Traffic map
Article updated: 2/5/2014 5:26 PM

Franklin secures first class at Penn State

Penn State football coach James Franklin celebrates the announcement of a recruit committing to the school during national signing day Wednesday in State College, Pa.

Penn State football coach James Franklin celebrates the announcement of a recruit committing to the school during national signing day Wednesday in State College, Pa.

 

Nabil K. Mark/Centre Daily Times

 1 of 1 
 
text size: AAA
By Associated Press

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- James Franklin made the most of the little time he had to complete his first recruiting class at Penn State.

Hired Jan. 11 to take over the sanction-riddled program after Bill O'Brien left for the NFL's Houston Texans, Franklin signed 20 recruits on Wednesday -- 11 on offense, nine on defense -- to complement five others who enrolled at Penn State in January. The class was ranked 21st by national recruiting services Scout and Rivals.

Franklin, who left Vanderbilt after three seasons, signed highly rated receivers Saeed Blacknall, De'Andre Thompkins and Chris Godwin to team up with quarterback Christian Hackenberg, who led the Nittany Lions to a 7-5 record last fall as a freshman.

Franklin's defensive class is highlighted by California defensive back Koa Farmer and defensive lineman Tarow Barney, a 300-pound tackle from Northwest Mississippi Community College.

PENN STATE

National rankings: Rivals 21; Scout 21.

Best in class: Saeed Blacknall, WR, 6-2, 210, Manalapan, N.J.

Best of the rest: De'Andre Thompkins of Swansboro, N.C., and Chris Godwin of Middletown, Del., were two of four wide receivers coach James Franklin recruited to fill void left by Allen Robinson, who left for the NFL draft. . Quarterback Michael O'Connor from Ottawa, Ontario, trained with former Florida State Heisman Trophy winner Chris Weinke at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., and was one of five of Penn State's 25 signees who began Penn State classes in January. . Franklin also added to his complement of tight ends with Mike Gesicki (6-5, 245) from Manahawkin, N.J.

Late addition: Torrence Brown, a three-star defensive lineman (6-4, 240) from Tuscaloosa, Ala., who de-committed from Southern Mississippi.

One that got away: Four-star defensive tackle Thomas Holley of Brooklyn, N.Y., de-committed from Penn State and opted for Florida when longtime Penn State assistant coach Larry Johnson became defensive line coach and assistant head coach at Ohio State.

NOTE: Recruits who faxed in letters of intent were welcomed by Franklin and his assistants via cellphone and were announced individually in NFL draft day fashion. There was a draft board that listed all players in the football offices as well.

Comments ()
We are now using Facebook comments to offer a more inclusive, social and constructive discussion. Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.

This article filed under

Latest Video
Sports Calendar

MostViewed

Today
Yesterday
Most Commented
Top Jobs

    View all Top Jobs Place a job ad

    MarketsReport

    DHExtras

       
    • Newspaper next section - Newspaper next section Report card checker - report card checker
    • Dh innovation award 2 - Dh innovation award 2 Zillow /real estate page
    • Discuss refer On Guard series
    • Newspaper archives -- Monday or anyday Mike North

    FacebookActivity

    BusinessDirectory

    Connect with a business or service in your area fast. First select a town, then enter a search term or choose one of the listed popular searches:

    Don't see your town listed? Visit our full directory to begin your search.