Recruiting presents a different kind of challenge for major college football programs this spring.
In a difficult time, Penn State received some welcomed news Thursday, though.
Landon Tengwall, one of the top offensive line prospects in the nation and long one of the coaching staff’s most coveted targets, verbally committed to the Nittany Lions’ 2021 recruiting class. He chose Penn State over his other top target, Notre Dame, in an announcement broadcast by Rivals.com. He was also recruited by Auburn, Alabama, LSU, Florida and Ohio State.
“Coach Franklin, he’s the best coach out there, man,” Tengwall said, when asked why he chose Penn State. “I love Coach Franklin, the staff. I’ve been around there a lot. I love the players and the atmosphere there. It’s great up there.”
A 6-foot-6, 315-pound tackle from Good Counsel High School in Olney, Maryland, Tengwall is rated as a four-star prospect by both Rivals and 247sports. Rivals ranks him as the No. 27 overall prospect in the nation, regardless of position, and both scouting services place him firmly among the top 10 tackle prospects in the nation. If he ultimately signs, Tengwall will be the top-rated offensive tackle prospect Penn State has landed since last season’s starting left tackle, Rasheed Walker, signed his letter of intent with the 2018 class.
Penn State has made bulking up the offensive line a priority in this recruiting cycle, hosting some of the top prospects in the nation at the position dating back to the fall. Tengwall has not just been a top target in that group, but a leader among the other prospects who coaches hope will be able to help draw other prospects at the position to Happy Valley.
Under new offensive line coach Phil Trautwein, the Nittany Lions are expected to be strong up front in 2020, bringing back senior starters Michal Menet and Will Fries, along with juniors Mike Miranda and CJ Thorpe, and the sophomore Walker, all of whom started at least one three games last season. With that veteran group exiting after the season, though, Penn State needed to boost its depth.
Tengwall provides a good foundation in a key class.
“I’m coming in, competing from day one, just looking to start,” Tengwall said.