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Penn State Football: Six 2015 Commits To Keep Eye On For Immediate Impact

by on February 05, 2015 4:00 PM

Penn State introduced lots of new faces to the roster on Wednesday as part of National Signing Day.

The fact of the matter is that most recruits don't play in their first year or two of college.

That's not because they're bad or because they don't have what it takes, but the course of development and the flow of a roster just dictates that it usually works out that way.

But some soon-to-be Nitany Lions will make an immediate impact on Penn State's line-up -- at the very least they'll have an immediate impact on the team's depth.

Nothing is ever set in stone until the pads are strapped on, but these are six freshman you should to an eye on this year.

DB: John Reid:

By all accounts Reid is a super smart, super football player. At 5-10 and 181 pounds he's just about ready to play after a summer and spring in the gym. Rated a 4-star across the board, it's pretty clear that he has what it takes to play and make an impact. That said, it's his smarts that are the most appealing. High IQ players can make up for a lot of early miscues and one has to like Reid's chances in that department. 

DB: Garrett Taylor:

Taylor gets on this list simply because James Franklin says that he has the skills and size to make an impact early in his career. On paper as a four-star recruit with a 6-0, 196 pound body, it certainly doesn't seem as though he'll have to change much to be game ready on the physical side. Penn State's secondary will have to replace Adrian Amos with someone and Taylor is currently as good of an option as any.

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DL: Shareef Miller

At 6-5, and 230 pounds Miller has the body to get the job done right now. With the defensive line full of talent but still unsorted in terms of sure starters in 2015 it's hard to ignore one of the better players in Penn State's recruiting class. Penn State may try to save Miller for the future, but if he shows the kind of promise to make an impact in the early going there's no reason to think Franklin and company won't take a shot at him in the main defensive line rotation.

OL: Paris Palmer:

A JUCO transfer standing at 6-7, 290 pounds it's pretty clear that Palmer is the favorite to take over Donovan Smith's spot at left tackle. Protecting Christian Hackenberg's blindside is a top priority after a season of 40+ sacks. Even so, Palmer's size and experience at a level above high school makes him at least an early contender to fill a starting roll in the trenches.

WR: Juwan Johnson:

Penn State has no shortage of talent with Geno Lewis and DaeSean Hamilton back in the fold, but Johnson's wingspan of 36 inches and his 6-4, 212 pound frame make him too big of a target to simply sit on the sidelines this season. Add in the fact that Hamilton and Lewis have had their fair share of ups and downs, Johnson is, at the very least, a big target to throw at. Playing receiver at the D1 level isn't as simple as it seems, but it's hard to imagine a player that big not being a part of the equation once he gets his feet under him.

WR: Brandon Polk:

Not since Derrick Williams has Penn State had a really good slot receiver threat on offense. It remains to be seen how Polk will be used, but a 5-9, 163 pound frame certainly heads him down that path. If John Donovan is looking for new ways to get targets open for Christian Hackenberg, a smaller shifty receiver in the slot might not be a bad way to go. At 163 pounds Polk might be a little small, but it could be fun to see how he is used after he bulks up and becomes comfortable with the offense. Once again, when it comes to finding people for Hackenberg to throw to, anyone is fair game.

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Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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