What separates our coach from the rest though is the way he managed to pull at our hearts just a little more yesterday. Not only through the face-times he held throughout the morning with every new Nittany Lion that faxed in his LOI, but also the way he eased the recruit’s mothers fears of handing over their sons, some from as far away as Las Vegas and Canada. He also placed a clear emphasis on earning Master’s degrees over on-field accolades. The 20th pick on the big board inside the so-called ‘war room,’ was Sawyer Bell, a seven-year-old from Sherman's Dale, Pennsylvania and a member of Team Impact, an organization that pairs children fighting chronic illness with sports teams. To his delight, Bell officially became a Nittany Lion and honorary signee in The Pride of 2020!
Of the 27 student-athletes that signed on Wednesday, 15 come in on offense. After signing two at both positions a year ago, Micah Bowens (Las Vegas, NV) was the lone quarterback of this class. Caziah Holmes (Cocoa, FL) and Keyvonne Lee (Clearwater, FL) come all the way from Florida to add even more shine to the running backs room. There were five wide receivers signed as Parker Washington (Richmond, TX), KeAndre Lambert (Norfolk, VA), Jaden Dottin (Suffield, CT), Malik Miega (Montreal, Canada), and Norval Black (Scranton, PA) all signed. Theo Johnson (Quebec, Canada) and Tyler Warren (Mechanicsville, VA) will shine at tight end. In the trenches, Jimmy Christ (Sterling, VA), Golden Israel-Achumba (Hyattsville, MD) , Ibrahim Traore (Bronx, NY), Olu Fashanu (Washington, D.C.), and Nick Dawkins (Allentown, PA) and son of the late NBA great Darryl, joined Matt Limegrover and The Big Uglies on the O-Line.
Defensively, Coach Chaos has more WildDogs to work with as Bryce Mostella (Kentwood, MI), Amir Vanover (Newark, NJ), Cole Brevard (Carmel, IN), Cozziah Izzard (Hyattsville, MD), Brandon Taylor (Lima, OH), and Fatorma Mulba (Harrisburg, PA) join the D-Line. Linebacker U added to its strength as Curtis Jacobs (Owings Mills, MD), Zuriah Fisher (Aliquippa, PA), and Tyler Elsdon (Ashland, PA) made Penn State their home. Let us not forget the No-Fly Zone tightened its restrictions as Enzo Jennings (Oak Park, MI), Ji'Ayir Brown (Scranton, PA), and Joseph Johnson (Colonial Heights, VA) join a backfield that stocked up over the past few years.
To be honest, I don’t remember much about Signing Days prior to FrankLion's arrival. Aside from the 2005 Class that included Derrick Williams and Justin King, or the day a gridiron hero from Richmond, VA, Michael Robinson, spurred the Va Tech Hokies for PSU, Signing Day in Happy Valley was always a ho-hum affair. JoePa was perfectly content coaching whoever he could get, and it was a proven formula. Only time will tell what kind of impact another highly regarded class has on the field and if it’s enough to take us to the next level, but for Sawyer Bell, The Pride of 2020 will be a Signing Day he will never forget!