In today’s Three-Point Stance, Rivals national recruiting analyst Adam Friedman has thoughts on Penn State‘s recruiting momentum and five-star quarterback Jadyn Davis‘ commitment timeline, along with seeing how three former five-stars are faring as college freshmen.
CLASS OF 2025 RANKINGS: Rivals100
1. Will Penn State’s win at Auburn help it get prospects in the Southeast?
A lot of credit needs to go to Penn State after its big win at Auburn this past weekend. The Nittany Lions made a lot of people believers in the program that would’ve called themselves skeptics prior to the game. The coaching staff hopes the impact of big wins like this extends to the recruiting trail as well.
Over the last few years, Penn State has not done a great job getting commitments from Southern players, and the Southern commitments they do get have a habit of signing with other schools. There are recent examples such as Tomarrion Parker, Marcus Stokes, Holden Staes, Jordan Allen and Nick Elksnis, all players from the South who did not stick with their commitment to Penn State.
Over the last two classes, Penn State has also had problems keeping local or regional commitments from looking to the South for another opportunity. In this recruiting class alone, former commitments Yazeed Haynes, an in-state prospect, and Joshua Miller, a Virginia native, flipped their commitments from Penn State to Georgia. In last year‘s recruiting class, defensive end Tyreese Fearbry flipped his commitment from Penn State to Kentucky, even though he was originally from Pittsburgh.
Penn State has already proven so far this season that it deserves to be considered one of the best football programs in the country. The record on the field speaks for itself. Now the Nittany Lions are hoping these big wins on a national stage can help push its recruiting efforts forward.
2. Should Jadyn Davis speed up his commitment timeline?
Five-star quarterback Jadyn Davis was just at Michigan for the third time this year. He was also in attendance at Georgia‘s opening season win over Oregon in Atlanta and made a number of other stops earlier this year. It would be easy to think the Charlotte (N.C.) Providence Day star would be close to committing if it weren’t for him adamantly stating that he would not be committing anytime soon. That being said, should Davis think about committing soon to make sure he gets ahead of other quarterbacks that seem to be nearing their own commitments?
A handful of other quarterbacks in the 2024 class seem to be inching closer to making their decisions. Michael Van Buren, No. 61 in the 2024 Rivals250, just took a visit to Oregon, one of the schools that has made him a priority under the new coaching staff. Highly touted quarterback Derek Lagway, No. 77 in the 2024 Rivals250, recently narrowed his list of options to 10 programs. Both of those quarterbacks are interested in some of the same schools that Davis has his eye on. The same thing goes for five-star Julian Sayin.
3. How are three former five-stars faring as college freshmen?
We are three games into the college football season and the early returns are coming in on big-name prospects from the 2022 recruiting class. The East region featured three five-star prospects last year, and each of them has already seen action this year. Here is a brief look at how each started their college careers.
Dennis-Sutton was not an early enrollee, which makes what he’s accomplished all the more impressive. The former No. 7 player in the 2022 class has played in all three games for Penn State so far and had a sack in the Auburn game. In Penn State’s previous game against Ohio, the Maryland native tallied two tackles and got to the quarterback once. A very promising start for Dennis-Sutton.
In North Carolina‘s last two games, Shaw saw consistent action and it seems like the coaching staff is becoming more comfortable with him on the field. The North Carolina native made two tackles in the game against Georgia State and has put himself in line for possibly getting more playing time down the road.
Rice was off to a very good start in Chapel Hill and the coaching staff was excited about his progress in the early part of fall camp, but he missed a string of practices right before the season began. Missing that time was a setback for his chances of playing a significant role in the early part of the season.
Rice hasn’t played more than 20 snaps in a game yet, but is making progress as he tries to work his way into the rotation.