Penn State's 2023 recruiting class received its second commitment in a week from Alabama, as four-star safety DaKaari Nelson joined the class. Nelson announced his decision on social media.
Nelson, who plays for Selma High, followed Alabama defensive lineman Tomarrion Parker, who committed last week. Nelson is the fourth player to commit to Penn State in June and brings the class to 15 players. The class also features a southern flair and includes two players from Florida: quarterback Marcus Stokes and safety Conrad Hussey.
Nelson (6-3, 200 pounds) is a top-275 player and top-25 safety nationally, according to 247Sports, and brings size and versatility to Penn State's secondary. He's a classic safety who also could play cornerback, as his Hudl film shows. Selma lines him often in single coverage, and Helson also plays receiver and returns kicks.
Nelson is a unique addition to Penn State's class, considering his recruiting process. He named six finalists that included Auburn, Clemson, Kentucky, Tennessee and Oregon. Auburn pressed extensively to keep Nelson in-state. In fact, John Garcia, Jr., Sports Illustrated's director of recruiting, said Auburn loomed large in the process.
"If you're Auburn, you need to get him back on campus because it has been kind of hard in his recruitment to get him to take visits," Garcia told Auburn Daily. "Maybe you get Nelson on campus for an official visit, but you need to get him back on campus and go from there."
Nelson made an official visit to Penn State in early June that led to his commitment. In addition to his top-six schools, Nelson received offers from Florida State, Texas A&M, Michigan and Arkansas.
Penn State's 2023 recruiting class was ranked fourth, behind Notre Dame, Ohio State and Clemson, in the 247Sports team rankings before Nelson's commitment.
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