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Fitz, Donohue recap Early Signing Period

College football’s second annual Early Signing Period is finished. The process spanned three days (Dec. 19-21) and proved to be a positive endeavor for Penn State.

The Nittany Lions finalized plans with 18 prospects Wednesday, establishing an impressive foundation for James Franklin and his staff to expand upon in the coming weeks. Penn State is in position to add a few more pieces leading up to the traditional National Signing Day, which occurs Feb. 6.

An 18-player PSU class features athletes who attended high school in 12 different states, including top-five talents from Connecticut, Delaware, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Virginia.

“Since we’ve arrived, we’ve been able to continue to broaden our reach,” Franklin said Wednesday. “You think about Oregon, you think about Florida, it looks good today, on paper, and I think it will end up looking good on the field, as well.”

Penn State is currently listed 10th overall in 247Sports composite class rankings. The Nittany Lions trail only Michigan (No. 8) among all Big Ten programs.

“At the end of the day, I thought our staff did a great job of identifying high-character kids that want to come to a great institution like Penn State and compete in the classroom and compete on the football field and keep chipping away at where we’re going,” Franklin said. “And that’s kind of what I see. I keep seeing us take positive steps in the right direction and to continue to surround ourselves with families and kids that want to be a part of doing something special.”

PSU picked up its first commitment (cornerback Keaton Ellis) of the 2019 recruiting cycle in September 2017. The most recent addition (running back Noah Cain) made his decision Wednesday morning.

In the aftermath of another eventful Early Signing Period and a series of Q&A sessions with Franklin and Penn State recruiting coordinators, Lions247’s Sean Fitz and Tyler Donohue (that’s me) recapped key developments, high-impact roster additions and previewed the remainder of this cycle. Watch the video above for our full breakdown.

Here’s a list of players who signed with Penn State during the period:

Five-star LB Brandon Smith (Mineral, Va.)

Four-star OL Caedan Wallace (Princeton, N.J.)

Four-star DE Adisa Isaac (Brooklyn, N.Y.)

Four-star RB Devyn Ford (Stafford, Va.)

Four-star RB Noah Cain (Bradenton, Fla.)

Four-star WR John Dunmore (Hollywood, Fla.)

Four-star LB Lance Dixon (West Bloomfield, Mich.)

Four-star S Tyler Rudolph (Oakdale, Conn.)

Four-star QB Michael Johnson Jr. (Eugene, Ore.)

Four-star OL Saleem Wormley (Smyrna, Del.)

Four-star QB Taquan Roberson (Wayne, N.J.)

Four-star CB Keaton Ellis (State College, Pa.)

Four-star DL Hakeem Beamon (Midlothian, Va.)

Four-star CB Joey Porter Jr. (Wexford, Pa.)

Four-star OL Anthony Whigan (Great Mills, Md.)

Four-star CB Marquis Wilson (Windsor, Conn.)

Four-star TE Brenton Strange (Parkersburg, W.V.)

Three-star S Jaquan Brisker (Monroeville, Pa.)

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