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Penn State football legacy, top target shoots into top 30 of national 2025 rankings

The Penn State football legacy is one of James Franklin’s “must-get” prospects for the 2025 cycle. Can he fend off other national programs to keep this homegrown talent in the Keystone State?



Penn State football, Michael Carroll, 2025 recruiting, Alabama, Michigan
Apr 13, 2024; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin shakes the hands of fans following the conclusion of the Blue White spring game at Beaver Stadium. The White team defeated the Blue team 27-0. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

One of the top targets for Penn State football in the 2025 recruiting cycle received a significant boost in the latest rankings update from On3 this week. On Monday, offensive lineman and Nittany Lions legacy prospect Michael Carroll jumped over 40 spots into the top 30 for the 2025 class. One of the most coveted prospects in the Keystone State, it now appears that James Franklin and his staff will have to fend off Alabama — a newcomer in this recruitment — in addition to Michigan to earn Carroll’s commitment.

Penn State football legacy rises into top 30 of national rankings

In January, James Franklin called four-star interior offensive lineman Michael Carroll a “must-get” prospect for Penn State football. Less than three months later, the Central Bucks East product is showing why.

On Monday, On3 elevated Carroll to the No. 27 overall prospect in its 2025 recruiting rankings. The 6-6, 300-pound lineman was previously the No. 69 recruit in the class. His rise into the top 100 of the 2025 class only came last month in March.

The son of former Penn State linebacker Michael Carroll Sr., Carroll is the top uncommitted prospect in Pennsylvania, and the No. 2 recruit overall. Carroll jumped one spot at his position as well, and is now the second-ranked interior offensive lineman in the country. 

However, with Carroll’s ranking rise comes new competition for his commitment. Last week, Michael Carroll took his second trip to Tuscaloosa to visit Alabama during the Crimson Tide’s A-Day spring game. Carroll will be back in Tuscaloosa on June 7 for an official visit. 

The Nittany Lions have long thought to be in a recruiting battle with Michigan for Carroll. Penn State football will get its legacy target first, hosting Carroll on June 14. He will be in Ann Arbor the following week. On3’s Recruiting Prediction Machine currently gives Penn State a slight edge over Michigan and Alabama. 

2025 recruiting class update

After a hot start to the new year for Penn State football in 2025 recruiting, things have slowed some over the spring months. But the Nittany Lions added a pop to the class last week — both literally and figuratively — with the addition of Alabama running back Alvin Henderson. A top 10 back in the cycle, Henderson rushed for 3,523 yards and 61 touchdowns as a junior.

With 12 commitments, Penn State football currently holds the No. 8 class nationally in the 2025 recruiting cycle, according to 247Sports. On3 has the Nittany Lions slightly lower, at No. 16 overall. James Franklin’s class sits third and fourth in the new-look Big Ten, respectively.

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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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