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Penn State football is primed to address a major need on the recruiting trail this weekend

Penn State football has the chance to land two big time prospects this weekend, and fill a significant need in the 2024 recruiting class in the process. Can the Nittany Lions get it done?



Penn State Football, recruiting, Liam Andrews, T.A. Cunningham
Nov 6, 2021; College Park, Maryland, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin greats players as the enter the field before the game against the Maryland Terrapins at Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Going into the summer months, Penn State football had two significant positional needs to address on the recruiting trail. The Nittany Lions quickly filled a void at wide receiver in June, landing three commitments in the span of 49 hours, including a flip of four-star prospect Tyseer Denmark from Oregon. Conversely, the defensive line has been more challenging to address. While James Franklin and staff did land De’Andre Cook and, most recently, top edge rusher Mylachi Williams, the Lions have missed on several interior prospects, including Deyvid Palepale and Benedict Umeh. However, Penn State has the opportunity to turn things around in a major way this weekend, with two four-star defensive linemen — Liam Andrews and TA Cunningham — set to announce their decisions.

Could the Liam Andrews domino finally fall?

The first recruit that Penn State football is looking to land is Massachusetts prospect Liam Andrews, who is set to announce his commitment decision Friday at 11 AM on the 247Sports YouTube channel. The top player out of Massachusetts according to 247Sports, Andrews has been a long sought-after recruit for Penn State at two critical positions. Originally rated as a top three interior lineman in the country, Andrews has announced that he will play defensive line in college. Subsequentially, 247Sports has reevaluated Andrews as the 17th-best defensive line recruit, while On3 lists him as the No. 3 overall athlete in the country. With several predictions for him to land in Happy Valley, Liam Andrews is set to pick from his top three schools: Penn State, Wisconsin, and South Carolina.

The Nittany Lions can add another blue-chip prospect in TA Cunningham on Saturday

A little over 24 hours after the Liam Andrews announcement, another four-star defensive lineman, TA Cunningham, is set to announce his decision. Viewed early on in high school as a potential five-star talent, Cunningham was involved in a controversial high school transfer from Georgia to California in 2022, which many speculated was NIL-related. Cunningham initially had his eligibility denied by the California Interscholastic Federation, which cost him part of the 2022 season.

Finishing up his high school career at Miami Central (Florida), Cunningham is still an extremely talented prospect who could become one of the steals of the class for the Nittany Lions. A top 30 defensive lineman in the country, Cunningham only took one visit during his recruitment, which was to Happy Valley in June. Predicted by On3 and 247Sports to become a Nittany Lion, Cunnigham will pick between five schools on Saturday, including Miami, Michigan, Oklahoma, and Texas A&M.

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Matt is a co-owner and Editor in Chief of Basic Blues Nation. Launched in 2022, Basic Blues Nation is one of the fastest-growing websites covering all Penn State athletics, with over 3.5 million readers in 2023. Matt is also a credentialed member of the Penn State football beat, and is a member of the Football Writers Association of America.


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