Penn State needed some time to evaluate its options.
Five-star quarterback prospect Justin Fields reversed course in June and decommitted from the Nittany Lions, likely staying closer to his Georgia home to play in college.
A little more than a month later, the Lions have found their man for the 2018 recruiting class.
After getting an up-close look at Will Levis at a camp they hosted Friday night, Penn State coaches were impressed enough to extend a scholarship offer. It didn’t take long for Levis to jump on it, giving a verbal commitment to James Franklin and the Lions on Saturday morning.
Levis is one of three players to commit to the Lions this weekend during their annual Lasch Bash, the program’s biggest recruiting event of the summer. Also coming on board Saturday was Harrisburg athlete Shaquon Anderson-Butts, following Florida defensive lineman Judge Culpepper on Friday.
Penn State’s 2018 class is now up to 17 members and rated No. 3 in the country in the Composite, behind only Miami and Ohio State.
At 6-foot-4, 222 pounds, Levis is a three-star prospect and the No. 2 player in Connecticut according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. His stock appears to be rising very quickly.
This was the sixth time since the start of June that Levis had visited a school and either left with an offer or received one shortly thereafter. That list includes Florida State, a team that’s heavily in the running for Fields. Ole Miss, North Carolina Iowa and Syracuse had also gotten involved recently.
But Penn State was the offer Levis was most interested in, needing only a night to sleep on it before making the pledge.
Though he has the frame of a pocket passer, Levis has shown himself to be one of the most athletic quarterbacks in the country for this recruiting cycle. Nike’s SPARQ formula — which measures a number of exercises and factors in height and weight — put him No. 1 among quarterbacks tested this spring.
In his junior season at Xavier High School in Middletown, Conn., Levis threw for 2,200 yards and 19 touchdowns while adding six more scores on the ground.
Culpepper: Getting things started this weekend was Culpepper, son of former Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle and All-American Brad Culpepper.
Four inches taller than his dad at 6-foot-5, Culpepper recorded 30 tackles for loss and and eight sacks as a junior for Plant High School.
Culpepper became the second recruit from the Tampa area to come on board this month, joining defensive back Jordan Miner. A three-star prospect, Culpepper had offers from Alabama, LSU, Michigan, Notre Dame and his father’s alma mater, Florida.
Anderson-Butts: Twenty-four hours later, it was Anderson-Butts who joined the class, continuing the Lions’ recent pipeline into Harrisburg High School.
Primarily a wide receiver for the Cougars, the 6-foot, 200-pound Anderson-Butts could end up playing offense or defense in college. He played his junior season with 2017 Penn State signee Damion Barber as well as five-star Micah Parsons, the nation’s No. 1 defensive end and No. 5 overall recruit for the 2018 class.
Parsons had previously been committed to the Lions for a year before opening his recruitment to consider more schools.
Anderson-Butts checks in as the No. 12 prospect in Pennsylvania for 2018 and has been tabbed as an Under Armour All-American. Last fall he caught 38 passes for 779 yards and 10 touchdowns for the Cougars, who reached the PIAA Class 5A championship game.