Teams & Conferences

2016 Penn State Football Recruiting Class Breakdown

Nov 16, 2013; University Park, PA, USA; General view of a Penn State Nittany Lions helmet prior to the game against the Purdue Boilermakers at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Nov 16, 2013; University Park, PA, USA; General view of a Penn State Nittany Lions helmet prior to the game against the Purdue Boilermakers at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports


2016 Penn State Football Recruiting Class: Penn State came up with another excellent class from James Franklin, keeping pace with the biggest boys in the Big Ten East for great young talent.


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Penn State Football Recruiting Class Overview

It might not have been the recruiting class of last year, and James Franklin didn’t maintain the momentum after having one of the top-ranked class several months ago after a few massive early commitments, but it’s still an elite haul of talent. Ohio State and Michigan got the biggest stars overall, but the Nittany Lions more than held their own on the highest end of pickups. Building off of the 2015 class, everything is pointing up.

The Class Is Heavy On …

Defensive linemen. The Nittany Lions got a nice group of offensive linemen coming in, led by tackle Michal Menet, and came up with a huge class overall, but the defensive front is full of talent starting with tackle Ellison Jordan and helped by JUCO transfer Tyrell Chavis. Daniel Joseph is a terrific-looking pass rushing possibility, and Antonio Shelton will find a spot on the inside once he adds a little weight.

The Star of the Class Is …

RB Miles Sanders, 6-0, 200 – Menet might be the best offensive tackle recruit in the country, with the size and skills to become an elite starter on the left side once he packs on the pounds, but it’s Sanders who has the skills to become the centerpiece of the attack. Arguably the nation’s top running back recruit, he’s lightning quick with the toughness to be a workhorse. Wanted by every big school you can name, the Pennsylvania native stayed close to home committing early on in the process.

The Team’s Biggest 2016 Depth Chart Hole Is …

The Nittany Lions have to find some huge replacements, literally for the defensive line. Pass rushing terror Carl Nassib will be sorely missed, while tackles Anthony Zettel and Austin Johnson are going to be hard to instantly replace. Is losing QB Christian Hackenberg really a massive problem? If the quarterback situation is settled right away, the offense should be better.

2016 Penn State Football Recruiting Class

Alex Barbir K 5-9 195 Cumming, Ga.
Cameron Brown LB 6-5 210 Burtonsville, Md.
Tyrell Chavis DL 6-3 295 Richmond, Va.
Danny Dalton TE 6-4 240 Marshfield, Mass.
Dae’lun Darien WR 6-4 195 Baltimore, Md.
Will Fries OL 6-6 290 Cranford, N.J.
Alex Gellerstedt OL 6-6 275 Dublin, Ohio
Blake Gillikin P/K 6-2 182 Smyrna, Ga.
Connor McGovern OL 6-5 310 Larksville, Pa.
Michal Menet OL 6-4 285 Birdsboro, Pa.
Zech McPhearson DB 5-11 175 Columbia, Md.
Daniel Joseph DL 6-3 255 Lake Forest, Ill.
TJ Johnson DB 6-2 180 Cleveland, Ohio
Ellison Jordan DL 6-0 280 Upper Marlboro, Md.
Miles Sanders RB 5-11 195 Pittsburgh, Pa.
Antonio Shelton DL 6-2 290 Gahanna, Ohio
Shane Simmons DL 6-3 230 Laurel, Md.
Brenon Thrift DL 6-3 285 Monroeville, Pa.
Shaka Toney DL 6-3 200 Philadelphia, Pa.
Jake Zembiec QB 6-3 205 Rochester, N.Y.