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Penn State

Ten things to know about Penn State's 2018 recruiting class

| Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018, 12:38 a.m.
Penn State coach James Franklin looks on against Pitt in the second quarter Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, at Beaver Stadium.
Penn State coach James Franklin looks on against Pitt in the second quarter Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, at Beaver Stadium.

Penn State completed its 2018 recruiting class Wednesday with the signing of offensive tackle Rasheed Walker. The four-star lineman from Maryland was the 23rd player to sign with Penn State, which ranked No. 5 in the 247Sports ratings.

To catch up, here are 10 things to know about Penn State's 2018 class.

1. Setting a class-ranking record

Penn State's No. 5 ranking in the 247Sports composite is the team's highest since 2000, which also finished fifth.

2. The most highly ranked talent yet

Penn State's class included three five-star players and 12 four-star players, the highest concentration of such ranked talent in State College. The five-star players are defensive end Micah Parsons (who could compete for the starting spot at middle linebacker this year), receiver Justin Shorter and running back Ricky Slade.

3. Nationally ranked players across the roster

The Lions signed six players in the 247Sports top 100, including two in the top 10. Parsons (No. 5) is Penn State's highest-ranked recruit since Derrick Williams in 2005, and Shorter is No. 8 overall. Other top-100 players are Slade (27), Walker (65), defensive end Jayson Oweh (76) and defensive tackle PJ Mustipher (78).

4. Area representation

Nazareth receiver Jahan Dotson continued Penn State's recruiting surge in the Lehigh Valley when he committed in December. Penn State coach James Franklin credited former running back Saquon Barkley for helping to bring Dotson to campus. The class also features Pennridge linebacker Nick Tarburton.

5. In-state success

Following his ‘dominate the state' promise in 2014, coach James Franklin has signed Pennsylvania's top-ranked players for three consecutive years. Parsons joined cornerback Lamont Wade of Clairton (2016) and running back Miles Sanders of Woodland Hills (2015) on that list. This marks the first such three-year stretch for Penn State since it signed Anthony Morelli, Justin King and Jared Odrick from 2004-06. According to 247Sports, Penn State signed six of the state's top 10 players for 2018.

6. Recruiting the region

With Walker's commitment, Penn State signed 13 players who are from within 250 miles of State College. The Lions signed six players from Pennsylvania, three from Maryland, two from Virginia and two from New Jersey.

7. Six players already are on campus

After the early signing period in December, six players enrolled early and joined the team for winter workouts. The early enrollees are Parsons, Tarburton, tight end Zack Kuntz, linebacker Jesse Luketa, cornerback Trent Gordon and safety Isaiah Humphries.

8. Stacking the lines

Walker became the fourth offensive lineman in Penn State's recruiting class, which also includes five defensive linemen. Franklin has called linemen the cornerstone of his roster turnaround.

9. Adding a versatile kicker

Jake Pinegar made two 60-yard field goals at Ankeny (Iowa) Centennial High but isn't solely a kicker. Pinegar was an all-state defensive back who had five interceptions as a junior.

10. A ‘Survivor' legacy

Defensive tackle Judge Culpepper from Tampa, Fla., has two famous parents. His father Brad was an NFL defensive tackle who appeared on the TV show “Survivor,” as did his mother Monica.

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