Penn State has been on quite the recruiting run over the month of July, adding eight commitments since the start of the month. The ninth, however, might be the biggest piece yet. High four-star defensive lineman Dani Dennis-Sutton has announced his commitment to the Nittany Lions.
Dennis-Sutton is the top player on the defensive board for head coach James Franklin, and perhaps the top player regardless of position for the Lions. Between his raw talent, and defensive end being a crucial position of need in the class, there were not many targets, if any, that were more important in this cycle.
The Dennis-Sutton File
- Class: 2022
- Size: 6'5, 250 lbs.
- Pos: SDE
- School: McDonogh School (Owings Mills, MD)
- Composite Rating: ★★★★ (.9783)
- Composite Rank: No. 50 overall, No. 9 DL
The Lions jumped at the chance to offer Dennis-Sutton way back in May of 2019, the first program to do so. They were eventually joined by Ohio State, Michigan, Pitt, Oklahoma, Florida State, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, and Auburn, among many others.
With recruiting all but shut down for over a year, Dennis-Sutton was long rumored to be favoring the Nittany Lions but made no secret about his desire to take visits once the NCAA lifted the dead period. He used three official visits, making trips to Happy Valley, Athens, and Tuscaloosa during the month of June. The Bulldogs emerged as Penn State's top competition shortly after his visit to Georgia to start the month, but the Nittany Lions used a relationship that has been in place for over two years to land one of the biggest fish in the 2022 recruiting class.
Dennis-Sutton, who projects as a defensive end for Penn State, gives Franklin and John Scott Jr. an elite-level pass rusher that has the potential to step into the rotation as soon as he arrives on campus. Expect his No. 50 composite ranking to rise as well this fall. McDonogh did not play during Dennis-Sutton's junior season due to the Covid-19 pandemic, so it has been nearly two years since he has had game film to evaluate. He already sits at No. 11 nationally on Rivals thanks to a summer of elite camp performances. It would not be a surprise to see 247 and ESPN follow suit once more game film is available this fall.
This commitment also keeps the McDonogh-to-Penn State pipeline following. Dennis-Sutton will join fellow Eagles alumni PJ Mustipher, D'Von Ellies, and Curtis Jacobs in suiting up for the Blue and White. Current teammate, four-star 2023 offensive lineman Antonio Tripp is also seriously considering the Nittany Lions.
The 2022 class now stands at 21 members, with Dennis-Sutton the highest-ranked of the group. He is the third defensive end in the class, joining four-star Philadelphia-native Ken Talley and four-star Pittsburgh native Tyreese Feabry. The class ranks second nationally, trailing only Big Ten rival Ohio State.