Penn State Football

Penn State Class of 2017 gets 1st receiver commitment

James Franklin speaks to the media during a press conference in Beaver Stadium March 14, 2016.
James Franklin speaks to the media during a press conference in Beaver Stadium March 14, 2016. nmark@centredaily.com

The Nittany Lions are making their way back into Maryland.

Penn State got a verbal pledge from its first Class of 2017 wide receiver on Friday afternoon, Cameron Sullivan-Brown.

It’s the fourth commitment by a three- or four-star player in the past 10 days for the Nittany Lions, whose class now consists of 12 members and has moved to 22nd overall nationally in 247 Sports rankings. Head coach James Franklin plans to sign between 17-20 players to the class next February.

The 6-foot-1, 180-pound wideout, a three-star, is a product of St. Vincent Pallotti High School in Maryland, and is the No. 12 prospect in the state according to 247 Sports composites.

“With the help and guidance of my loved ones, I have decided to fully commit to Penn State,” Sullivan-Brown tweeted on Friday.

His commitment came just days after Maryland first-year head coach D.J. Durkin addressed more than 200 reporters at Big Ten Media Days in Chicago about the importance of signing the talent in his own state. Sullivan-Brown picked the Nittany Lions over the Terrapins.

But that doesn’t mean Maryland isn’t seeing in-state efforts reach fruition.

“Our backyard, I think, is one of the most talent-rich areas in the country in terms of football recruiting,” said Durkin. “So that’s obviously been our priority. We’re putting a lot of time and effort into that.”

Penn State had large success in Maryland in its last signing class, nabbing four touted in-state products: linebacker Cam Brown, defensive end Shane Simmons, corner Zech McPhearson and receiver Dae’Lun Darien.

Sullivan-Brown marks the first Maryland product in the Class of 2017 for the Nittany Lions.

But Durkin has seen some in-state success early on with four of his 11 Class of 2017 commits coming from within the state (two of whom are three-star prospects and two are four-star prospects). Three of the four — Deon Jones, Ayinde Eley and Jordan McNair — were offered by the Nittany Lions’ staff. Penn State also lost out to the Terps on an IMG Academy recruit, Joshua Kaindoh, who is in Florida at the elite school but originally hails from Maryland as well.

Durkin added that the Maryland guys in his 2017 class are making a lateral (or “peer to peer”) recruiting push, much like Penn State’s staff encourages its own recruits to do.

Meanwhile, the Terrapins’ signing class is ranked No. 26 in the nation — although that particular number, for both them and the Nittany Lions, won’t matter until February 2017.

Jourdan Rodrigue: 814-231-4629, @JourdanRodrigue

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