Penn State 2020 Recruiting Primer: Defense

By Michael Stanley on February 8, 2019 at 8:00 am
Bryan Bresee

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.

Penn State has already landed three defensive commitments from cornerback Joshua Moten (Fort Washington, MD) and outside linebackers Curtis Jacobs (Owings Mills, MD) and Derek Wingo (Fort Lauderdale, FL). They could be the beginning of something great.

Defensive Line

This class may be great even without defensive end/tackle Bryan Bresee (Damascus, MD), but the top recruit in the country could be the piece that pushes this class to a truly elite level. No, one individual never makes an entire team, but defensive tackle is such a difficult position to recruit and a player of Bresee's caliber could make PSU's defensive line a true force to be reckoned with.

Defensive end Demon Clowney (Baltimore, MD) is incredibly raw but incredibly athletic. With his measurables, he could easily be molded into a darn good edge-rusher. He's been a relatively regular visitor to Penn State but he doesn't seem to have really gotten into his own recruitment yet, so there is probably quite a bit of time with this one. Coziah Izzard (Hyattsville, MD) is a strong candidate to end up in the class if the staff chooses to let him pull the trigger. It feels like his rating is a little bit of a DeMatha-bias. Cole Brevard (Carmel, IN) could be one to watch, although he's taken a ton of visits and it's tough to tell where he's leaning. Dominic Bailey (Salisbury, MD) has been to campus plenty of times and is another prime candidate to be plucked out of Maryland's back yard.


This is where things could get very interesting. Penn State already has Wingo and Jacobs in the fold, and any of the following would make this another outstanding linebacker class. Penn State is very much in the running for Antoine Sampah (Woodbridge, VA) and Mekhail Sherman (Washington, DC). These are two truly elite linebacker prospects, so landing even one of them would be stellar. Sherman could possibly grow into a defensive end down the road. As with any five-star prospect, no school should feel totally safe. Penn State may not be out in the lead for either prospect, but they will absolutely be in it until the very end for both. Kalel Mullings (Milton, MA) is one the staff could really push for if neither Sampah or Sherman work out.

Defensive Backs

James Franklin surely needs to pair up some talent to go along with Moten. Enzo Jennings (Oak Park, MI) is being recruited as a safety by Penn State and after his most recent visit for Junior Day, the Lions are neck-and-neck with Notre Dame. Safety Jordan Morant (Oradell, NJ) is another one the staff has been pushing heavily for and while they sit in an excellent position here, he has been receiving new offers every day and if the right one comes along, he could decide to really take his time. The staff hopes to close this one sooner rather than later.

Penn State has plenty of other offers out to secondary players such as cornerbacks Henry Gray (Miami, FL) and Luke Hill (Baltimore, MD), and safeties Makari Page (West Bloomfield, MI) and Nehki Meredith (Virginia Beach, VA). With a little Ja'Juan Seider magic, anything is possible.

If you didn't catch the offensive preview, make sure to check that out, as well. And be sure to bookmark the recruiting page on Roar Lions Roar as we work hard to keep you up to date on the 2020 class year-round.