Penn State has put together several impressive recruiting classes under head coach James Franklin, and the Nittany Lions landed their second commitment for their 2020 class on Christmas morning in Derek Wingo.
The Fort Lauderdale (FL) St. Thomas Aquinas linebacker is rated as a four-star prospect, and is ranked as the No. 10 outside linebacker in the country for 2020 by the industry-generated 247Sports Composite.
Wingo, 6-foot-2, 215-pounds, had an amazing unofficial visit to Penn State last fall and the Nittany Lions have been at the top of his list since that point in time.
“I have committed to Penn State,” Wingo stated Tuesday morning. “They were the right school for me for a couple reasons, and one of the most important was the fact that my family loves the school as much as I do. That was important to me. My family grew up in Pennsylvania, and we all appreciate the tradition of Penn State.”
“It’s also known as Linebacker U. for a reason, and that means a lot to me as well,” he added. “Coach Franklin has done a great job making them a top-ten team every year, and they are putting guys in the NFL every year. One of the biggest things that stood out to me was the way the coaching staff treats their players.”
“Coach Franklin and Coach (Ja’Juan) Seider have built great relationships with me and my family,” he continued. “It’s more about football to me, and they have shown me this is not a four-year decision, but rather a forty-year decision that will impact the rest of my life. Penn State will prepare me for life after football.”
Wingo spent a lot of time talking with current players as well as members of the 2019 Penn State recruiting class, to get a feel for how he would fit in to the Nittany Lion program.
“I talked to some current players, and I spoke to a lot of the commits, and everybody just loved the program at Penn State, so I think I’m going to fit in really well with that culture. When I visited there earlier this year, I was blown away by everything. The fan base is passionate, and the white out game was incredible.”
“Everyone thinks so much of Coach Franklin, and I can see why,” he said. “He has told me if I come in and work hard on the field and in the classroom, that I will become a better player as well as a better person. He said that opportunities happen and doors open up to the people that work the hardest, and that means a lot to me.”
“Penn State will give me a great chance to succeed in so many areas, both academically and athletically,” he noted.