Looking At Penn State Football’s 2025 Recruiting Class After A Wild Official Visit Weekend

It’s OK, folks. You can stop refreshing Twitter.

After a hectic weekend of flips and “#WeAre…Better” tweets, it appears one of the busiest weekends of Penn State football’s recruiting year is behind us. Within a span of 48 hours from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon, the Nittany Lions saw two players decommit and three players commit to the program.

To help you with all that went down this weekend, we’re taking a look at where head coach James Franklin and his recruiting class of 2025 stand through Sunday, June 23.


Penn State lost two of its best prospects on Friday and Sunday. Four-star running back Alvin Henderson flipped to Auburn on Friday before four-star linebacker DJ McClary decided his future lay with Rutgers two days later.

Henderson’s flip wasn’t completely out of the blue. Auburn and Penn State had been pushing for the 247Sports Composite No. 8 running back for his entire recruitment. Franklin and Co. had a tough job getting the Elba, Alabama, native to leave his home state to begin with. Keeping Henderson was an even tougher task that the Nittany Lions just couldn’t pull off.

McClary’s flip to Rutgers was slightly more intriguing. McClary, a Jersey City, New Jersey, native had taken an official visit to Rutgers at the end of May but hadn’t made much noise about a flip. He had even taken an official visit to Penn State a week before his decision.

Still, Rutgers is quietly building one of the nation’s best recruiting classes. Something is brewing down there in Piscataway, and McClary must’ve liked what everyone has. Still, it was tough for the Nittany Lions to lose one of their highest-rated commits of the cycle.


Penn State’s newest additions to its recruiting class came in four-star running back Jabree Wallace-Coleman, three-star safety Braswell Thomas, and four-star edge rusher Cortez Harris.

Wallace-Coleman was, seemingly, Penn State’s quick and easy replacement for Henderson. Henderson is rated as the No. 8 running back in the country, while Wallace-Coleman is rated as 12th-best by the 247Sports Composite rankings. Franklin has prided himself on nabbing the best players in Pennsylvania for his own program, and Penn State has struggled with that this cycle. However, with Wallace-Coleman’s addition, the Nittany Lions at least have the fourth-best player in the state.

Thomas rounded out Penn State’s needs in the secondary. The Nittany Lions already had commitments from three cornerbacks and safety Antonio Branch Jr., and Thomas’ commitments probably completed another successful year for cornerback coach and defensive recruiting coordinator Terry Smith.

On the other end of the spectrum, Harris‘ commitment got the ball rolling in a position the Nittany Lions have been slacking in the 2025 class. The four-star from Maryland, rated as the No. 20 edge rusher in the nation, was Penn State’s first defensive line commitment. He was a quality pickup who hinted at his own commitment a day before its announcement and seemed optimistic about what the rest of Penn State’s recruiting at his position looked like.

What’s Next?

When three-star quarterback Bekkem Kritza committed to Penn State, the Nittany Lions planned to recruit two quarterbacks to the group. With Matt Zollers committed to Mizzou and Malik Washington probably heading to Maryland, it seems those plans may be on the back burner at best. The Nittany Lions aren’t set to get another quarterback on campus for an official visit.

Even without a second quarterback, Penn State seems to be in a good spot. The Nittany Lions need to fill up at defensive line, offensive line, and could add another linebacker. Penn State hasn’t generated much buzz in the trenches, though it seems Lavar Arrington II (yes, that Lavar Arrington II) could finish up the linebacker group. Pinch yourself, old people.

Penn State also has a few wide receivers that could be set to join the program. Kritza and fellow commits have gone to work on getting Taz Williams Jr. to join them in Happy Valley, while Jeff Exinor Jr. and Lex Cyrus could also be en route.

Franklin has had issues with bringing in too many players recently (see: the minor transfer portal exodus on May 2), so it’ll be interesting to see how many scholarships he’s willing and able to give out. For the time being though, Penn State’s sitting pretty with 247Sports 11th-best recruiting class in the nation.

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About the Author

Joe Lister

Joe is a senior journalism major at Penn State and Onward State's managing editor. He writes about everything Penn State, especially its 10-2 football team. If you want to find him, Joe's usually watching soccer with his shirt off or at the gym with his shirt on. For dumb stuff, follow him on Twitter (iamjoelister). For serious stuff, email him ([email protected]).

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