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Penn State Nittany Lions land four football recruits

(PSU ATHLETICS) Penn State University’s Micah Parsons records a tackle in an NCAA football game.

By CORY GIGER

For The Express

Penn State has enjoyed a banner couple of days on the recruiting front, getting commitments from four players for the class of 2021.

Three of the four players are four-star recruits, while the other is a three-star recruit. Perhaps even more interesting than even the recruiting rankings is that two of the commits are twin brothers.

Here’s a look at the four recruits:

– Jaylen Reed: A four-star safety from Martin Luther King High School in Detroit, the 6-foot, 190-pounder is rated the No. 10 safety in the nation and No. 8 overall recruit from Michigan, according to 247Sports.

– Zakee Wheatley: A four-star athlete from Archbishop Spalding High School in Severn, Md., the 6-2, 180-pounder is the No. 21 athlete in the country and No. 15 overall recruit in Maryland.

– Kalen King: A four-star cornerback from Cass Technical in Detroit, the 5-11, 170-pounder is the No. 24 cornerback in the nation and No. 10 overall recruit in Michigan.

– Kobe King: Kalen’s twin brother, the 6-0, 223-pounder is a three-star inside linebacker who’s rated the No. 20 ILB in the country and No. 13 overall recruit in Michigan.

Reed committed to Penn State on Thursday, while the other three committed Friday.

Penn State now has seven players committed for the class of 2021. The Nittany Lions’ class is ranked No. 13 nationally and No. 5 in the Big Ten by 247Sports.

This is an NCAA mandated dead period in recruiting across college football, and neither current players nor recruits are on campus this spring because of the coronavirus.

While that can come with challenges in the recruiting process, PSU assistant coach Tyler Bowen said it’s not as big of a factor as some may think because of technology such as video chats

“As far as the ramifications from it, maybe I look at it a little different. I’m a glass half full guy,” Bowen said last week. “Really the only thing I see we’re losing at this point in time is just having guys on campus. I mean, that’s it. FaceTime, that’s been a huge part of the recruiting process for me ever since I started recruiting.

“So I think utilizing that technology, that’s something we’ve been accustomed to, and hopefully it’s forced some guys to do it even more.”

There are, Bowen admitted, disadvantages to not having recruits be able to visit.

“We’re really losing the ability for guys to get on campus, interact with our coaching staff as a whole in person, have their families interact with our coaching staff in person,” said Bowen, the offensive recruiting coordinator. “View a practice, I think you get a good feel when guys are on campus in spring normally for practice of what the culture’s like, how competitive is it. I think those are things an elite prospect wants to see.

“Those are the things we’re losing. As far as everything else, it’s kind of business as usual as it would be in any other dead period.”

Bowen also mentioned that not being able to hold camps is a factor in recruiting.

“I think that’s a major effect to the recruiting process, a hurdle that we have to overcome,” he said. “We value camps here at Penn State, and I know people do around the country.

“A lot of our players that have been household names here that have gone on to the NFL, they all started as a rising junior at a camp at Penn State, right here in Happy Valley. We were able to coach them, we’re able to see how they learn. No different than they get a good feel for us as coaches when they’re at a practice, we get a great feel for them when we’re coaching them at a camp.”

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