Welcome to the early signing period for the 2022 recruiting class here at Roar Lions Roar. Make sure to check out all of our other coverage today and in the coming days, and make sure to check out each profile of the newest Nittany Lions as they sign their letters of intent. (All photos you see below are courtesy of 247Sports)
Maleek McNeil has college-level size already and could one day be a stalwart on the edge of Penn State's offensive line.
|Position: Offensive tackle|
|Height/Weight: 6'7/340 lbs.|
|High School: Walter Panas (Cortlandt Manor, NY)|
|247Composite Rank: ★★★(0.8593)|
|Positional Rank: No. 883 Overall, No. 77 Offensive tackle, No. 5 in New York|
|Commitment Date: May 1, 2021|
Maleek McNeil, while standing at 6'7, 340 pounds, is almost surely more athletic than you are picturing in your head. The tackle prospect not only was a fixture on the offensive line for Walter Panas, but played along the defensive line, was used as a goal-line running back, and did some punting work. Seriously, go watch his highlight tape, it's a blast.
Still, there's no question that McNeil is an offensive tackle, though. His impressive size meant that there was nary a high schooler who could do much against him, but he'll need to refine his technique under the tutelage of Phil Trautwein to have that same success at the collegiate level where that size advantage will not be nearly as impactful.
McNeil, while already being physically ready for the college game, is likely at least two years away from making an impact in the trenches for Penn State. He'll need some time in the weight room to continue to work on his flexibility and improve his lower half strength as opposing defensive ends will have no choice but to try and dip around him in the future.
As he continues to mature and learn more how to use his size to his advantage, he will become a more and more realistic option for the Penn State left tackle job, a role that very well could be his one day.