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Penn State Football’s In-State Recruiting Prowess Returns With Impressive Class Of 2022

Four-star running back Nicholas Singleton‘s commitment to Penn State football this past Tuesday was key for several reasons.

The Reading, PA star rusher now becomes the highest-ranked prospect to join the Nittany Lions’ Class of 2022. He’s also the first running back to join the class, and is the No. 3 player at his position in the nation, according to 247Sports. Along with all of that, however, Singleton’s commitment helps Penn State return to James Franklin’s promise of dominating the state.

The Nittany Lions were far from state-wide domination in their Class of 2021 recruitment. While they picked up a solid crop of young talents, Franklin only earned a commitment from one of the top-ten players in Pennsylvania, wide receiver and standout baseball player Lonnie White Jr. The No. 1 player in state in 2021, five-star offensive tackle Nolan Rucci, picked Wisconsin over the Nittany Lions.

The top five players in Penn State’s backyard were grabbed by the Badgers, Ohio State, Clemson, and LSU.

This 2022 class is a far cry from last year’s in-state disappointment. Along with Singleton, the No. 2 player in the state, the Nittany Lions have already secured commitments from four of the other top-ten players in Pennsylvania. Stud wide receivers Mehki Flowers and Anthony Ivey and edge rushers Ken Talley and Tyreese Fearbry help round out the in-state top-ten prospects headed to Happy Valley thus far.

The Nittany Lions aren’t in the mix for top Pennsylvania player Enai White, who’s considering offers from the likes of Alabama, Clemson, and Ohio State, among others. Despite that, it doesn’t look like Franklin is done recruiting in his home state anytime soon.

Philly cornerback Keenan Nelson Jr., who’s considered the No. 3 player in the state, is highly favored to commit to the Nittany Lions, according to several 247Sports experts. Glenside linebacker Abdul Carter is also considering the Nittany Lions. Commitments from that pair would lock up the vast majority of the top in-state talents for Franklin’s program.

A 4-5 season in 2020 and a less than stellar recruiting campaign combined for a pretty frustrating several months for Nittany Lion fans. Penn State has yet to play a game in 2021, and this impressive class of recruits won’t arrive on campus until next year’s spring semester at the earliest, but a huge pool of incoming talent can certainly lead fans to hope for bright days ahead.

Nineteen players are already committed to Penn State’s 2022 class, nine of whom are Pennsylvania products. With the No. 2 recruiting class in the nation and a restored culture of in-state domination, this is exactly the offseason Franklin and his staff needed following a disappointing 2020.

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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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