Penn State football inks another top 10 class
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; December 19, 2018 – Head coach James Franklin unveiled the 2019 Penn State Football recruiting class today during the Signing Day celebration in the Lasch Football Building. Penn State’s Class of 2019 is ranked 10th nationally by 247Sports Composite and Rivals and 12th by ESPN, as of Wednesday evening. Penn State is also the only team to rank in the top 10 with less than 20 recruits.
Based on star average (3.89), the newest group of Nittany Lions rank third in the country according to Rivals, behind Georgia and Alabama. According to the 247Sports Composite average ranking, Penn State is fourth with a 92.12 average.
Penn State welcomed 18 student-athletes, who signed National Letters of Intent to join the football program. Eleven of the signees will be early enrollees in January – Noah Cain, Lance Dixon, Keaton Ellis, Adisa Isaac, Michael Johnson Jr., Ta’Quan Roberson, Tyler Rudolph, Brandon Smith, Brenton Strange, Anthony Whigan and Marquis Wilson.
The newest Nittany Lions have an average star ranking of 3.89, which is the highest for the Penn State program since Rivals started recruiting rankings in 2002. The average star ranking for the last four years under Franklin has been 3.66.
The Nittany Lions signed five recruits who were the No. 1 recruit in their respective states across at least one of the three recruiting services – Devyn Ford (Virginia – Rivals), Adisa Isaac (New York – consensus), Michael Johnson Jr. (Oregon – 247Sports Composite), Joey Porter Jr. (Pennsylvania - ESPN), Brandon Smith (Virginia – 247Sports, ESPN), Saleem Wormley (Delaware – consensus).
Penn State again found success in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions with eight players coming from within a 250-mile radius of State College. Penn State also had a national reach with three signees coming from more than 1,000 miles away from State College. The Nittany Lions’ class lay claim to hometowns in 12 different states. Penn State had three signees from New Jersey and Virginia, two each from Pennsylvania and Connecticut and one apiece from California, Florida, Maryland, Michigan, New York, Oregon, Texas and West Virginia.
The Class of 2019 features nine offensive signees and nine defensive recruits. There are four players who have won at least one State Championship, six Under Amour All-Americans, two All-American Bowl selections and one Gatorade State Player of the Year. Additionally, 16 of the signees served as their team captain during their high school career.
The newest class of Nittany Lions features 17 recruits with four stars or more, including one five-star prospect (Smith). According to the 247Sports Composite, the 17 four-star signees are the most since rankings begin in 2002. Penn State has had 62 four- or five-star recruits in the last four classes (106 total commits) as compared to 16 four- or five-star recruits in the previous four classes (81 total commits).
Smith is the eighth-highest rated recruit since 2000 per the 247Sports Composite. Seven of Penn State’s 15 highest-ranked recruits in program history have come under James Franklin.
The No. 12 Nittany Lions will face No. 14 Kentucky in the VRBO Citrus Bowl in Orlando on Tuesday, Jan. 1 at 1 p.m. The game will air on ABC, ESPN Radio and the Penn State Sports Network/GoPSUsports.com.
For information on joining the Nittany Lion Club and reserving new 2019 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 9 a.m-4:30 p.m.
Penn State Football Class of 2019
DT | Midlothian, Va. | Manchester High School | HS Coach: Tom Hall | 6-3, 259
S | Pittsburgh, Pa. | Gateway High School/Lackawanna Community College | CC Coach: Mark Duda | 6-1, 190
RB | Flower Mound, Texas | IMG Academy (Fla.) | HS Coach: Kevin Wright | 5-10, 209
LB | West Bloomfield, Mich. | West Bloomfield High School | HS Coach: Ron Bellamy | 6-1, 205
WR | Fort Lauderdale, Fla. | Chaminade-Madonna College Prep | HS Coach: Dameon Jones | 6-1, 180
CB | State College, Pa. | State College Area High School | HS Coach: Matt Lintal | 5-11, 177
RB | Stafford, Va. | North Stafford High School | HS Coach: Joe Mangano | 5-11, 188
DE | Brooklyn, N.Y. | Canarsie High School | HS Coach: Brian Ellis | 6-4, 220
Michael Johnson Jr.
QB | Eugene, Ore. | Sheldon High School | HS Coach: Josh Line | 6-2, 197
Joey Porter Jr.
CB | Bakersfield, Calif. | North Allegheny (Pa.) High School | HS Coach: Art Walker | 6-1, 185
QB | Orange, N.J. | DePaul Catholic High School | HS Coach: John McKenna | 5-11, 193
CB | Waterbury, Conn. | St. Thomas More School | HS Coach: Jeff Moore | 5-11, 200
LB | Louisa, Va. | Louisa County High School | HS Coach: Will Patrick | 6-3, 225
TE/H | Parkersburg, W.Va. | Parkersburg High School | HS Coach: Mike Byus | 6-4, 214
OL | Robbinsville, N.J. | The Hun School | HS Coach: Todd Smith | 6-5, 291
OL | Lexington Park, Md. | Great Mills High School/Lackawanna Community College | CC Coach: Mark Duda | 6-4, 292
CB | Windsor, Conn. | Windsor High School | HS Coach: Rob Fleeting | 5-11, 167
OL | Newark, N.J. | Smyrna (Del.) High School | HS Coach: Mike Judy | 6-3, 311