UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Head coach James Franklin unveiled the 2018 Penn State Football recruiting class today during the Signing Day celebration in the Lasch Football Building. Penn State’s Class of 2018 is ranked third nationally by Rivals and fourth by 247Sports and ESPN, as of Wednesday evening.
Penn State welcomed 21 student-athletes, who signed National Letters of Intent to join the football program. Six of the signees will be early enrollees in January – Trent Gordon, Isaiah Humphries, Zack Kuntz, Jesse Luketa, Micah Parsons, Nick Tarburton.
The newest Nittany Lions have an average star ranking of 3.71, which is the highest for the Penn State program since the 2010 class had a 3.89 average star rating, according to 247Sports Composite. The average star ranking for the last four years under Franklin has been 3.54.
The Nittany Lions signed the No. 1 prospect in the state of Pennsylvania each of the last three seasons – Micah Parsons in 2017, Lamont Wade in 2016 and Miles Sanders in 2015. This is the first time since 2004 (Anthony Morelli), 2005 (Justin King) and 2006 (Jared Odrick) that Penn State has signed the No. 1 recruit in Pennsylvania in three consecutive classes.
Penn State inked a trio of 247Sports Composite 5-star recruits in Parsons, Justin Shorter and Ricky Slade. Parsons (No. 4) and Shorter (No. 9) mark the first time since 2000 (when 247Sports recruiting rankings began) that Penn State has signed two top-10 recruits in the same class. Parsons, who is the No. 4 overall recruit according to the 247Sports Composite, is the highest-ranked recruit since Derrick Williams was the No. 4 recruit in the 2005 class.
Penn State again found success in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions with 11 of the 21 players coming from within a 250-mile radius of State College and seven of 21 are from a 200-mile radius. Penn State also had a national reach with five of the 21 signees come from more than 950 miles away from State College. The Nittany Lions’ class lay claim to hometowns in 12 different states and provinces, spanning from Pennsylvania to Iowa to Massachusetts to Ontario to Texas. Penn State had six signees from Pennsylvania, two each from Florida, Maryland, Texas and Virginia and one apiece from Connecticut, Iowa, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Ohio and Ontario.
The Class of 2018 features 10 offensive signees, nine defensive, one special teams and one athlete. There are five players that have won at least one State Championship (with one playing for a state title on Friday), three Under Amour All-Americans, two Army All-Americans and one Gatorade State Player of the Year. Additionally, 20 of the signees served as their team captain during their high school career.
The newest Nittany Lions feature three five-star recruit (Parsons, Shorter, Slade) and 9 four-star signees. According to 247Sports Composite, Penn State has had 44 four- or five-star recruits in the last four classes (87 total commits) as compared to 16 four- or five-star recruits in the previous four classes (81 total commits).
The ninth-ranked Nittany Lions (10-2) will face No. 11 Washington (10-2) in the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl Saturday, Dec. 30 at 4 p.m. (ET)/2 p.m. (MT) in Glendale, Arizona. The squads are meeting for just the third time and the first time since the 1983 Aloha Bowl. Fans can visit GoPSUsports.com/bowlcentral for more information.
Penn State season ticket renewals and Nittany Lion Club membership renewals also are underway for the 2018 Penn State Football season presented by PSECU. The ticket invoice and Nittany Lion Club renewal deadline is Feb. 1, 2018. For information on joining the Nittany Lion Club and purchasing new 2018 season tickets, as well as club seating in Beaver Stadium, fans can visit www.PSUnrivaled.com, call 1-800-NITTANY weekdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. or visit the Bryce Jordan Center ticket office weekdays from 10 a.m-6 p.m.
More than 2,000 new season tickets have already been sold for the 2018 campaign.
Penn State Football Class of 2018
OL | Stafford, Va. | North Stafford High School | HS Coach: Joe Mangano | 6-5, 275
DT | Tampa, Fla. | H.B. Plant High School | HS Coach: Robert Weiner | 6-4, 275
WR | Nazareth, Pa. | Nazareth High School | HS Coach: Tom Falzone | 5-11, 170
OL | Aurora, Ill. | Metea Valley High School | HS Coach: Ben Kleinhans | 6-5, 280
TE/H | Merrimac, Mass. | Brooks School | HS Coach: Patrick Foley | 6-5, 250
WR | Fort Washington, Md. | Oxon Hill High School | HS Coach: Craig Jefferies | 6-2, 210
Trent Gordon (Early Enrollee)
CB | Spring, Texas | Manvel High School | HS Coach: Kirk Martin | 6-0, 180
DT | Cincinnati, Ohio | Moeller High School | HS Coach: John Rodenberg | 6-2, 280
Isaiah Humphries (Early Enrollee)
S | Rowlett, Texas | Sachse High School | HS Coach: Red Behrens | 5-11, 190
LB | Camp Hill, Pa. | Cumberland Valley High School | HS Coach: Michael Whitehead | 6-3, 215
Zack Kuntz (Early Enrollee)
TE/H | Camp Hill, Pa. | Camp Hill High School | HS Coach: Tim Bigelow | 6-7, 235
QB | Madison, Conn. | Xavier High School | HS Coach: Andy Guyon | 6-3, 220
Jesse Luketa (Early Enrollee)
LB | Ottawa, Ontario | Mercyhurst Prep School (Pa.) | HS Coach: Jeff Root | 6-2, 240
CB | Wesley Chapel, Fla. | Wiregrass Ranch High School | HS Coach: Mark Kantor | 6-0, 180
DT | Owings Mills, Md. | McDonogh High School | HS Coach: Dominic Damico | 6-4, 300
Micah Parsons (Early Enrollee)
ATH | Harrisburg, Pa. | Harrisburg High School | HS Coach: Calvin Everett | 6-3, 245
K | Ankeny, Iowa | Ankeny Centennial High School | HS Coach: Jerry and Ryan Pezzetti | 6-2, 195
Frederick “Juice” Scruggs
OL | Erie, Pa. | Cathedral Prep School | HS Coach: Mike Mischler | 6-3, 270
WR | Monmouth Junction, N.J. | South Brunswick High School | Coach: Joe Goerge | 6-4, 220
RB | Woodbridge, Va. | C.D. Hylton High School | HS Coach: Tony Lilly | 5-9, 185
Nick Tarburton (Early Enrollee)
LB | Green Lane, Pa. | Pennridge High School | HS Coach: Jeff Hollenbach | 6-3, 250
Information courtesy Penn State athletics.