Five Penn State football signees made Rivals’ top-100 player rankings for the Class of 2019.
The outlet released its final rundown for this year’s senior class on Tuesday, and the list of Lions was led by Mineral, Va., linebacker Brandon Smith, who jumped up 18 spots to be labeled as the No. 39 player in the country, according to the outlet.
Right behind Smith was Stafford, Va., back Devyn Ford, who was dropped from a five- to a four-star while being listed as the No. 40 player in his class.
“Ford does a lot of things very well but hasn’t progressed as much as we’d like from his junior to senior season,” Rivals’ national recruiting director Mike Farrell writes in explaining why Ford dropped.
“He has solid size but hasn’t gotten much bigger or stronger over the last year and will have to work hard to gain the power to break tackles consistently. We moved him to all-purpose back because he catches the ball so well, but we’re not sure he can be that five-star workhorse we saw as a junior.”
The next Penn State signee listed was four-star IMG Academy back Noah Cain, who rose 30 spots to be listed at No. 43.
“Speaking of Ford, there was quite a debate between the Virginia running back and fellow Penn State signee Noah Cain as to who was more impressive at Under Armour,” Farrell continues.
“They ended up ranked very close together and one of them should emerge as the star at Penn State but right now it’s unclear which one. Or perhaps the Nittany Lions will begin to emerge as a team that features two elite backs like Georgia has in recent years. It will be interesting to track Ford and Cain over the next few years.”
Penn State’s top-100 contingent is rounded out by four-star guard Caedan Wallace, who dropped 16 spots to No. 69 overall, and Florida four-star receiver John Dunmore, who tumbled 33 spots to No. 92.
Smith and Cain have already enrolled with the Nittany Lions while Wallace, Ford, and Dunmore will arrive later this year. The five are a part of the program’s 18 Class of 2019 signees thus far, and that number could grow once the traditional National Signing Day arrives on Feb. 6.
Rivals’ full Class of 2019 top-100 can be found by clicking here.