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[Live Blog] Early Signing Period 2023

As Penn State football awaits its appearance in the Rose Bowl, #WeAre…Better season is hitting its peak.

James Franklin and his staff will welcome another large recruiting class Wednesday, as college football’s early signing period for 2023 has begun. Twenty-three recruits have already verbally committed to the Nittany Lions. Penn State boasts the No. 2-ranked recruiting class in the Big Ten and the 12th-best in the nation.

It’s another strong year for Franklin after signing a class headlined by Drew Allar, Nick Singleton, and Abdul Carter. The class includes a five-star offensive tackle and the No. 1-ranked interior offensive lineman in the country, among others. Stick with us as each soon-to-be Nittany Lion makes their commitments to Happy Valley official.

Live Blog

12:02 p.m. — That’s it, folks. Penn State ends National Signing Day with 22 signees.

11:36 a.m. — Penn State letterman Paul Posluszny announces that four-star linebacker Ta’Mere Robinson is officially a Nittany Lion.

11:28 a.m. — “I picked what was home,” Carmelo Taylor.

11:15 a.m. — And there it is. Mack is officially coming to Happy Valley, as announced by Yetur Gross-Matos. The four-star safety committed to Penn State back in June.

“I’m ready to win,” Mack said.

11:12 a.m. — King Mack joins the livestream and gives an emphatic “LET’S GO!”

11:04 a.m. — K.J. Hamler announces four-star wide receiver Carmelo Taylor as Penn State’s next signee.

Franklin went as far as saying that Taylor is even faster than Hamler at his early stage.

10:32 a.m. — London Montgomery, you are a Lawn Boy!

The four-star running back joins an already stacked running back room after tearing his ACL and missing his senior season.

“I think you’re the best-kept secret in this recruiting class, nationally,” Franklin said on the livestream.

10:20 a.m. — And now three-star cornerback Zion Tracy is officially a Nittany Lion. James Franklin sees him as a versatile player who could also contribute in a special teams role. The 5’11″, 180-pound back committed to Penn State over Rutgers, Syracuse, and Buffalo in September.

Marquis Wilson, Daequan Hardy, and Kalen King seemed to have some fun announcing the signing.

10:06 a.m. — Carolina Panthers linebacker Brandon Smith announced four-star linebacker Kaveion Keys as the latest prospect to sign with Penn State. Keys committed just six days ago, as the 6’3″, 205-pound flipped his commitment from North Carolina.

9:55 a.m. — Tamba Hali just joined the livestream to announce Joseph Mupoyi as the latest Nittany Lion. The three-star defensive lineman committed just nine days ago. The 6’5″, 230-pound prospect chose Penn State over Auburn and Michigan, among others.

9:51 a.m. — Penn State just took time on the livestream to remember legendary running back Franco Harris, who died overnight. He was 72.

9:42 a.m. — Despite strong pushes from Auburn, Nelson, a four-star safety, is coming to Happy Valley. The Alabama native chose the Nittany Lions over Clemson and Arkansas, among others. Franklin said he could see Nelson being a future captain for Penn State.

Jaquan Brisker announced the official commitment.

9:40 a.m. — End the drama. DaKaari Nelson is a Nittany Lion.

9:38 a.m. — Franklin just took a sip from a Starbucks cup. We wonder if it was a venti iced quad sugar-free vanilla latte with oat milk.

9:34 a.m. — Robinson announced his commitment to Penn State just eight days ago. The three-star defensive lineman is the No. 11 recruit from the state of Maryland. Robinson, just like Curtis Jacobs, PJ Mustipher, and Dani Dennis-Sutton, hails from the McDonogh School.

9:28 a.m. — Another fresh prospect is here. Welcome Mason Robinson, the former Northwestern prospect, to Penn State.

“We believe that everything happens for a reason,” he said.

9:14 a.m. — Nick Singleton, Kaytron Allen, and…Cam Wallace. The Lawn Boyz just got stronger.

The Georgia athlete has been committed to Penn State for just two days. In his 2022 season, he recorded 1,221 yards and 13 touchdowns on 127 carries as well as 92 tackles, two interceptions, and a kickoff return touchdown.

Assistant coach Charles Huff thanked Wallace for his “blind trust” in the Nittany Lions despite a short courtship.

9:10 a.m. — The Lionnettes have entered the building.

9:01 a.m. — Rappleyea is rated as the No. 11 tight end in the nation and a top-five prospect in Massachusetts. He added 499 yards and six touchdowns his senior season and was flipped to Happy Valley from Michigan.

“I’m a really great route runner and I’m really gritty when it comes to blocking,” he said.

8:57 a.m. — Williams came back on the livestream to discuss his commitment.

“It’s super surreal…I’m looking forward to it, I’m excited, and I can’t wait to get down to Happy Valley,” the offensive lineman said.

8:54 a.m. — MUUUUUTH! Pat Freiermuth joined the livestream to welcome tight end Andrew Rappleyea to the Aces.

8:48 a.m. — J’ven Williams, the newest five-star of the class, has put ink to paper. The offensive lineman is also rated as the top recruit in the state of Pennsylvania. He will enroll early.

8:36 a.m. — James Franklin confirmed that Smolik will enroll early, heading to Happy Valley in just 16 days. His mom and sister are also moving to State College for a few months to help support his transition.

The head coach called Smolik the “steal” of the class. He completed 64% of his passes and amassed nearly 2,000 passing yards in 2022.

8:33 a.m. — Drew Allar, Beau Pribula, and Sean Clifford recorded a video to welcome Smolik to the Nittany Lions. Offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich highlighted the Iowa native’s academic prowess, leadership, and competitiveness.

8:32 a.m. — Welcome Jaxon Smolik to the livestream. James Franklin asked the quarterback to give his entire family a hug before his selection.

8:25 a.m. — Former first-round pick and Super Bowl champion Jimmy Kennedy just announced three-star defensive lineman Tyriq Blanding as the newest Nittany Lion.

According to 247Sports’ composite rankings, Blanding is the best player in the great state of New York.

8:15 a.m. — Marcus Allen of the Pittsburgh Steelers hopped on the livestream to welcome three-star cornerback Lamont Payne to Penn State.

The Bridgeville, Pennsylvania, native is one of two cornerbacks slated to join the Nittany Lions’ 2023 class on Wednesday.

8:12 a.m. — The next recruit is having technical difficulties right now. Gotta love Zoom!

8:01 a.m. — We have our second Ace of the day, folks! Four-star tight end Joey Schlaffer is the latest recruit to officially join the Nittany Lions. He was welcomed by his brother and Penn State football alum Michal Menet.

Schlaffer, the No. 7-ranked player in his home state, is the first Pennsylvania native to be welcomed to Happy Valley Wednesday morning.

7:55 a.m. — Three-star offensive lineman Anthony Donkoh is the newest member of Phil Trautwein’s crew. Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Derrick Tangelo welcomed the Virginia native to Happy Valley.

Donkoh is the No. 10-ranked player in Virginia and the second offensive lineman to officially join the Nittany Lions this morning.

7:48 a.m. — Arnold Ebiketie is here to make the next pick

Welcome to Happy Valley, Elliot Washington.

The four-star defensive back hails from Florida and flipped to Penn State from Alabama in July. He’s a top-10 safety in his class at also had offers from Michigan State and Florida, among others.

Washington is the second-highest-ranked safety to commit to James Franklin’s program, behind only Lamont Wade.

7:42 a.m. — Before each player becomes a Nittany Lion, Franklin is requesting that each recruit hug their families.

7:26 a.m. — “LBU” continues to get better, folks.

Four-star linebacker Tony Rojas is now officially a Nittany Lion, as announced by former Penn State safety and Super Bowl champion Nick Scott. Scott and Rojas both attended Fairfax High School in Virginia.

Rojas, ironically, is the No. 2-ranked player in Virginia, right behind fellow Nittany Lion Alex Birchmeier.

7:22 a.m. — Penn State football just got bigger.

Dallas Cowboys guard Connor McGovern announced four-star offensive lineman Alex Birchmeier as the No. 2 of Penn State’s “National Signing Day Draft.”

Birchmeier, who will be an early enrollee, is the No. 1-ranked player in his home state of Virginia, per 247Sports’ composite rankings.

7:15 a.m. — Good morning, folks!

To kick off the day, Penn State football legend Mike Gesicki welcomed the newest Ace to Happy Valley. Four-star tight end Mathias “Mega” Barnwell is the first recruit to officially become a Nittany Lion Wednesday morning.

Barnwell’s path to Happy Valley was unique, to say the least. After originally committing to Penn State back in June of 2020, he decommitted in January 2021 before rejoining James Franklin’s Class of 2023 in September of 2021.

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