Connect with us


BREAKING: Penn State football lands second four-star DL commit of weekend

Penn State football just landed its second top DL prospect in less than 36 hours on Saturday afternoon.



Penn State Football, Dvon Ellies, NFL Draft
Nov 5, 2022; Bloomington, Indiana, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions defensive tackle Dvon Ellies (91) celebrates with Penn State Nittany Lions defensive tackle Coziah Izzard (99) after a sack during the first half at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Goddin-USA TODAY Sports

After a slow start to the month of July on the recruiting trail, Penn State football has officially rebounded in recent weeks. On Saturday, James Franklin and Deion Barnes landed a commitment from four-star DL prospect T.A. Cunningham. Cunningham is Penn State’s second four-star DL commit in less than 36 hours, and the third top prospect along the defensive front to commit to the Nittany Lions since July 8.

T.A. Cunningham becomes second four-star DL commit for Penn State football this weekend

When it’s all said and done, T.A. Cunningham has the potential to become one of the steals of Penn State’s 2024 recruiting class. Cunningham has experienced an interesting recruiting process, due, in part, to a “well-traveled” high school career. Projected early on in high school as a potential five-star prospect, Cunningham was forced to miss a portion of the 2022 season. He was deemed ineligible for the start of Los Alamitos High School’s season by the California Interscholastic Federation following a headline-grabbing transfer from Johns Creek High School in Georgia, in a move many speculated was related to NIL.

Finishing his high school career at Miami Central in Florida, the 6-6.5, 275-pound recruit is rated as a top-30 DL prospect, according to the On3 Industry Rankings. Cunningham’s best evaluation comes from Rivals, who ranks him as the 12th-best DL prospect in the 2024 cycle.

Cunningham chose Penn State over five schools, including Miami, Michigan, Oklahoma, and Texas A&M. However, this recruitment was long believed to be a battle between the Nittany Lions and the Hurricanes. The four-star recruit unofficially visited Miami in April and took his only official visit of the year to Penn State in June. The Nittany Lions have been predicted to land Cunningham since that visit, and on Saturday, he made it official. 

“Penn State is definitely the place to become a great football player but also a better man. Coach [James] Franklin and Coach [Deion] Barnes believe in me in a special type of way,” Cunningham told Hayes Fawcett of On3 ahead of his commitment. 

Deion Barnes is putting together a respectable first class

After losing a pair of high-profile commitments at the start of the month, first-year DL coach Deion Barnes has turned it on to close out July. T.A. Cunningham becomes Barnes’s second four-star DL commit of the weekend.

Penn State landed Liam Andrews, the No. 1 overall player out of Massachusetts, on Friday afternoon. On July 8, the No. 3 player in Pennsylvania, edge rusher Mylachi Williams, committed to the Nittany Lions. Penn State also received commitments from three-star DLs Xavier Gilliam and De’Andre Cook in June. 

As it stands now, this class would be a solid first haul for Deion Barnes. But with other top prospects, such as Maryland edge rusher Jaylen Harvey, expected to announce decisions in the coming weeks, the class can get even better. Barnes appears to be transitioning well into his new role as a recruiter. As a younger coach, it’s clear that he can quickly establish a rapport with many high school-aged players. Now, we await to see what he can do on the field in 2023. 

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 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!

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.


Spinstralia Casino: online pokies real money, real fun! Get in on the action today!