James Franklin and Penn State will enter 2018 looking to improve on a 11–2 campaign and a Fiesta Bowl win.
Penn State will enter 2018 looking to improve on a 11–2 campaign that led to a Fiesta Bowl appearance.
Coach James Franklin is trying to cement his team's status as one of the Big Ten's elite after back-to-back seasons of double-digit wins and a New Year's Six bowl victory. Although the Nittany Lions were unable to win a second straight Big Ten title in 2017, their two losses came by a combined four points, and they spent almost the entire year in the AP top 10. Since taking over in 2014, Franklin has gone 36–17.
With an offense and defense that were top 10 in the nation in scoring, Penn State doesn't have a clear weak spot that needs improvement, but the expected departure of running back Saquon Barkley will create a void that needs to be filled. Barkley entered the year as a Heisman hopeful and went on to rush for 1,134 yards and 16 touchdowns and catch for another 594 yards and three scores. He also had 426 yards and two touchdowns on kick returns. The Nittany Lions will also lose offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead, who takes over as the head coach at Mississippi State.
Here's a look at Penn State's signees and commitments for 2018. All ratings are according to 247 Sports.
Micah Parsons, DE, Harrisburg (Pa.) - 5 Stars (Enrolled)
Justin Shorter, WR, South Brunswick (N.J.) - 5 Stars (Signed)
Ricky Slade, APB, C.D. Hylton (Va.) - 5 Stars (Signed)
Nana Asiedu, OT, North Stafford (Va.) - 4 Stars (Signed)
P.J. Mustipher, DT, McDonogh School (Md.) - 4 Stars (Signed)
Zack Kuntz, TE, Camp Hill (Pa.) - 4 Stars (Enrolled)
Jayson Oweh, DE, Blair Academy (N.J.) – 4 stars (Signed)
Jahan Dotson, Nazareth Area (Penn.) - 4 Stars (Signed)
Pat Freiermuth, TE, Brooks School (Mass.) - 4 Stars (Signed)
Fredrick Scruggs, OC, Cathedral Prep (Pa.) - 4 Stars (Signed)
Jesse Luketa, ILB, Mercyhurst Preparatory School (Pa.) - 4 Stars (Enrolled)
Daniel George, WR, Oxon Hill (Md.) - 4 Stars (Signed)
Nick Tarburton, ILB, Pennridge (Pa.) - 4 Stars (Enrolled)
Jordan Miner, CB, Wiregrass Ranch (Fla.) - 3 Stars (Signed)
Trent Gordon, CB, Manvel (Texas) - 3 Stars (Enrolled)
Shaquon Anderson-Butts, ATH, Harrisburg (Pa.) - 3 Stars (Committed)
Aeneas Hawkins, DT, Archbishop Moeller (Ohio) - 3 Stars (Signed)
Judge Culpepper, SDE, Plant (Fla.) - 3 Stars (Signed)
Isaiah Humphries, S, Sachse (Texas) - 3 Stars (Enrolled)
Charlie Katshir, OLB, Cumberland Valley (Pa.) - 3 Stars (Signed)
Bryce Effner, OT, Metea Valley (Ill.) - 3 Stars (Signed)
Will Levis, PRO, Xavier (Conn.) - 3 Stars (Signed)
Jake Pinegar, K, Ankeny Centennial (Iowa) - 3 Stars (Signed)