Penn State recruiting roller coaster continues over weekend with 4 pledges, 1 decommit

(Wilkes-Barre) Times-Leader (TNS)
It's been an up-and-down recruiting period for Penn State head coach James Franklin.
  • Penn State added four football recruits over the weekend.
  • The Nittany Lions also lost a verbal commitment. Derek Wingo jumped to Florida.
  • PSU's 2020 recruiting class stands at 12 and is ranked No. 17 in the nation.

Two more in, one more gone.

Penn State’s 2020 recruiting cycle certainly hasn’t been dull.

Hosting a major camp this weekend for prospects, the Nittany Lions landed two more defensive linemen for their next class in three-star Susquehanna Township standout Fatorma Mulbah and Coziah Izzard, a four-star recruit out of Maryland powerhouse DeMatha Catholic.

In between those two announcements, however, the Lions lost four-star Florida linebacker Derek Wingo, who decommitted in order to flip to the home-state Gators.

All three players announced their intentions on social media, with Izzard posting simply, “Home. #WeAre,” on Twitter to go with graphics of him in a Penn State uniform. Mulbah wrote, “COMMITTED!! #WeAre,” to go with a photo of himself with family members and Lions coaches.

In all, Penn State has added four new recruits this weekend, replacing a total of four who have left the class in the past month. They are at 12 members in the class with six months still to go before the early signing period. According to 247Sports, PSU's 2020 recruiting class is ranked No. 17 in the nation and No. 2 in the Big Ten.

Lackawanna College defensive back Ji’Ayir Brown and New England wide receiver Jaden Dottin both verbally committed to Penn State on Friday.

Prior to Wingo’s departure, the Lions lost Michigan offensive lineman Grant Toutant to rival Ohio State while a pair of Maryland high school teammates, Joshuah Moten and Aaryn Parks, reopened their recruitments and are still up in the air.

Common theme: The common theme from those decommitments was that the players said they made their pledges to Penn State too early in the process.

Lions coach James Franklin and his staff initially try to dissuade recruits from committing, saying that if they want to still take visits to other schools, they should hold off on announcing for Penn State.

But recruiting is a fickle game, and top targets such as Wingo, who had been the Lions’ second highest-rated player in the class, wanted to look around. He had been a surprise pledge to Penn State, going public for the Lions back on Christmas Day. But now he’s headed for the Gators.

“I would like to thank Coach Franklin and the entire Penn State staff for giving me an opportunity, and I am thankful for the all the relationships that have been built between friends and fans,” Wingo wrote on Twitter. “At this time, I feel that I need to make the best decision for me and my family and decommit from Penn State University.

“Some people do not understand how hard it can be to make a college decision at such a young age, realizing that one choice will affect the rest of your life.”

Adding defensive tackles: As always, life will move on for Penn State, which first welcomed Mulbah into the fold before Izzard jumped aboard later in the evening. Both are projected as defensive tackles at the next level.

Mulbah’s recruitment is just beginning to take off after receiving a recent offer from Penn State. The 6-foot-3, 270-pounder has quickly moved up to Pennsylvania’s No. 6 recruit in the 2020 class, according to 247Sports.

Conversely, Izzard has been on the radar of major schools for some time now, playing at a high-profile program with several other Division I recruits. Izzard checks in as the No. 245 overall player in the country in the 247Sports Composite and has scholarship offers from the likes of Notre Dame, Ohio State, Alabama, Florida and Georgia, among others.

He is ranked as a strong-side defensive end but has the frame to play inside at 6-2, 271.