The Next Gen Has Arrived: A Look at the Newcomers
Sean Clifford: Clifford is a quarterback who hails from St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati, Ohio, and committed to Penn State during his sophomore year of high school. Clifford faced a shoulder injury that impacted his senior year, but his recovery is coming along quickly and Clifford could see some playing time this year. A four-star recruit ranked by 247 Sports, Clifford rocks a 4.8 40-yard dash and was the sixth-ranked QB in the state of Ohio.
Mac Hippenhammer: This 6’0, 170lb. running back and wide receiver is sure to climb the ranks quickly. The 4.48 40-yard dasher comes from Fort Wayne, Indiana. Hippenhammer committed to Penn State in the summer of 2016 and was recruited by running backs coach Josh Gattis. Hippenhammer comes to Penn State as the fifth-ranked running back in Indiana. Uniquely enough, Hippenhammer will be a two-sport athlete, joining Coach Cooper’s baseball team as a shortstop in the spring.
CJ Thorpe: Linebacker Coach Matt Limegrover seeks to continue the legend of Linebacker U with recruits like Thorpe. At 6’4 and 300 pounds, Thorpe is already impressive. Tack onto that his 12.5 vertical, 300lb bench press and 700lb deadlift, and Thorpe is already a standout player in the making. Thorpe attended high school at Pittsburgh Central Catholic, the alma maters of Coach Limegrover and Offensive Coordinator Joe Moorhead. A true Pennsylvania native!
Fred Hansard: After struggling to find a defensive tackle for over a year, Penn State welcomes in Fred Hansard (who flipped his commitment from Florida). The Princeton, New Jersey native comes in at 6’4 and 300 pounds. No doubt this rock solid player will make an impact from day one with the team.
Tariq Castro-Fields: Penn State secured Castro-Fields on signing day, and this Nittany Lion hasn’t looked back since. Castro-Fields comes from the Upper Marlboro, Maryland hotbed of talent, specifically, corner. Ranked eighth in Maryland for his corner abilities, Castro-Fields earned himself a four-star rating from 247.
Jonathan Sutherland: Joining famed safety Marcus Allen (Upper Marlboro, Md.) is Sutherland, a Canadian native whose final high school years were spent in Alexandria, Virginia. At 6’0 and 290lb, Sutherland is the ideal frame for a safety. Recruited by Tim Banks and Charles Huff, Sutherland was the eleventh ranked safety in Maryland who will surely bring his skills to the team right away now that he is a Nittany Lion.
Let’s not forget that Penn State also welcomed in four early-transfers this spring: Lamont Wade, Mike Miranda, KJ Hamler and Brendan Faison-Walden. All four of these talents already have spring ball under their belts, and are hungry to begin their first seasons as Nittany Lions.
Good luck to the 17 stellar recruits as they acclimate to their new college life at Penn State. We can guarantee that it will be the best four years of their lives!