Penn State stays on recruiting roll, lands No. 1 defensive back in Pennsylvania

(Wilkes-Barre) Times-Leader (TNS)
  • Isheem Young is the latest player to give a verbal commitment to Penn State.
  • Young, from Imhotep Charter in Philadelphia, is rated the No. 1 defensive back recruit in Pa.
  • Penn State has now add six new verbal commitments in the past five days.

After going one whole day without landing a new recruit, Penn State is back on the board.

Penn State

This time, it was one of the top players in the state who pledged to the Nittany Lions as Philadelphia defensive back Isheem Young gave a verbal commitment on Tuesday during a ceremony at Imhotep Charter High School.

A four-star prospect, Young is rated as Pennsylvania’s best defensive back and the No. 5 overall player in the state for 2018, per the 247Sports Composite rankings.

His commitment gives Penn State six new additions to its 2018 recruiting class in the past five days. It comes on the heels of the program’s highly productive Lasch Bash event, which saw things get started by adding three players at the start of the weekend — Florida defensive lineman Judge Culpepper, Connecticut quarterback Will Levis and Harrisburg athlete Shaquon Anderson-Butts — and then two more on Sunday — Iowa kicker Jake Pinegar and Maryland receiver Daniel George.

Young had actually made up his mind before the weekend’s big rush, filming a commitment video at a pool party last week before going public with his decision on Tuesday.

With Young aboard, the Lions’ 2018 class is now up to 20 players — tied for the most in the country along with LSU and Houston. Penn State is holding steady at No. 3 nationally in the Composite team rankings with Big Ten rival Ohio State recently vaulting Miami for the top spot.

Six of those 20 commitments are from Pennsylvania, including Anderson-Butts, Camp Hill tight end Zack Kuntz and a trio of linebackers in Cumberland Valley’s Charlie Katshir, Mercyhurst Prep’s Jesse Luketa and Pennridge’s Nick Tarburton.

The state’s No. 1 prospect, Harrisburg defensive end Micah Parsons, had previously been committed to Penn State for a year before opening up his recruitment, with a decision likely coming in the winter.

Young picked Penn State after narrowing his top six schools down to the Lions, Ohio State, Alabama, West Virginia, Maryland and defending national champion Clemson.

His list of 30 scholarship offers also included schools like Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Oklahoma and Tennessee, making him one of the most sought-after recruits in Pennsylvania. He checks in nationally as the No. 12 safety and the No. 116 player overall nationally in the Composite rankings.

At 5-foot-10 and 201 pounds, Young isn’t the biggest safety around but is known for hard hits as well as his ability as a return man.

Young helped lead Imhotep to the PIAA Class 3A championship as a sophomore in 2015 and then reach the state final again as a junior in 2016.

Young is the fourth defensive back in Penn State’s 2018 class, joining Texas products Isaiah Humphries and Trent Gordon as well as Florida’s Jordan Miner.

He would be the second Imhotep product on the Lions’ roster along with defensive end Shaka Toney, who is entering his redshirt freshman season.