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Penn State Signing Day primer: Will the Lions get Noah Cain? First signee prediction, and more

Penn State’s early Signing Day spectacular will kick off just after 7 a.m. today, as the Nittany Lions aim to earn National Letter of Intents from their 17 verbal commitments, as well as at least one player announcing his college choice on Wednesday, to help fill out the recruiting Class of 2019.

This is the second year of college football’s early signing period. It runs through Friday, though almost every player who plans to sign will do so by the time Wednesday comes to a close.

Here’s what to watch for, how to follow our live coverage, and our key details to get you ready for a busy day of good news for James Franklin’s team.

NCAA rules state that, starting at 7 a.m. local time, prospects can send in their signed National Letter of Intent. The school’s compliance department must check over the binding document that ties a player to the school of his choice and vice versa. After they approve it, the relationship is official, and then Penn State will publicly announce each signing throughout the morning.

Most years, this process concludes by roughly Noon ET, though it has lingered a bit longer in years past.

This is merely a kickoff piece. The real updates will start flowing in a couple of hours.

Check back around 7 a.m. here for a live link to our running updates post. We’ll share in real-time news of signings, flips, new commits, and any weird or interesting news from other Big Ten programs and around the country.

We’ll also have reporters in Mineral, Va., for five-star linebacker Brandon Smith’s 9 a.m. signing ceremony and in Wexford, Pa., where North Allegheny four-star corner Joey Porter Jr. will put pen to paper at 11 a.m. You can also expect profiles on the Lions four (for now) top-100 signees once they are officially announced as members of the program, and we’ll have details on the first and last signees to bookend the day.

Later, we’ll have updates on Noah Cain’s announce (details below), the full class rundown once things are official, an updated look at the rankings, both in the Big Ten and overall, comments from James Franklin, his recruiting coordinators, and director of player personnel Andy Frank, along with any other superlatives that define this year’s class.

Four-star running back Noah Cain has lived in Louisiana and Texas and has played high school football in the Longhorn State and also at IMG Academy in Florida.

Will a stop in Pennsylvania be added to his future list of residences and playing destinations?

Cain picks between Auburn, Georgia, Tennessee, Texas, and the Lions in the 11 a.m. hour, which is a key detail as ESPN is slated to carry four commitment ceremonies between 11 and Noon. Cain will announce his choice in Texas and enroll at the school of his choice in January.

The 247Sports’ Crystal Ball prediction feature currently favors the Lions landing Cain, which would mark their second back in the class as Virginia four-star Devyn Ford is already set to sign Wednesday, but there is enough movement for Texas and LSU to think that this one is still a bit up in the air just hours before the back’s choice becomes public.

We’ll update this post with firmer details if and when Cain and/or ESPN shares the announcement’s timing.

This is always a fun, but completely meaningless, part of the Signing Day festivities.

Two years ago, quarterback Sean Clifford was the first prospect on the board at 7:30 a.m. Last year, end Nick Tarburton led things off at 7:33 a.m.

In this year’s total dart throw, we’ll set the over/under for the first announcement at 7:31 a.m. and predict that it will be four-star New Jersey quarterback Ta’Quan Roberson.

Feel free to share your pick in the comments.

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