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UNIVERSITY PARK, PA. - Head coach James Franklin unveiled the Top 15 2017 Penn State Football recruiting class today during a Signing Day celebration in the Lasch Building. Penn State's Class of 2017 is ranked third in the Big Ten Conference by 247Sports, ESPN and Rivals and from No. 12 to No. 16 nationally, as of Wednesday.
Penn State welcomed 17 student-athletes, who signed National Letters of Intent to join the football program. They are paired with four Nittany Lions who enrolled in classes in January for a total class of 21 signees for the 2017 season. Penn State's class is ranked No. 12 by Rivals, No. 14 by Scout, No. 15 by 247Sports and No. 16 by ESPN.
The newest Nittany Lions have an average star ranking of 3.58, which is the highest for the Penn State program since the 2010 class had a 3.89 average star rating, according to Scout. The average star ranking for the last three years under Franklin has been 3.50.
The Nittany Lions signed the No. 1 prospect in the state of Pennsylvania each of the last two seasons -- Lamont Wade in 2016 and Miles Sanders in 2015. This is the first time since 2004 (Anthony Morelli) and 2005 (Justin King) that Penn State has signed the No. 1 recruit in Pennsylvania in back-to-back classes.
Penn State again found success in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions with 13 of the 21 players coming from within a 250-mile radius of State College and six of 21 are from a 200-mile radius. The Nittany Lions' class lay claim to hometowns in 11 different states and provinces, spanning from Pennsylvania to Indiana to Georgia to Ontario to Texas. Penn State had five signees from Pennsylvania, two each from Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio and Virginia and one apiece from Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, North Carolina, Texas and Ontario.
The Class of 2017 features 12 defensive and nine offensive signees. There are nine players that have won at least one State Championship, four Under Amour All-Americans, one Army All-American and one Gatorade State Player of the Year. Additionally, 14 of the 21 signees have served as their team captain during their high school career.
The newest Nittany Lions feature one five-star recruit (Wade) and 14 four-star signees. According to 247Sports, Penn State has had 34 four- or five-star recruits in the last three classes (66 total commits) as compared to 11 four- or five-star recruits in the previous three classes (65 total commits).
Penn State season ticket renewals and Nittany Lion Club membership renewals also are underway for the 2017 campaign. The ticket invoice and Nittany Lion Club renewal deadline is Feb. 1, 2017. There will not be any increase in the price of Penn State football season tickets or Nittany Lion Club donation levels for next season.
Nearly 3,000 new season tickets have been sold for the 2017 campaign. For information on joining the Nittany Lion Club and purchasing new 2017 season tickets, as well as club seating in Beaver Stadium, fans can visit www.PSUnrivaled.com, call 1-800-NITTANY weekdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. or visit the Bryce Jordan Center ticket office weekdays from 10 a.m-6 p.m.
Penn State Football Class of 2017
DL | Harrisburg, Pa. | Harrisburg High School | HS Coach: Calvin Everett | 6-3, 245
DL | Paterson, N.J. | Paramus Catholic High School | HS Coach: Dan Sabella | 6-3, 280
LB | Mechanicsville, Va. | Benedictine College Preparatory | HS Coach: Greg Lilly | 6-1, 220
DB | College Park, Ga. | Creekside High School | HS Coach: Will Rogers | 5-10, 175
RB | Meadville, Pa. | Meadville High School | HS Coach: Ray Collins | 5-11, 194
DB | Upper Marlboro, Md. | Riverdale Baptist High School | HS Coach: Caesar Nettles | 6-0, 185
QB | Cincinnati, Ohio | Saint Xavier High School | HS Coach: Steve Specht | 6-1, 211
LB | Greensboro, N.C. | Grimsley High School | HS Coach: Darryl Brown | 6-1, 200
LB | Arlington, Texas | Battlefield (Va.) High School | HS Coach: Jared Van Acker | 6-1, 204
DL | Spotsylvania, Va. | Chancellor High School | HS Coach: Bob Oliver | 6-5, 242
WR | Pontiac, Mich. | IMG Academy (Fla.) | HS Coach: Kevin Wright | 5-9, 165
DL | Burlington, N.J. | The Hun School | HS Coach: Todd Smith | 6-3, 302
WR | Fort Wayne, Ind. | R. Nelson Snider High School | HS Coach: Kurt Tippmann | 5-11, 170
OL | West Norriton, Pa. | Cardinal O'Hara High School | HS Coach: BJ Hogan | 6-5, 325
DB | Detroit, Mich. | Cass Tech High School | HS Coach: Thomas Wilcher | 5-9, 170
OL | Sparta, N.J. | Saint Joseph Regional High School | HS Coach: Augie Hoffmann | 6-4, 275
OL | Stow, Ohio | Stow-Munroe Falls High School | HS Coach: Mark Nori | 6-3, 295
WR | Bowie, Md. | Saint Vincent Pallotti High School | HS Coach: Ian Thomas | 6-0, 182
DB | Ottawa, Ontario | Episcopal (Va.) High School | HS Coach: Panos Voulgaris | 5-11, 191
OL | Glenshaw, Pa. | Central Catholic High School | HS Coach: Terry Totten | 6-3, 314
DB | Clairton, Pa. | Clairton High School | Coach: Wayne Wade | 5-9, 190