After Penn State’s last regular season game on Nov. 26 against Michigan State, the Nittany Lions were ranked No. 28 in the team rankings. Penn State had hovered in the twenties since the beginning of the 2016 season.
Penn State’s ascension in the team rankings began when four-star defensive tackle Fred Hansard decommitted from Florida and committed to Penn State (Nov. 27) before their match-up against Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship Game. That commitment propelled Penn State from No. 28 to No. 20 in the class rankings. The month of December would see the Nittany Lions land a few more high-profile prospects.
First, there was four-star wide receiver K.J. Hamler who committed on Dec. 9. Then, on Dec. 13, four-star cornerback Donovan Johnson committed. That was followed up almost a week later (Dec. 17) by the commitment of five-star cornerback Lamont Wade.
Barring any decommitments, this will be the highest ranked class for head coach James Franklin since 2015 when he landed the 13th best class according to SCOUT. Penn State’s 2017 class has 9 four-star recruits, 8 three-star recruits, and one five-star recruit.
After finishing at 7-6 in his first two seasons, Coach Franklin and the Nittany Lions overcame a 2-2 start to go 11-2 and win the Big Ten East title and Big Ten Championship. If Penn State doesn't end up with a top ten class in 2017, they stand a great chance of landing one in 2018.