Class Postcard: Penn State

Brandon Wimbush

As the spring evaluation period closes, Scout.com takes a look at where Penn State's 2015 class stands.

Penn State was aggressive and energetic in using the momentum of the James Franklin hire to recruit the top players in the region, and the Nittany Lions did a fantastic job of keeping players home.

Of the 16 committed players, all but four-star outside linebacker Josh Barajas of Merrillville (Ind.) Andrean are located within five hours of campus, and six are from the Keystone State.

With camp season still in front of Penn State, the staff is in tremendous position to continue building relationships with the committed players, and get a huge jump of 2016 recruiting.

However, since it is still more than eight months until signing day for the 2015 class, Scout.com takes a look at where the Nittany Lions sit:


No. of Commits: 16
Ranking: 2nd nationally, 1st in Big Ten
Best Get:Sterling Jenkins, offensive tackle, Pittsburgh Baldwin
Sleeper: Ryan Buchholz, Malvern (Pa.) Great Valley
Big Fish Not On Board: Christian Wilkins, four-star defensive tackle, Suffield (Conn.) Academy

On The Clock: The Lawrenceville (N.J.) School four-star offensive tackle Grant Newsome has visits set to Penn State (June 4-5) and Michigan (June 6-7), and he plans on deciding shortly therafter.

Class Skinny: Penn State's class stands at 16 verbal commitments. Coach James Franklin's success in landing prospects early in the 2015 cycle has effectively rendered the Lions out of scholarships …for now.

Defections from the program to open up as many as four more spots are possible. So what do the Lions need?

For starters, another offensive tackle is desired, and a pair of four-stars, New Jersey's Grant Newsome and Virginia's Matthew Burrell, sit atop the program's wish list. Similarly, at least one defensive tackle is coveted. Those targets are not as pronounced, but Christian Wilkins and Virginia four-star Darvin Taylor II of Chester (Va.) Thomas Dale are at the top of the list.

Otherwise, a defensive back or two – Monaca (Pa.) Cenral Valley's Jordan Whitehead is high on the list – remain on the list of needs for the Lions, and perhaps an outside linebacker will find its way into the class when it is all said and done, though Penn State is expected to be done inside thanks to a pledge from Warminster (Pa.) Archbishop Wood's Jake Cooper.

One other thing to keep an eye on is how programs try to poach recruits if Penn State struggles during the season. The thing about recruiting high-profile players is opponents do not go away, even if a commitment is in place.

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