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Penn State football assistant coach is dominating the 2024 recruiting cycle

Assistant coach Terry Smith is gaining recognition for his role in what could be one of the best recruiting classes of the James Franklin era.



Penn State Football recruiting, Terry Smith, 2024 cycle
Nov 17, 2012; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions helmet sits on the field prior to the game against the Indiana Hoosiers at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

After back-to-back top 15 classes, the Penn State football recruiting class for 2024 is already shaping up to be one of the nation’s best. A string of eight commitments in April has landed the Nittany Lions inside the top 10 of the national recruiting rankings for most major outlets. While there are still several months left in the 2024 cycle, James Franklin’s staff is already garnering attention for their work on the recruiting trail. In particular, Penn State assistant coach Terry Smith is currently ranked as one of the top recruiters in the country for the class he has helped put together in Happy Valley.

Terry Smith ranked as the No. 2 recruiter in the nation for the 2024 cycle

In addition to maintaining prospect profiles and team class ratings, 247Sports also ranks the top recruiting coaches in the country for each cycle. In the 2024 recruiter rankings, Penn State’s Terry Smith is currently ranked No. 2 in the nation, right behind Georgia assistant coach Fran Brown.

Smith, the associate head coach and cornerbacks coach going into his 10th season at Penn State, currently has five commitments in the 2024 cycle, with an average prospect rating of 91.5, according to 247Sports. Most notably, Smith was a critical component in the commitment of Quinton Martin, a top-five athlete in the country and the No. 1 overall player in Pennsylvania in 2024.

Penn State football recruiting has elevated to the next level recently

The national recognition for Terry Smith is not necessarily a surprise, as he has been a key part of James Franklin’s recruiting success at Penn State. With Smith’s help, the Nittany Lions have landed 10 consecutive top-25 recruiting classes nationally, seven of which have been inside the top 15. Penn State has also had two top-10 recruiting classes, most recently in 2022.

But Terry Smith is just one of the talented recruiters that Franklin currently has on his coaching staff. 247Sports ranked running backs coach Ja’Juan Seider as the top recruiter in the Big Ten and the No. 4 recruiter nationally for his haul in the 2023 cycle, which included potential standouts like Tony Rojas, Kaveion Keys, and Alex Birchmeier.

More importantly, the coming years have the potential to be even more successful for the Penn State recruiting staff. Penn State currently has the No. 6 overall class for the 2024 cycle, according to 247Sports. Multiple outlets have the Nittany Lions as the No. 3 class in the country for 2025. While there’s still plenty of time before these classes are complete, given the track record of the staff inside Lasch, it’s safe to say that Penn State is in for several more years of recruiting success.

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A third-generation Penn Stater, Matt is Editor-in-Chief for Basic Blues Nation, co-host of the podcast PSU Tailgate Talk, and a credentialed member of the Penn State football media. Matt also works as a staffer in the Pennsylvania General Assembly. Matt lives in central Pennsylvania with his wife and a small army of pets.