It is no secret that 4-0 Penn State needs help along the offensive line. And a key reinforcement for James Franklin’s front five will be arriving sooner rather than later.
Wednesday night, four-star offensive tackle Sterling Jenkins of Baldwin High in Pittsburgh announced that he will graduate from high school early so he can enroll at Penn State in January. Jenkins is Scout.com’s fourth-ranked tackle in the nation.
"It's official!" the 6-foot-8, 305-pound Jenkins revealed via Twitter. "I'm on track to enrolling early at Penn State in January."
"It's been something I've been interested in, and with the help of the school administrators, it became a reality," Jenkins said in a message to FightOnState.com.
Asked what the benefits of enrolling early are, Jenkins wrote: "Definitely a lot more time to adjust and improve [for] the better."
Jenkins added that Penn State offensive line coach Herb Hand was "really excited" when he learned of the news. The four-star added he is now focusing, along with his teammates, on knocking off rival Penn Hills Friday.
When Franklin arrived at Penn State, he found an offensive line depleted by graduation and an overall lack of bodies due to NCAA sanctions. The Lions have only one scholarship senior offensive lineman this season — injured guard Miles Dieffenbach
But Franklin has tried to quickly rectify things. His first recruiting class, which signed last February, included four offensive tackles.
Jenkins is one of three offensive linemen already committed for PSU’s Class of 2015. He announced for the Lions in May. The others are fellow four-star tackle Ryan Bates and three-star guard Steven Gonzalez.
Offensive line remains a position of focus for the handful of remaining scholarships Penn State has for the Class of 2015.
By enrolling early, Jenkins will have the benefit of going through winter workouts and an entire spring practice in his first semester.