Commitment breakdown: Penn State lands five-star Dani Dennis-Sutton
Recruitment started early for five-star Dani Dennis-Sutton. The Owings Mills (Md.) McDonogh defensive end has been a big name prospect since he was a freshman and teams started offering shortly after he entered high school.
Dennis-Sutton started taking visits at a young age, going with teammates to schools like Penn State, Maryland, and a few others, but the pandemic really limited his options. Finally, when the dead period ended in June, Dennis-Sutton hit the road for official visits to Penn State, Georgia, and Alabama. Penn State had been viewed as the leader for a very long time but Georgia quickly grabbed momentum after his trip to Athens. However, a return visit to Happy Valley turned his recruitment into a toss up.
In the end, his connections current players and former teammates at Penn State, the coaching staff, along with their plan to develop him into a first-round draft pick is what set them apart from the field.
CLASS OF 2023 RANKINGS: Rivals100
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WHAT THE NITTANY LIONS ARE GETTING
Dennis-Sutton has all the tools to be a superstar at the defensive end position. He can win with speed and power using outside or inside moves. He has really impressive athleticism and he's turned into one of the most dynamic defensive ends in this year's class. Dennis-Sutton can play in space and his basketball background helps him in coverage. He has a solid understanding of how to use his hands to get into the backfield, and his ability to shed blockers to make the tackle helps him be very effective at the point of attack. Dennis-Sutton has an array of pass-rushing moves that he can use to beat the man in front of him, and it should make him one of the most dangerous defensive ends in the country.
WHY IT'S BIG FOR PENN STATE
July has been very good to Penn State so far. Dennis-Sutton is the ninth player to commit to the Nittany Lions this month and is easily their highest rated. Quite frankly, this was a recruitment that James Franklin and his staff could not afford to lose. They've been recruiting Dennis-Sutton longer than any team in the country and they've got such a great connection with McDonogh, their coaching staff and many of their players. The Nittany Lions have used McDonogh as a bit of a feeder school in recent years, scooping up players like PJ Mustipher, D'Von Ellies and Curtis Jacobs. Playing closer to home wasn't a huge factor for Dennis-Sutton, but it is certainly a benefit that he and his family will enjoy during his college career. The Nittany Lions are now firmly in second place in the team rankings thanks to Dennis-Sutton's commitment and more are will surely follow.