With the Class of 2019 officially wrapped up (save for Nick Cross), attention turns to the Class of 2020. Penn State is on some serious talent and this could shape up to be a class for the ages.
The staff currently only has one commit in 2020 on the offensive side of the ball, Grant Toutant (Warren, MI). The three-star offensive tackle seems like a candidate to rocket up the rankings in the coming months, as he's recently received some more big-time offers from Ohio State and Michigan State. Here's where else the staff is also looking.
Quarterback is difficult to figure out in any class for any school. There are only two or three elite prospects in a good class, and there are times where there are zero superstars. The key is to find an underrated prospect, but you can't go too far down the totem pole. Elite quarterbacks are necessary to excite and attract other elite players. Penn State has offered seven signal callers according to 247Sports, but four have already committed elsewhere, including blue chip prospects Drew Pyne (Notre Dame), Bryce Young (USC), and Hudson Card (Texas).
Penn State has arguably recruited running backs better than any other position since Saquon Barkley, and that could continue in this cycle. They're in on a multitude of both great and realistic options. Five-star talents Chris Tyree (Chester, VA) and Marshawn Lloyd (Hyattsville, MD) are the top two choices, but they bring drastically different running styles. Tyree looks to run past or around defenders and Lloyd looks to run through them. With Maryland hiring Lloyd's high school football coach to coach running backs and his apparent admiration with Georgia, Tyree is probably the better bet to be Penn State's elite running back. They're also very much in on four-star backs Michael Drennen II (Dublin, OH) and Jalen Berger (Ramsey, NJ).
This where the possible class jewel comes into the picture. The only other player in the country that comes close to Julian Fleming (Catawissa, PA) priority-wise is the No. 1 overall player in the country. That's saying something. The Penn State staff is all hands on deck for Fleming, who has been a regular visitor to State College, and will fight to the end for his commitment. The focus can't be 100 percent on him, however, as there are plenty of other great options to hopefully pair with Fleming. Jaden Dottin (Suffield, CT) is another receiver the staff jumped on, but a Michigan visit has slowed down his recruitment. An outstanding Junior Day visit has thrust Penn State into contention for KeAndre Lambert (Norfolk, VA).
Theo Johnson (Windsor, ON) is the clear No. 1 choice at tight end. The staff apparently was willing to accept a second tight end in 2019, although they ended up with only Brenton Strange. If the staff finds the right player, don't be surprised to see them go after two tight ends again this year.
Penn State will look to go heavy on tackles in 2020, as the only true tackle they landed in 2019 was JUCO Anthony Whigan. Luckily they have two very good options that they arguably lead for to pair up with Toutant. Michael Carmody (Mars, PA) and Aaryn Parks (Ft. Washington, MD) are two outstanding prospects. Parks tweeted out that he was close to committing and seemed like a prime candidate to do so during the Junior Day visit on Feb. 2 before his plans changed. With regards to Carmody, the momentum could come to a screeching halt if Notre Dame comes calling, as his brother plays basketball for the Fighting Irish. Still, both could pull the trigger at any moment. Anton Harrison (Washington, DC) is another name to keep an eye on, though it's not clear how hard the staff is pushing for this one.