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A new QB1 emerging for Penn State football recruiting

The Penn State football recruiting class is falling behind with Michael Van Buren, though a new QB is emerging in the class.

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Penn State football recruiting, Samaj Jones, Michael Van Buren
Nov 27, 2021; East Lansing, Michigan, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions quarterback Sean Clifford (14) passes the ball during the first quarter against the Michigan State Spartans at Spartan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Penn State football recruiting is facing some uncertainty regarding its 2024 quarterback situation. Initially, Michael Van Buren, the No. 1 recruit in Maryland, was expected to be the QB1 of this class for the Nittany Lions. However, it seems like things have taken a turn for the worse in his recruitment, as the Oregon Ducks have made significant strides and now appear to be in the lead. As a result, Penn State’s top-ranked 2024 recruiting class may have to pivot and consider a new QB1 in the form of Samaj Jones, who is currently the No. 1 quarterback prospect in the state of Pennsylvania.

Penn State football recruiting may have a new QB1 target

Penn State football is on a recruiting hot streak, having recently added another four-star prospect, Corey Smith, who is one of the top-ranked recruits in Wisconsin. However, the team’s search for a quarterback in the 2024 recruiting class has hit a snag, as their top target, Michael Van Buren, is trending towards the Oregon Ducks.

In light of this development, the team is shifting its attention to Samaj Jones, a highly-regarded four-star quarterback prospect from Pennsylvania. According to the 247 Sports composite rankings, Jones is ranked as the No. 20 quarterback in the class and the No. 8 recruit in Pennsylvania. On3 is also quite high on Samaj Jones, ranking him as a top-15 quarterback in the nation and a top-5 quarterback in the 2024 recruiting class.

Jones has received numerous high-quality offers, but he has narrowed down his final choices to four schools: Penn State football, West Virginia, Oklahoma, and Cincinnati.



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BREAKING: Penn State football lands 4-star LB, top 100 player nationally

Penn State lands top 100 nationally ranked linebacker DJ McClary after the whiteout weekend.

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Penn State football, DJ McClary, 2025 recruiting
Sep 23, 2023; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin shakes the hands of invited recruits upon the team’s arrival prior to the game against the Iowa Hawkeyes at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

The whiteout is one of the biggest weekends for the Penn State football team. Not only because of the game that was played. But arguably more importantly, it allows Penn State to showcase its greatness to recruits. The atmosphere, the fans, the community, all of these elements factor into a player’s decision to commit to Penn State. James Franklin made sure that he thanked each player and parent after the game as well for making it to State College. Now, DJ McClary has made his decision to join the 2025 recruiting class for the Nittany Lions.

Penn State football lands 4-star LB, top 100 player nationally

Earlier this week, a crystal ball was placed by 247sports Brian Dohn for DJ McClary to land at Penn State. Now, McClary has made his decision to play his college football at Linebacker U. McClary is a four-star recruit and he is a top-100 recruit in the 2025 recruiting class according to 247sports composite rankings. He is from Jersey City, New Jersey, and chose Penn State over Ohio State, USC, Tennesee, Michigan, and several other schools.

DJ McClary is currently the 3rd highest-rated player in New Jersey and is a massive addition to the 2025 recruiting class at Penn State. James Franklin is hopeful that this is one of many commitments that will result from the 31-0 victory over Iowa. After watching the defense last night, how would you not want to play linebacker at Penn State?

Re-racking the 2025 recruiting class

After recently losing Jaelyne Matthews to a de-commitment this is how the 2025 recruiting class is shaping up for Penn State. Four-star RB KiAndrea Barker, three-star S Omari Gaines, and now DJ McClary.

The Nittany Lions are optimistic that they can land four-star running back Tiqwai Hayes who will make his decision tomorrow.



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Penn State picks up crystal ball for LB, top 100 player nationally

With the a late night crystal ball placed on this 2025 4-star linebacker, the Nittany Lions are the favorite to add this prospect.

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Penn State football, DJ McClary, Crystal Ball, Top 100 player
Penn State outside linebacker Abdul Carter (11) greets head football coach James Franklin before the start of a NCAA football game against Delaware Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023, in State College, Pa.

How’s this to kick off the biggest recruiting weekend for the Penn State football team? Becoming the favorite to land a top-linebacker prospect certainly helps. Earlier this week the Nittany Lions were linked to 2025 4-star running back Tiqwai Hayes who makes his decision on Monday. Then, on Friday night Penn State became the favorite to land DJ McClary a top 100 player who received a crystal ball last night. He is a highly talented prospect from New Jersey.

Penn State picks up crystal ball for LB, top 100 player nationally

The Penn State football team looks to continue to build on the 2025 recruiting class. Recently, the class took a hit when Jaelyne Matthews decommitted from the Nittany Lions. But landing running back Tiqwi Hayes and adding linebacker DJ McClary would be a massive boost.

DJ McClary is a four-star recruit from Jersy City, New Jersey. He attends Henry Synder High School and he is a top-three prospect in New Jersey according to 247sports. McClary holds offers from Oregon, USC, Ohio State, and several other top schools.

Now the talented prospect has received a crystal ball to Penn State. Last night, Brian Dohn who is the National Recruiting Analyst for 247sports put in a crystal ball for DJ McClary to land at Penn State, with a confidence level of 6. Adding a top 100 recruit in the 2025 class would be massive for James Franklin and his staff.

This should be just the beginning of a massive weekend for the Nittany Lions. With an estimated 80-plus recruits on campus to experience the whiteout, it’s possible that a few recruits make their decision today. Stay tuned on Basic Blues Nation for all of your whiteout weekend coverage for Penn State football.



Thank you for reading Basic Blues Nation. Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news and insights on your favorite Penn State athletics. For feedback, questions, concerns, or to apply for a writing position, please email us at [email protected] or direct message us on our social media. Also, be sure to check out our new site shop. It’s due to your support that we can become one of the market’s fastest-growing Penn State sports outlets!

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No. 1 QB in the nation, top overall recruit for 2025 to attend Penn State White Out

The No. 1 QB in the nation and the top overall recruit for 2025 will be in Happy Valley for the White Out this weekend.

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Penn State football, No. 1 QB in the nation, Bryce Underwood, Penn State White Out, class of 2025
Belleville quarterback Bryce Underwood (19) calls for a snap against River Rouge during the first half of Prep Kickoff Classic at Wayne State University's Tom Adams Field in Detroi on Friday, August 25, 2023.

The White Out is always one of the biggest games of the year, both on and off the field, for Penn State football. Each year, the top recruits in the country flock to Happy Valley to take in one of the greatest atmospheres in sports, as well as usually one of the most anticipated matchups of the college football calendar. This weekend will be no different when No. 7 Penn State takes on No. 24 Iowa in front of a White Out crowd. The list of top recruits making their way to State College has grown by the day; however, the marquee visitor may have just been added to the list. Wednesday afternoon, it was confirmed that Bryce Underwood, the No. 1 QB in the nation for the class of 2025, will be attending the Penn State White Out.

No. 1 QB in the nation for 2025 to attend Penn State White Out

Almost unanimously, Bryce Underwood is evaluated as the best recruit in America for 2025. On3 and ESPN rate him as the top overall prospect for the class, while 247Sports and Rivals rank him as the No. 4 and No. 3 best player in America, respectively. Underwood is the consensus No. 1 QB in the nation for the 2025 cycle.

Technically a 2026 prospect, Bryce Underwood is finishing high school early and reclassifying to the class of 2025. The Belleview, Michigan product has been an instant impact player throughout his high school career, throwing for at least 2,700 yards and 37 touchdowns in each of his first two seasons.

On Wednesday afternoon, 247Sports Director of Recruiting Steve Wiltfong reported that Underwood will be back in Happy Valley to attend the Penn State White Out against Iowa. Underwood previously visited Penn State back in January for Junior Day.

“We wanted to get back to Penn State when the time is right,” Underwood’s father told 247Sports. “There’s no better time than this weekend.”

Can Penn State football land the No. 1 player in America?

After losing the commitment from the No. 1 player in New Jersey, Jaelyne Matthews, last week, Penn State’s 2025 recruiting class has fallen to No. 17 in the national rankings, according to 247Sports.

On3 currently predicts that in-state Michigan and Michigan State are the leading candidates to land Bryce Underwood, with Ohio State and LSU trailing closely behind. 

While Penn State football may not be the frontrunner in this recruitment, the Nittany Lions do have an ace up their sleeve in the form of the former No. 1 QB recruit in the nation, Drew Allar. Allar looked spectacular in the first two games of 2023 before a slight setback last week at Illinois.

But if Allar can light up the Iowa defense in primetime, similar to his performance against West Virginia in Week 1, then perhaps he can show Underwood why Happy Valley would be a good fit for the No. 1 QB in the nation.



Thank you for reading Basic Blues Nation. Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news and insights on your favorite Penn State athletics. For feedback, questions, concerns, or to apply for a writing position, please email us at [email protected] or direct message us on our social media. Also, be sure to check out our new site shop. It’s due to your support that we can become one of the market’s fastest-growing Penn State sports outlets!

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