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What’s Trending at Penn State?

What better way to start your week than with some Penn State news? No offseason here, as Penn State rolls through the camp and June recruiting calendar before getting some July time away.

So what’s trending in Penn State sports? Here’s a look.

Recruiting heats up

Penn State landed a commitment from defensive lineman Tyriq Blanding, who is the top-ranked player in New York, according to 247Sports. Blanding became the 13th player to commit to the Lions’ 2023 recruiting class, which improved to No. 4 nationally in the 247Sports team rankings.

Penn State should bring in a few more commitments before the recruiting calendar shifts to a “dead period” June 27. The Lions hosted a number of recruits and commits this past weekend, which wedged between two Elite Showcase camps. Among the official visitors was five-star offensive lineman Alex Birchmeier, who is the top-rated player in the 2023 class. I have dropped a hint.

Marcus Stokes, the quarterback in Penn State’s 2023 class, is headed to Los Angeles for the Elite 11 Finals. Stokes continues Penn State’s recent presence at Elite 11: Drew Allar attended last year, preceded by Christian Veilleux and former Penn State quarterback Michael Johnson Jr.

Coaches get a break from recruiting from June 27-July 24, though players still can commit. Last July was a particularly busy month for Penn State recruiting announcements.

Life for Life returns

Penn State Lift for Life, which hasn’t been held publicly since 2019, returns to an in-person format this month. The team-run fundraising event is scheduled for June 30 at the Penn State football practice fields on campus.

Lift for Life offers fans a great way to meet players, check out the team’s offseason progress and support a good cause. Life for Life, founded by former Penn State football players, has raised more than $1.4 million for rare disease research and awareness since 2003. Check out Uplifting Athletes for more ways to contribute.

NIL deals going public

More companies are announcing their NIL deals with Penn State athletes, a development that should grow awareness around the players and their brands. This is something James Franklin should like.

Freshman running back Nicholas Singleton recently signed a multi-year deal with West Shore Home, a Pennsylvania-based home remodeling company.

In addition, three football players signed deals with Scholar Hotel Group, which operates three hotels in State College. According to the news release, Caedan Wallace, D’Von Ellies and Adisa Isaac signed one-year NIL deals that will allow them to appear at meetings and events at Scholar properties.

In addition, Fanatics and Topps announced a deal to produce print and digital trading cards using athlete images and college branding marks. Penn State is among the schools that will join the trading-card marketplace.

These deal announcements help advance what Franklin called a pressing need to be at the forefront of NIL opportunities.

Meet the newest member of St1xCi1ty

Penn State linebackers have carved a rich recent history with the No. 11. Lavar Arrington, NaVorro Bowman, Brandon Bell and Micah Parsons did great things wearing it.

The newest member of “St1xC1ty” is a freshman whose future could begin as early as this fall. Meet Abdul Carter, the next Penn State linebacker to wear No. 11.

good read

What is Sean Clifford’s ceiling this season? Perhaps higher than you think.

Offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich said he was “humbled” in 2021, his first year at Penn State.

Could Maryland transfer Chop Robinson become Penn State’s next great pass rusher?

Mike White of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette filed a lovely Father’s Day story involving LaVar Arrington and his son Keno.

Former Penn State special teams star Drew Hartlaub had big NFL dreams but was forced to end them recently. why? Frank Bodani of the York Daily Record checked in with Hartlaub regarding the difficult decision.

And finally, Penn State’s video and social media teams do a nice job with this type of content. Happy Father’s Day.

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