Penn State's Recruiting Class Holds Firm at No. 1

SI All-American ranks Penn State's 2022 class No. 1 for the third straight month.

Penn State began its third consecutive month with the nation's No. 1 recruiting class, according to SI All-American, and already has picked up its first commitment of October.

James Franklin's 2022 recruiting class holds the top spot once again on SI All-American's top-25 list. Penn State has been No. 1 since a July surge that generated commitments from 12 players.

The Lions' class grew to 25 in September, when Maryland offensive tackle Andre Roye announced his decision. Penn State then picked another commitment Oct. 2, when Texas receiver Omari Evans became the 26th member of the recruiting class.

Penn State is No. 1 ahead of Alabama, Notre Dame, Oregon and Georgia. Coincidentally, four of those teams are in the top 5 of this week's AP Top 25, with the Lions ranking fourth.

"James Franklin and company have the most complete class in the country and rounded out the trench haul with the addition of offensive tackle Andre Roye of late," writes John Garcia Jr. of SI All-American.

Four players in Penn State's class are listed in the SI99: Quarterback Drew Allar, defensive lineman Dani Dennis-Sutton, receiver Kaden Saunders and running back Nick Singleton.

Penn State in September also picked up two commits to the 2023 class, including one renewal. Mathias 'Mega' Barnwell, a 6-5, 270-pound tight end from Virginia, initially committed to Penn State in June 2020 and reopened his recruiting in January. He announced his return at the Penn State-Villanova game.

In addition, cornerback Lamont Payne from Chartiers Valley (Pa.) High committed to Franklin before the Penn State-Auburn game.

The return of on-campus recruiting visits this summer might have been more significant for Penn State than any program in the country. Franklin and his staff turned the month-long June open house at the Lasch Football Building into July's string of vital commitments.

"The thing is, we didn't get a chance to capitalize on our Cotton Bowl season of 11-2 [in 2019]," running backs coach Ja'Juan Seider said. "With COVID, we couldn't get people on campus, and it's not an easy place to get to. It's easy to see on TV, but when you actually get your feet planted and get to take in this campus and this atmosphere, it's totally different."

Franklin has been active on the recruiting trail during the season, occasionally taking helicopters to visit recruits, as he did when stopping by Central York High, home of 2022 quarterback commit Beau Pribula.

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