Penn State got all their needs and more on the early signing day. The 2019 class is shaping up nicely, as the Nittany Lions had 18 commits sign National Letters of Intent after the first day. The war room knew about 17 signees entering the day, but coaches and fans were awaiting the decision of four-star running back Noah Cain. The IMG Academy standout chose the Nittany Lions on ESPN2 during the middle of the first day of the early signing period. Cain’s NLI gave Penn State two four-star running backs in the 2019 class. Penn State checked all boxes on early signing day with two quarterbacks, two running backs, several linebackers, and defensive ends.
Penn State Checked all Boxes on Early Signing Day
At a glance
The offensive line continued to trend upward with three signees; Caeden Wallace, Saleem Wormley, and JUCO transfer Anthony Whigan.
The rest of the defense also faired well. Two linebackers came to Linebacker U; five star Brandon Smith and four-star Lance Dixon. The two Wild Dogs on the defensive line is also four star Adisa Isaac and Hakeem Beamon. Finishing out the defense is two safeties, Jaquan Brisker and Tyler Rudolph.
The offense ended the day with two quarterbacks, Michael Johnson Jr. and Taquan Roberson. Two running backs, Noah Cain and Devyn Ford. Finally, tight end Brenton Strange and wide receiver John Dunmore.
Cornerback Keaton Ellis
The morning started off with hometown kid Keaton Ellis signing with the Nittany Lions. The four star cornerback grew up two miles away from Beaver Stadium and will look to make an immediate impact on Saturday’s in 2019. Both of Ellis’ parent are Penn State alumni and his father played for the Nittany Lions from 1973-76.
Running back Devyn Ford
Four star running back Devyn Ford is ranked as the No. 3 recruit out of Virginia by 247Sports and was chosen for the Under Armour All-American Game, the Polynesian Bowl, and he participated in Nike’s The Opening. Ford holds the school record for rushing yards in a season and career. As well as rushing touchdowns in a season at North Stafford High School.
Cornerback Joey Porter Jr.
The four star prospect is the son of Joey Porter, the outside linebackers coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Porter Jr. guided North Allegheny to a 10-1 record in 2018. He registered 22 tackles, three interceptions, and four passes defended as a senior.
Defensive end Hakeem Beamon
The four star defensive end out of Virginia is coming off of a State Championship season. Beamon helped lead Manchester High School to their first ever state championship and a 15-0 season. Beamon recorded 44 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, and 5.5 sacks as a senior.
Offensive guard Saleem Wormley
The four star recruit is ranked as the No. 1 player in Delaware by 247Sports. Wormley is a two-time Delaware State Champion. He is the No. 45 offensive guard in the 2019 class and will undoubtedly help the offensive line as it continues to trend upward.
Quarterback Michael Johnson Jr.
The four star dual-threat quarterback is the No. 2 recruit out of Oregon according to 247Sports. Johnson Jr. is the first recruit out of Oregon for James Franklin and his staff. He was selected to the Under Armour All-America Game. Further, he recorded 1,812 passing yards, 19 passing touchdowns, 1,290 rushing yards, and 18 rushing touchdowns as a senior.
Cornerback Marquis Wilson
Wilson is a four star cornerback out of Windsor, Connecticut. His junior season Wilson was selected All-State as a wide receiver and had 37 catches for 765 yards and six touchdowns. Further, in that junior season, Wilson recorded 51 tackles and four interceptions.
Defensive end Adisa Isaac
Isaac is a four star recruit out of Brooklyn, NY and committed to the Nittany Lions two days before the early signing period. He is the No. 1 recruit in NY according to 247Sports. He totaled 77 tackles, 34 tackles for loss, and 22 sacks as a senior.
Offensive guard Caedan Wallace
According to 247Sports Wallace is the No.2 guard and the No. 2 recruit out of New Jersey. The four star guard was selected to the All-American Bowl. In addition, he is a finalist for the 2019 All-American Bowl Man of the Year Award. He recorded more than 80 knockdowns his senior season.
Linebacker Brandon Smith
Five star linebacker Brandon Smith is ranked as the No. 1 inside linebacker and the No. 1 recruit out of Virginia by 247Sports. Smith helped lead Louisa County High School to a 25-2 record the last two seasons. He was selected to the Under Armour All-America Game. Further, he was chosen as the 2018 Gatorade Player of the Year in Virginia and was a 2018 Butkus Award High School Finalist for the best high school linebacker. Finally, he recorded 135 tackles, 15 tackles for loss, six sacks, and nine forced fumbles as a senior.
Safety Tyler Rudolph
Four star safety Tyler Rudolph is ranked the No. 2 player out of Connecticut by 247Sports. He is a two-time All-New England selection. He averaged four tackles per game and only allowed four catches against him as a senior.
Linebacker Lance Dixon
Lance Dixon is a four star prospect and the No. 4 outside linebacker and the No.3 prospect out of Michigan according to 247Sports. He was selected to the All-American Bowl and became the first player in West Bloomfield High School history to receive that honor. He tallied 95 tackles, 11 for loss, five sacks, and 11 quarterback hurries as a senior.
Offensive tackle Anthony Whigan
Lackawanna CC transfer Whigan is a four star prospect. Ranked the No. 7 junior college prospect, No. 1 offensive tackle, and No. 1 junior college recruit in Maryland by 247Sports. He helped Lackawanna CC to a perfect 11-0 season and a No. 6 national ranking in 2018.
Quarterback Taquan Roberson
Roberson guided DePaul Catholic High School to a NJSIAA Non-Public Group 3 State Championship as a junior. He tallied 2,433 passing yards, 29 touchdowns, and six interceptions as a senior.
Safety Jaquan Brisker
The second Lackawanna CC transfer in the 2019 class is the No. 3 junior college prospect in Pennsylvania by 247Sports. He led JCC with 64 tackles, 17 for loss, and nine sacks in 2018. Finally, he was named the 2018 Northeast Football Conference Defensive Player of the Year.
Wide receiver John Dunmore
Dunmore is a four star prospect and will play in the Under Armour All-American Game. He tallied 53 receptions for 853 yards and eight touchdowns as a senior. Finally, he helped lead Chaminade-Madonna Prep to back-to-back FHSAA 3A Championships in 2017 and 2018.
Tight end Brenton Strange
The No. 3 prospect out of West Virginia according to 247Sports was the second-to-last signee on the first day of the early signing period. Strange is a four star tight end. He holds the Parkersburg High School record for receptions and receiving yards in a season and a career, season receiving touchdowns, and career interception returns for a touchdown. Finally, he grabbed 65 passes for 1,083 yards and 8 touchdowns as a senior.
Running back Noah Cain
The last signee of the day was Noah Cain. He chose Penn State on ESPN2. It was a nice surprise for everyone in the Nittany Lion family. He is a four star running back out of IMG Academy. He led IMG to a 7-1 record and a No. 3 MaxPreps national ranking to end 2018. Cain will join several other new Nittany Lions at the Under Armour All-American Game.
While Penn State checked all boxes on Early Signing Day. The Nittany Lions still left room for more for the February signing period. Head coach James Franklin stated that there are still targets for the class that a win over Kentucky in the Citrus Bowl will hopefully solidify. Overall, the 2019 class is in good shape. Mainly four and five star recruits, from 10 different states. The future looks bright for the Penn State Nittany Lions.