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Multiple Penn State football assistants ranked as top 10 recruiters for 2024 cycle

Penn State football is the only program with multiple assistant coaches ranked as top 10 recruiters nationally.

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Penn State Football, Antonio Branch, 2025 recruiting
Apr 13, 2019; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions assistant head coach and defensive recruiting coordinator and cornerbacks coach Terry Smith walks onto the field prior to the Blue White spring game at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

Penn State football is putting together one of the best classes in the nation at this point in the 2024 recruiting calendar. With 24 commitments, Penn State has a consensus top 10 recruiting class, and several outlets have the Nittany Lions vying for top 5 contention. While much of the success is accredited to James Franklin, an equal lion’s share of the praise can go to his assistant coaches. The work of the Penn State assistant coaching staff hasn’t gone unnoticed, as 247Sports recently ranked Phil Trautwein and Terry Smith as two of the best recruiters in the nation for the 2024 recruiting cycle.

Penn State football assistants Phil Trautwein and Terry Smith ranked among nation’s best recruiters for 2024 cycle

On Thursday, Brad Crawford of 247Sports published an article ranking the top 10 recruiting assistant coaches in the nation at this point in the 2024 cycle. Penn State was the only program in America to claim two spots in the top 10, with offensive line coach Phil Trautwein and associate head coach/cornerbacks coach Terry Smith taking home the seventh and fifth slots, respectively.

Quickly turning the offensive line into one of the strengths of the team, Phil Trautwein has translated this on-field success into wins on the recruiting trail. Trautwein has four offensive linemen committed for the 2024 cycle, three of which are four stars. Recently, one of Trautwein’s spring commitments, Garrett Sexton, became the Nittany Lions’ highest-ranked recruit in the 2024 cycle after jumping into the top 50 of the On300 rankings. Trautwein is also the primary recruiter for Liam Andrews, the highly rated two-way prospect who recently announced that he will play defensive line in Happy Valley.

The recruiting spotlight is nothing new for James Franklin’s longest-tenured assistant, as 247Sports ranked Terry Smith as the second-best recruiter in the nation early on in the 2024 cycle. In this most recent rankings update, Crawford notes that Smith is one of only a few assistants in the country with seven committed prospects in the 2024 class. Smith is the primary recruiter for Quinton Martin, the athlete rated as the top player in Pennsylvania for this cycle. Smith also played a prominent role in the flip of wide receiver Tyseer Denmark from Oregon, and has two three-stars and one four-star, Jon Mitchell, committed at cornerback for this cycle.

It’s evident that these two coaches in particular have been critical to Penn State’s success on the trail this cycle. With 12 commitments between the two, Smith and Trautwein have recruited half of the prospects for the Nittany Lions’ 2024 recruiting class. Still with several months left to push before National Signing Day, it’s safe to assume that these two assistants will play a significant role if Penn State football wants to lock up a top-10 recruiting class in 2024.



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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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