Penn State Football

Five-star running back Ricky Slade, three-star linebacker Jesse Luketa commit to Penn State

As time waned at Wednesday’s National Signing Day media availability, Andy Frank, Penn State’s director of player personnel, leaned back in his chair and smiled.

Frank, who oversees all aspects of the Nittany Lions’ recruiting operation, was asked if he’s already looked ahead to what the 2018 class might entail.

“Of course,” Frank said, “always.”

Fresh off inking a top-15 2017 class, Penn State went to work on next year’s group.

Five-star running back Ricky Slade and three-star linebacker Jesse Luketa both verbally committed to Penn State at exactly 4:29 p.m. Friday via Twitter.

After three-star linebacker Charlie Katshir of Cumberland Valley committed on Thursday, Penn State’s 2018 class is now firmly entrenched at No. 1 in the country, according to 247 Sports, with 10 commits.

Slade is big get for the Nittany Lions. The 5-foot-9, 195-pounder is the No. 1 all-purpose back in the country, No. 1 player in Virginia, and No. 24 prospect in the country, according to 247 Sports.

Before committing to Penn State, Slade had 26 offers from schools across the country, including Clemson, Ohio State, Pittsburgh, Florida, Tennessee, Miami, Nebraska and Michigan State.

Slade had a monster junior season for Hylton High School in Woodbridge, Va., rushing for 1,509 yards and 16 touchdowns while recording 338 receiving yards and four more scores.

With the noteworthy news of Slade’s commitment, Luketa’s pledge might fly under-the-radar.

Luketa, a Canadian prospect out of Mercyhurst Prep in Erie, has been a hot commodity recently. The No. 40 outside linebacker in the country, according to 247 Sports, earned offers from LSU, Stanford and Kentucky over the past couple days.

Luketa had 22 total offers before committing to Penn State.

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