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JUST IN: Top 10 DL in 2024 chooses PAC-12 program over Penn State football

Penn State football lost out on the top DL prospect, who was once believed to be trending towards the Nittany Lions.



Penn State football, top 10, DL, PAC-12 program
April 15, 2023. Penn State football coach James Franklin walks the field during pregame warmups before the annual Blue-White Game. Credit: Grace Carella // Basic Blues Nation, 2023.

So far, July has not been kind to Penn State football on the recruiting trail. On Saturday afternoon, Benedict Umeh, a top 10 DL in the 2024 cycle, chose PAC-12 program Stanford over the Nittany Lions. The news comes a day after Penn State missed out on four-star WR Nick Marsh, who committed to Michigan State. Once predicted to land Umeh, James Franklin and his staff will now head in a different direction up front, possibly as soon as this evening.

Benedict Umeh chooses PAC-12 program over Penn State football

Benedict Umeh is a four-star DL prospect in the class of 2024. Originally from Canada, Umeh is the No. 1 overall player from Connecticut and a top 10 DL recruit in this cycle, according to the On3 Industry Rankings. Umeh flashed as a potential Penn State commit in mid-June after visiting Happy Valley. Following his official visit to Penn State on the weekend of June 16, industry experts logged predictions for Umeh to become a Nittany Lion.

However, Penn State’s time as the frontrunner in this recruitment didn’t last long. The following weekend, Benedict Umeh traveled west to visit Stanford as June’s official visit period came to a close. It quickly became apparent that the top 10 DL prospect was trending toward the Cardinal, and experts across the recruiting industry flipped their predictions as the month closed. On Saturday, Umeh made it official as he chose the PAC-12 program over Penn State, Wisconsin, and several other schools.

Quick rebound for the Nittany Lions?

Losing Umeh stings, especially after Penn State missed out on one of its top remaining targets Nick Marsh on Friday. In addition, the Nittany Lions were also beaten out by USC for Alaska-native turned Pennsylvania DL recruit Deyvid Palepale last week. However, there are several targets – both on the defensive side of the ball – who could help Penn State quickly break out of this short recruiting slump.

Tonight (July 8), four-star edge rusher Mylachi Williams is set to announce his decision. The Monsignor Bonner prospect is choosing between two in-state programs, Penn State and Pitt, as well as Syracuse. Williams has been expected to become a Nittany Lion for several weeks. In addition, Penn State is also still the leader for another top edge rusher, Maryland recruit Jaylen Harvey. Although Harvey has indefinitely pushed his commitment back from its original date of July 4, industry experts still widely expect Harvey to land at Penn State.

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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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