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Penn State Football: The Four Best Freshman You Didn't See Saturday

by on April 23, 2018 2:00 PM

It's easy to forget when damn near everyone on Penn State's roster hits the field during the Blue White game that in fact there are still more players coming to town this summer.

That's right, 17 more soon-to-be Nittany Lions will pack up their belongings and make their way to State College to cram into a dorm room not far from the Lasch Building. Some of them will play right away, others will wait a year or three for their number to be called. All of them will show up excited and a little stressed.

But once that feeling wears off it'll be back to work and for a handful of these freshmen, a chance to make an immediate impact on a team looking to replace plenty of familiar faces.

Here are the four best, by recruiting rankings, yet to get to campus.

WR Justin Shorter:

If you pay attention to recruiting you already know all about Shorter, who is in fact quite tall. He's athletic, he looks the part, he's the eight best recruit in the country and the best receiver in the class as well. At 6-foot-4 he's as tall as Juwan Johnson and just as fluid on his feet. 

For those of semi-normal people who don't religiously follow the college decisions of high school kids, Shorter is really good. There's a very good chance he's a name you're talking about at your tailgate sooner rather than later. If you want to be excited about something this season, watching Shorter play is a good one to pick. 

RB Ricky Slade:

Another guy that you have probably heard of, the 27th best prospect in the nation and the best running back yet again picking Penn State. Between Slade, Miles Sanders and Saquon Barkley, it's turning into quite the run of backs for the Nittany Lions. Of course coaches will always say that the closer you get to the ball the harder it is to play right away. So while Slade isn't short on talent and potential, there are a lot of factors on and off the field that will dictate how soon, and how much, he plays. Even so he's talented and another guy to remember when camp starts this summer.

TE Pat Freiermuth:

It's going to be hard for anyone to follow in Mike Gesicki's shoes but guys like Freiermuth will do their best this season. He was a standout at a summer camp a few years back and earned himself an offer in the process. At 6-foot-5 and 250 pounds he's well on his way to contributing to an already talented offense. How quickly he can find his way on to the field will depend on a lot of things, least of all his work in the weight room and absorbing of concepts on the field. Even so, he's the ninth best tight end in the 2018 class for a reason.

K Jake Pinegar:

Kickers aren't exactly going to make the headlines when it comes to recruiting, unless they drop a music video, but Pinegar is perhaps the missing piece to Penn State's special team's puzzle. He has a great leg, seems confident online (aren't we all) and is if nothing else, going to get a fair shake at kicking duties this year. Penn State is always going to want to shy away from giving one kicker all of the roles on special teams, which means if Pinegar can find distance and consistency that Blake Gillikin will potentially have one less thing to deal with on his plate.



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