Penn State, piecing together the foundation of its 2020 recruiting class, continues to contend for top talent in Virginia. Maury (Norfolk, Va.) High School junior KeAndre Lambert became the latest player from that talent-laden state to publicly reciprocate interest on Friday night
Lambert, a four-star receiver prospect, listed the Nittany Lions alongside 10 other schools under consideration: Clemson, Duke, Florida, Michigan, South Carolina, Southern Cal, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Virginia and Virginia Tech.
The widespread nature of this recruitment serves as evidence of increased attention placed on the 6-foot-2, 180-pound playmaker. Lambert began collecting scholarship offers in bunches last winter — midway through his sophomore year — and Penn State entered the mix in May.
The Nittany Lions welcomed him to campus in late September. Lambert attended the top-10 showdown between Ohio State and Penn State, becoming part of a record-setting Beaver Stadium crowd (110,889 people).
“After that game, Penn State has my interest,” he told 247Sports national recruiting analyst Brian Dohn. “I definitely plan to make it back up there. … It was an atmosphere like no other, honestly. Might be the best I’ve seen yet.”
Considered the No. 36 receiver and No. 189 overall recruit in 247Sports 2020 composite rankings, Lambert broke out in 2017 with an impressive sophomore campaign. He collected 60 receptions that season, resulting in 1,069 yards and 11 touchdowns; named First-Team All-Tidewater and First-Team All-Class 5 Region A.
Lambert was a USA Today second-team all-state selection in 2018 following his junior season (video highlights atop this article). He is the nephew of former Virginia Tech standout and Seattle Seahawks All-Pro safety Kam Chancellor, who also attended Maury High School.
Penn State signed three of the top 10 prospects in 2019 Virginia composite rankings: linebacker Brandon Smith (No. 1), running back Devyn Ford (No. 2) and defensive lineman Hakeem Beamon (No. 9). In the 2017 and 2018 recruiting cycles combined, Nittany Lions coach James Franklin landed four blue-chip recruits from the state: offensive tackle lineman Nana Asiedu, linebacker Ellis Brooks, defensive end Yetur Gross-Matos and running back Ricky Slade.
PSU claims two verbal commitments in the 2020 cycle. Offensive lineman Grant Toutant (Warren, Mich.) became the class’ initial member in November and was joined by linebacker Derek Wingo (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) on Christmas Day.
Franklin hired a new receivers coach Thursday, welcoming former Duke and Purdue assistant Gerad Parker to the staff. Three weeks shy of National Signing Day, the Nittany Lions’ 2019 recruiting class features only one player at the position (John Dunmore).