[Live Blog] Early Signing Period 2022
#WeAre…Better season never slows down, ladies and gents.
College football’s 2022 early signing period has begun, and James Franklin and his coaching staff are prepped to welcome a huge recruiting class Wednesday. According to 247Sports, Penn State has 25 players verbally committed to its Class of 2022. That gives the Nittany Lions the No. 2 class in the Big Ten and the No. 5 class in the nation.
After officially signing just 16 recruits to last year’s class, Franklin now welcomes a massive group that includes a five-star prospect and this year’s Gatorade National Player of the Year, among others. Stay tuned as all of those prospects make their commitments to Happy Valley official throughout Wednesday morning.
11:26 a.m.: Last, but certainly not least, is four-star wide receiver Kaden Saunders, who was introduced by Allen Robinson and Jahan Dotson.
Saunders was the first recruit to commit to Penn State’s class of 2022 and is a top-10 wide receiver in this class. The Westerville, Ohio, native is also a top-five recruit from the state of Ohio.
“I promise you, this is the best decision you’ll make in your lifetime,” Dotson said. “I want you to break every single record at this school. I want you to have twice the career I had, honestly.”
11:17 a.m.: There’s No. 22 for the Class of 2022.
Pennsylvania product Mehki Flowers is officially a Nittany Lion. The Harrisburg native is a top-five in-state recruit and is a top-10 ATH in the country. He could play defensive back or wide receiver at Penn State. He committed to play for the Nittany Lions all the way back on New Year’s Day of 2021.
10:53 a.m.: Let’s head down to the Lone Star State, shall we?
Four-star safety Cristian Driver, an Argyle, Texas, native, is Penn State’s newest defensive weapon.
The ties for Franklin and Driver go way back, as Penn State’s headman coached Cristian’s dad, Donald, when he was with the Green Bay Packers. The 5’11”, 185-pound recruit chose to come to the northeast despite receiving offers from SEC schools like Alabama and Arkansas.
10:44 a.m.: The #LawnBoyz just got a little bit stronger.
Running backs coach Ja’Juan Seider joined the live stream to welcome Kaytron Allen to Happy Valley, a four-star running back from Norfolk, Virginia. The IMG Academy prospect rushed for more than 2,700 yards and notched 27 scores as a senior.
10:33 a.m.: The 19th pick of the day is…Kaleb Artis!
The three-star prospect is the No. 2 recruit from the state of New York and a top-100 defensive tackle in the nation. He picked Penn State over Auburn and then visited Happy Valley for the White Out against the Tigers.
10:26 a.m.: Sup, coach? Newly minted defensive coordinator Manny Diaz joined the livestream to talk about his first few days in Happy Valley. He noted “the people” as the main reason he chose the Nittany Lions.
“Last week was a whirlwind,” Diaz said. “To coach defenses at Penn State, to coach linebackers at Penn State: that’s uncommon…it ticked all the boxes.”
10:22 a.m.: Let’s flip things back over to the offensive side of the ball, shall we?
The Lackawanna Community College pipeline continues to run strong as offensive lineman JB Nelson is the newest Nittany Lion.
Nelson, who comes in at 6’6″ and 310 pounds, is a highly touted Junior College commit. He’s the No. 2 JuCo prospect in the nation, claiming the No. 1 offensive lineman ranking, and is the No. 1 recruit out of Pennsylvania. The four-star transfer was announced by Dann Kabala, Penn State’s director of high school relations.
10:13 a.m.: Michael Mauti hopped back on the stream to welcome a new member to #LBU.
Another Philadelphia product, four-star linebacker Abdul Carter, is the next signee to pen his National Letter of Intent.
The 6’4, 235-pound linebacker said on the stream that he wants to be remembered as someone who “always does things right.” He picked Penn State over schools like South Carolina, LSU, and Maryland.
He’s a top-30 linebacker in the country and the No. 10 overall recruit in Pennsylvania, per 247Sports.
10:00 a.m.: Dvon Ellies and Curtis Jacobs have hopped on the livestream to welcome Penn State’s top defensive prospect to the Class of 2022.
Four-star defensive lineman Dani Dennis-Sutton is officially a Nittany Lion.
The stud defender out of McDonogh High School received 24 offers from top programs around the country, including Alabama and Georgia. 247Sports has him rated as the No. 12 defensive lineman in the nation and the top prospect out of Maryland.
Dennis-Sutton continues a strong connection for the Nittany Lions in Maryland, as well as McDonogh High School. Ellies and Jacobs both played their high school football their, as well.
9:53 a.m.: We’re still rolling with the defensive stars in Happy Valley. Three-star linebacker Keon Wylie is the 15th player to join Penn State’s Class of 2022.
A fellow Philly native, Wylie was selected to the 2022 All-American Bowl and was a three-time team captain for Imhotep Institute. The linebacker made nine sacks and ten tackles for loss as a senior this past fall.
9:42 a.m.: Edge rusher Ken Talley is officially headed to Happy Valley.
A Philly native who’s rated as the No. 10 overall player in Pennsylvania by 247Sports, Talley verbally committed to Penn State all the way back in September 2020. The defender racked up 24 total offers through his recruiting process and totaled 94 tackles, 12 sacks, and two forced fumbles as a senior at Northeast High School.
9:31 a.m.: There’s another wide receiver.
The 13th player to officially join Penn State’s Class of 2022 is Omari Evans.
Evans hails from Killeen, Texas and is rated as a three-star prospect and the No. 54 wideout in the nation, according to 247Sports. It was noted on the livestream the athletic pass-catcher runs a 4.3-second 40-yard dash, and his speed has been put on full display throughout his career at Shoemaker High School. As a senior, Evans did everything on offense and even threw for 853 passing yards.
9:18 a.m.: Next up is three-star wideout Tyler Johnson, who was welcomed by safeties coach Anthony Poindexter.
The Ridgeway, Virginia native received 15 total offers and is ranked as the No. 19 wide receiver from his home state, according to 247Sports. Johnson also starred in basketball at Magna Vista High School, and he has showcased his athletic ability throughout his high school career. Check out his highlights here.
9:07 a.m.: Detroit Lions cornerback Amani Oruwariye helped welcome Cam Miller to the Class of 2022.
The Florida cornerback was one of several prospects to join the Nittany Lions during a busy recruiting month this past July. 247Sports has him as the No. 18 prospect from his home state and the No. 22 cornerback in the nation. As a senior at Trinity Christian Academy in Jacksonville, Miller added value on the offensive side by totaling 751 total yards five touchdowns.
8:57 a.m.: The second offensive lineman to join this Class of 2022 is Drew Shelton.
A four-star offensive tackle and ranked No. 11 at the nation in his position, Shelton is the highest-rated offensive lineman in the class. The Downington, Pa. native stands at 6’5″ and 290 pounds. He was the second in-state prospect to verbally commit to the program in September 2020.
8:43 a.m.: Pat Freiermuth hopped on the call to welcome Jerry Cross into the Penn State family.
The ninth player to sign to the Nittany Lions Wednesday morning, Cross verbally committed to the program all the way back in July 2020 and was the second player to join the class. The Milwaukee, Wisconsin native is the No. 5 player from his home state and a top-15 tight end in the country, according to 247Sports.
Cross it the only tight end expected in the Class of 2022.
8:33 a.m.: Time for the big fellas. Former Penn State offensive lineman and Super Bowl Champion AQ Shipley announced Maleek McNeil’s commitment Wednesday morning.
The 6’7″, 340-pound offensive tackle verbally committed to the Nittany Lions this past May. McNeil is the No. 78 offensive tackle in the nation and the No. 6 player from his home state, according to 247Sports. He’s the first offensive lineman to officially sign to the class.
8:28 a.m.: Defensive back Kevin Winston Jr. is the second defensive prospect to sign to Penn State’s Class of 2022.
Winston verbally committed to the Nittany Lions as a three-star prospect back in July, but the Hyattsville, Maryland native is now considered a four-star and the No. 6 overall player from his home state, according to 247Sports. He just finished his senior season at DeMatha Catholic high school, which is the alma mater of several fellow Nittany Lions.
8:18 a.m.: Another quarterback! Beau Pribula is headed to Happy Valley.
Offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich helped make the commitment official.
The York, Pa. native was described as “the whole package” by Franklin and Yurcich, and the head coach even noted he has the chance to do some things that Trace McSorley couldn’t accomplish. Pribula is ranked the No. 26 quarterback in the country by 247Sports, as he just threw for 33 touchdowns and 2,676 yards as a senior at Central York High School this fall.
The 6’2″, 215-pound prospect just helped lead his team to an 11-1 overall record and a 10-1 mark as a junior.
8:06 a.m.: This is a big one, folks.
Four-star running back Nicholas Singleton, who was just named the Gatorade National Player of the Year, is headed to Happy Valley. Former star Penn State tight end and current Miami Dolphin Mike Gesicki hopped on the stream to make it official.
The Reading, Pa. native is considered the top player in the state and the top running back prospect in the country, according to 247Sports. Singleton is the second-highest ranked prospect in this year’s class, as he just finished an absurd senior season at Governor Mifflin High School in which he rushed for 2,043 yards and reached the end zone 44 times.
7:54 a.m.: Former Penn State football defensive tackle Spice Adams helped make Zane Durant’s commitment to Penn State official.
The four-star defensive tackle out of Orlando, Florida is one of the highest-rated defensive prospects in Penn State’s Class of 2022. 247Sports has Durant ranked as a top-50 defensive prospect in the nation, as he racked up a total of 22 offers from programs around the country.
According to his MaxPreps profile, the stud defender racked up 28 tackles for loss as a senior at Lake Nona High School, and even had some success on the offensive side of the ball.
7:46 a.m.: Another one! Vice President of Intercollegiate Athletics Sandy Barbour announced Anthony Ivey’s signing. Ivey has been verbally committed to Franklin’s program since all the way back in October 2020.
247Sports considers Ivey a four-star prospect and the No. 5 player from the state of Pennsylvania. The Lancaster, Pa. native just totaled 49 catches worth eight scores and 654 yards during his senior year at Manheim Township High School. He’s one of four wide receivers expected to sign to Penn State this morning.
7:33 a.m.: Special teams coordinator Joe Lorig announced the the signing of punter Alex Bacchetta Wednesday morning.
Bacchetta verbally committed to the Nittany Lions back in May. The Atlanta, Georgia native is rated the top punter in the country by Kohl’s Kicking and is the highest-ranked special teamer in Penn State’s Class of 2022. He just finished his football season at Westminster High School, the alma mater of special teams legend and current New Orleans Saint Blake Gillikin.
You can check out the impressive punter’s highlights from his senior season of high school football here.
7:26 a.m.: You can follow along with National Signing Day at Penn State football’s livestream here.
Allar, Penn State’s first official signee of the day, just joined for a quick interview.
“I’m just really excited for the future and can’t wait to get to work,” Allar said. “[Coach Yurcich] is from Euclid so we have that northeast Ohio connection already. That offense they run is very similar to what we did in Medina.”
7:17 a.m.: Not a much better way to start the day than this.
Five-star quarterback Drew Allar is officially a Nittany Lion. The Medina, Ohio native is considered the No. 1 quarterback prospect in the nation by 247Sports, and just finished a senior season with his Battling Bees that included 4,444 passing yards and 48 touchdowns.
Allar’s incredible senior campaign made him this year’s Mr. Football in the State of Ohio. He noted earlier this year and Wednesday morning that he’ll join the Nittany Lions as an early enrollee in just a few weeks.
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Underwood is bringing her “The Denim & Rhinestones” tour to Happy Valley next spring.
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