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Putting Penn State Football’s Absurd July Recruiting Run Into Perspective

What a month it was for Penn State football on the recruiting trail.

At times it was hard to keep up with James Franklin’s success in securing commitments around the country this July. When the dust finally settled this past Saturday, the Nittany Lions finished the month with 12 players added to their Class of 2022.

Seven of those 12 were four-star prospects, helping Penn State climb to the No. 1 spot in 247Sports’ national rankings ahead of Ohio State. Even with defensive end Tyrese Fearbry’s decommitment this past Thursday, July still belonged to Franklin and his coaching staff.

Here’s the full list of commitments from this past month, in chronological order:

That list now leaves Penn State with 24 total commitments in its Class of 2022. That size is already drawing comparisons to Franklin’s 27-member Class of 2020, which included stars such as Keyvone Lee, Caziah Holmes, and Theo Johnson.

The Nittany Lions’ most productive month of that recruiting cycle was June, which included 10 verbal commitments. This is officially uncharted territory for Penn State.

It’s tough to find a place to start with this group, but Dennis-Sutton is unquestionably one of the highlights. The four-star prospect picked Happy Valley over Alabama and Georgia, and as the No. 50 overall player in the nation, he’s the top-ranked recruit in the class. Dennis-Sutton has gained national attention as a star defender off the edge, as he totaled 34 tackles and two sacks during his junior season at McDonogh High School.

While he’s the headliner, Penn State also picked up defensive line strength with Artis and Durant, the latter of which is considered the No. 40 defensive lineman in the country, according to 247Sports.

2022 is certainly a defensive-heavy group, and that was further exemplified by the Nittany Lions’ late run on secondary members in July. Penn State picked up commitments from four-star defensive backs in Miller and Driver in just one week, both of whom have stood out as all-around athletes during their high school careers, along with three-stars in Jordan Allen and Winston.

Penn State’s unprecedented streak is also defined by running back talent. Franklin’s in-state recruiting prowess returned with Singleton’s commitment on July 6, as the Reading, Pa., stud rusher is the second-ranked prospect in the class and considered a top running back in the nation by 247Sports. During his junior campaign at Governor Mifflin High School, Singleton embarrassed opposing defenses by rushing for 1,311 yards and 22 scores in just eight games.

Just over a week later, Singleton was joined by Kaytron Allen, who’s considered the No. 10 running back in the nation and has clearly proven his abilities at IMG Academy.

With an embarrassment of riches at multiple positions and a nation-leading 14 four-star recruits, Penn State is seemingly sitting pretty with time left on the recruiting trail. While there are several months left to add even more players, the challenge to make sure players stay committed also arises.

While Fearbry is the first up to this point, the Nittany Lions have dealt with high-profile decommitments before. If Franklin and the rest of his staff can avoid that, Penn State could be looking at a historically valuable Class of 2022, especially considering the program missed on several massive recruits in 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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