Penn State welcomed their four newest members of the Nittany Lion football program this week as they enrolled early for the Spring semester. Today, we're discussing the team's fourth and final early enrollee, Lamont Wade.
The Wade File
|High School (City)||Clairton (Clairton, Pa.)|
|Composite Rating||★★★★ (0.9735)|
|Position Rank||No. 5 (CB)|
|National Rank||No. 50|
|Commitment Date||Dec. 17, 2016|
Lamont Wade is special.
Sure, he's a talented cornerback – you don't get ranked among the nation's elite unless you are, obviously. Wade, a versatile 5'9 corner, is the kind of guy you can put on an island with a receiver, because his ability to lock guys down gives you the flexibility to do something like that. He's a bit undersized – although he's an excellent athlete, so that's not too huge of a deal – but the dude is a true, lockdown corner.
But the thing that will make Wade so beloved by Penn Staters is his general approach to football. His tenacity on the field is Honey Badger-esque – he's the kind of guy whose "nope, you're not getting anything on me" mentality comes through when you watch him play. Hell, watch him interact with Pitt fans on Twitter (NOTE: We at Roar Lions Roar would like to formally endorse that all of you follow him on the Twitter machine). Tenacious is the best word to describe him in that setting, too. I know this has nothing to do with football but I needed to get the fact that he effortlessly dunks on #PittTwitter frequently into this post.
Anyway, football! Wade committed to Penn State back in December after a long and interesting recruitment. By his own admission, Wade was intrigued by several other schools. From PennLive:
He's had different favorites throughout the process. Last year, he was leaning toward the Mountaineers. In the spring, he liked Ohio State. At the beginning of the season, he thought it would be Tennessee.
Then the Nittany Lions won the Big Ten championship and earned a berth in the Rose Bowl. That caught Wade's attention. Combined with the relationships he had with Penn State's coaches, his decision was made.
"At the beginning of the season, I told my mom I think Tennessee's the place," Wade said. "Then Penn State came around. The thing I said in my head, if Penn State could win I would love to join that program. They showed me they could win, winning the Big Ten Championship."
Much to the chagrin of plenty of people in Pittsburgh, Knoxville, Morgantown, and several other cities, Wade ultimately pulled the trigger and committed to the Nittany Lions via this wonderful video.
While Penn State has plenty of talent in is secondary, Wade is the kind of guy who is so good that you can't keep off the field. He could be a lockdown cornerback, but he could also play safety. A dynamic return man, Wade can make an impact on special teams. Plus he played running back in high school and is dangerous with the ball in his hands on offense, where he could also get some time.
Basically, Wade represents a massive recruiting win for James Franklin. It was proof that, sometimes, your ability to win football games can bring in top talent. When you mix that with the staff's persistence to bring the defensive back on board, Penn State was able to keep Pennsylvania's version of Tyrann Mathieu (or, depending on who you ask, Eric Berry) in the commonwealth.