PSU Football: Second Lackawanna Prospect Commits To Nittany Lions
For years, Lackawanna College’s football program has provided a pipeline of elite junior college prospects to some of the top major college teams in the nation.
Evidently, Penn State is no longer going to pass on the potential help.
The Nittany Lions secured their 16th verbal commitment in their 2019 recruiting class Tuesday, and again, it came from Scranton. Falcons offensive tackle Anthony Whigan announced via his Twitter account that he plans to join the Penn State program next season.
A 6-foot-5, 290-pounder, Whigan is a four-star prospect according to 247Sports. He is ranked as the No. 1 offensive line prospect in the nation among juco prospects. Rivals, another of the major recruiting services, ranks Penn State’s 2019 class as the ninth-best in the nation after Whigan’s verbal commitment.
“He can play anywhere along the offensive line,” Lackawanna head coach Mark Duda said. “He’s 6-foot-5 and about 300 pounds, but he’s super quick. His mobility is second to none.
“They can use him at tackle. I can see him being a guard, just because his athleticism is so great. His strength level is so good. He’s going to be phenomenal.”
The relationship between Penn State and Lackawanna has noticeably strengthened since James Franklin took over as the Nittany Lions head coach before the 2014 season, as prospects like tackle Paris Palmer and defensive lineman Brenon Thrift made their way to Happy Valley out of coach Duda’s program in Scranton.
With Whigan’s commitment, though, comes a bit of history: This is the first time more than one Lackawanna player has committed to Penn State in the same recruiting class.
The nation’s top-ranked junior-college defensive back, JaQuan Brisker, committed to the Nittany Lions on May 17.
Whigan had 12 scholarship offers from schools in Power 5 conferences, including two programs that have a long-running relationship with the Falcons — West Virginia and Oklahoma. Nebraska and Maryland were the two Big Ten schools other than Penn State that offered him scholarships, and he made official visits to South Carolina and Louisville.
When 2018 offensive line prospect Nana Asiedu had to retire before he ever took the field at Penn State because of a heart condition, the coaching staff had to find a player who essentially could assume his role in the program. It’s likely that responsibility falls to Whigan, who will have three years to play two seasons. Duda said Whigan will enroll at Penn State in January.
“We’re thrilled about it,” he added. “Just from our own standpoint, the kids will be close. It sounds funny, but they are still our kids. They could not have made a bad decision. They just had to make a good decision for them.”
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