff by winning the punting event during his first visit on campus prior to the start of his junior season.

The five-star special-teamer held two scholarship offers from Fordham and Miami (OH), but elected to don the basic blues as a run-on.

Ryan Willis, OT

The No. 62 overall prospect in Pennsylvania will remain in his home state from the next chapter of his young career. At 6’3″ 286-pounds, the physical athlete led La Salle College High School to a 6-1 record in 2020.

As the most heralded member of Penn State’s 2021 run-on class, Willis held two scholarship offers from Kent State and Maryland. He also received interest from West Virginia, Florida State, Miami (FL), and others as a preferred walk-on.

Spencer Perry, Defensive End

Perry offers intriguing upside to John Scott Jr.’s thin defense line. As a senior at Neshannock High School in New Castle, the 6’4″ 225-pound defensive end earned three official offers from Columbia, Clarion, and Robert Morris, but still chose the Nittany Lions as a run-on.

The high-motor athlete is also a standout power forward on Neshannock’s basketball team. According to MaxPreps, Perry is rated as the No. 24 best hooper in the state of Pennsylvania.

Tyler Duzansky, Long Snapper

In a common theme, Duzansky will arrive in Happy Valley to compete for a special teams role for the Nittany Lions. The Illinois product ranks as the No. 11 long snapper in this year’s class and boasts a five-star rating from Rubio Long Snapping.

In addition to handling then long-snapping duties, Duzansky played both ways as a defensive end and tight end for St. Francis High School. Aside from Penn State, Cornell, Penn, and St. Thomas all expressed interest in the highly-touted snapper.

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About the Author

Connor Krause

Connor Krause is a sophomore from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania majoring in journalism. He is a lifelong Penn State football and basketball fan and enjoys rooting for Pittsburgh sports teams. In his free time, Connor can be found playing golf or pick-up basketball. You can follow his Twitter and Instagram @ckrause_31.

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