Penn State lands another Virginia top prospect in four-star DL Hakeem Beamon

By Derek Levarse - [email protected]

Penn State’s 2018 roster is projected to have 11 scholarship players who played high school ball in Virginia.

And there may be even more in 2019, even after losing co-captains Trace McSorley and Nick Scott.

With what looks to be a down year for top-end high school talent in Pennsylvania, the Nittany Lions have managed to expand their influence to the south on the recruiting trail.

That trend continued Friday as the Lions landed yet another high-end prospect from Virginia when Richmond-area defensive lineman Hakeem Beamon from L.C. Bird High School gave them a verbal commitment.

A four-star prospect, Beamon checks in as the state’s No. 7 overall player and the top-rated defensive lineman in the 247Sports Composite rankings, which also list him as the nation’s No. 235 overall player in the 2019 cycle.

The 6-foot-4, 254-pound Beamon becomes the ninth member of Penn State’s 2019 class and the third from Virginia, joining linebacker Brandon Smith and running back Devyn Ford, who rank No. 1 and No. 2 in the state, respectively.

He’s also the sixth recruit the Lions have secured in a little over two weeks.

“We’ve been on a pretty hot stretch,” coach James Franklin said Thursday at a speaking engagement in Bethlehem, according to The Morning Call. “… Some of the top players in the U.S.

“The thing I’m probably most proud of is, there’s such a buzz right now about Penn State football. To see people walking around with their chests out, so proud about what’s going in State College and on the campus, makes me feel great.”

Beamon had previously committed to North Carolina last June but saw his profile rise following his junior season at L.C. Bird High School in Chesterfield. In a span of 12 days in late January and early February, he received a slew of scholarship offers that included Penn State, Ohio State and national champion Alabama.

He ultimately reopened his recruitment and continued to visit schools, swinging by Penn State three weeks ago. He had previously been on campus for both of the Lions’ night games last fall against Michigan and Georgia State.

In the end, it was another notable recruiting victory for Penn State in Virginia.

On top of securing commitments from three of the top seven prospects from the state for 2019, the Lions managed to land the No. 1 and No. 3 players there in the 2018 class in five-star running back Ricky Slade and four-star offensive lineman Nana Asiedu.

For 2017, Penn State added four Virginia recruits, including four-star talents Yetur Gross-Matos, Ellis Brooks and Jonathan Sutherland, all of whom were jockeying for spots on the two-deep as their first year on campus ended.

They are joined by a group of valuable veterans from the state that included team leaders McSorley and Scott. Wideout Brandon Polk was a high school teammate of McSorley’s who worked most of the spring with the first-team offense.

Garrett Taylor lined up next to Scott at safety in another battle for a starting job. On the offensive line, veteran Chasz Wright has stepped in and made several starts when injuries have struck.

In other words, if Penn State is going to contend for the national title in 2018 and beyond, its growing presence in Virginia will be key.

Below is Penn State’s updated recruiting map, which can be expanded by clicking on the full-screen icon in the upper right corner of the frame.

All recruit rankings and offers represent the 247Sports Composite, which averages the ratings of prospects from 247Sports, Rivals and ESPN.

QB 2018 2019 2020 2021
Trace McSorley Sr. (RS)      
Tommy Stevens Jr. (RS) Sr. (RS)    
Jake Zembiec So. (RS) Jr. (RS) Sr. (RS)  
Sean Clifford Fr. (RS) So. (RS) Jr. (RS) Sr. (RS)
Will Levis Fr. So. Jr. Sr.
Ta’Quan Roberson   Fr. So. Jr.
Totals 5 5 4 3
RB 2018 2019 2020 2021
Mark Allen Sr. (RS)      
Johnathan Thomas Sr. (RS)      
Miles Sanders Jr. Sr. RS open  
Journey Brown Fr. (RS) So. (RS) Jr. (RS) Sr. (RS)
Ricky Slade Fr. So. Jr. Sr.
Devyn Ford   Fr. So. Jr.
Totals 5 4 3 3
WR 2018 2019 2020 2021
DeAndre Thompkins Sr. (RS)      
Juwan Johnson Jr. (RS) Sr. (RS)    
Brandon Polk Jr. (RS) Sr. (RS)    
K.J. Hamler Fr. (RS) So. (RS) Jr. (RS) Sr. (RS)
Mac Hippenhammer Fr. (RS) So. (RS) Jr. (RS) Sr. (RS)
Cam Sullivan-Brown Fr. (RS) So. (RS) Jr. (RS) Sr. (RS)
Justin Shorter Fr. So. Jr. Sr.
Daniel George Fr. So. Jr. Sr.
Jahan Dotson Fr. So. Jr. Sr.
Totals 9 8 6 6
TE 2018 2019 2020 2021
Jonathan Holland Jr. (RS) Sr. (RS)    
Nick Bowers Jr. (RS) Sr. (RS)    
Danny Dalton So. (RS) Jr. (RS) Sr. (RS)  
Zack Kuntz Fr. So. Jr. Sr.
Pat Freiermuth Fr. So. Jr. Sr.
Totals 5 5 3 2
OL 2018 2019 2020 2021
Chasz Wright Sr. (RS)      
Ryan Bates Jr. (RS) Sr. (RS)    
Steven Gonzalez Jr. (RS) Sr. (RS)    
Sterling Jenkins Jr. (RS) Sr. (RS)    
Connor McGovern Jr. Sr. RS open  
Will Fries So. (RS) Jr. (RS) Sr. (RS)  
Michal Menet So. (RS) Jr. (RS) Sr. (RS)  
Alex Gellerstedt So. (RS) Jr. (RS) Sr. (RS)  
Mike Miranda Fr. (RS) So. (RS) Jr. (RS) Sr. (RS)
C.J. Thorpe Fr. (RS) So. (RS) Jr. (RS) Sr. (RS)
Des Holmes Fr. (RS) So. (RS) Jr. (RS) Sr. (RS)
Rasheed Walker Fr. So. Jr. Sr.
Nana Asiedu Fr. So. Jr. Sr.
Juice Scruggs Fr. So. Jr. Sr.
Bryce Effner Fr. So. Jr. Sr.
Caedan Wallace   Fr. So. Jr.
Totals 15 15 11 8
DL 2018 2019 2020 2021
Torrence Brown Sr. (RS)      
Shareef Miller Jr. (RS) Sr. (RS)    
Ryan Buchholz Jr. (RS) Sr. (RS)    
Kevin Givens Jr. (RS) Sr. (RS)    
Robert Windsor Jr. (RS) Sr. (RS)    
Shane Simmons So. (RS) Jr. (RS) Sr. (RS)  
Shaka Toney So. (RS) Jr. (RS) Sr. (RS)  
Ellison Jordan So. (RS) Jr. (RS) Sr. (RS)  
Daniel Joseph So. (RS) Jr. (RS) Sr. (RS)  
Antonio Shelton So. (RS) Jr. (RS) Sr. (RS)  
Yetur Gross-Matos So. Jr. Sr. RS open
Fred Hansard Fr. (RS) So. (RS) Jr. (RS) Sr. (RS)
Damion Barber Fr. (RS) So. (RS) Jr. (RS) Sr. (RS)
Corey Bolds Fr. (RS) So. (RS) Jr. (RS) Sr. (RS)
Brailyn Franklin Fr. (RS) So. (RS) Jr. (RS) Sr. (RS)
Nick Tarburton Fr. So. Jr. Sr.
Jayson Oweh Fr. So. Jr. Sr.
P.J. Mustipher Fr. So. Jr. Sr.
Aeneas Hawkins Fr. So. Jr. Sr.
Judge Culpepper Fr. So. Jr. Sr.
Hakeem Beamon   Fr. So. Jr.
Totals 20 20 16 10
LB 2018 2019 2020 2021
Koa Farmer Sr. (RS)      
Jake Cooper Sr. RS open    
Jarvis Miller Jr. (RS) Sr. (RS)    
Cam Brown Jr. Sr. RS open  
Dae’Lun Darien So. (RS) Jr. (RS) Sr. (RS)  
Brelin Faison-Walden Fr. (RS) So. (RS) Jr. (RS) Sr. (RS)
Ellis Brooks Fr. (RS) So. (RS) Jr. (RS) Sr. (RS)
Micah Parsons Fr. So. Jr. Sr.
Jesse Luketa Fr. So. Jr. Sr.
Charlie Katshir Fr. So. Jr. Sr.
Brandon Smith   Fr. So. Jr.
Totals 10 9 7 6
DB 2018 2019 2020 2021
Amani Oruwariye Sr. (RS)      
Nick Scott Sr. (RS)      
John Reid Jr. (RS) Sr. (RS)    
Ayron Monroe Jr. (RS) Sr. (RS)    
Garrett Taylor Jr. (RS) Sr. (RS)    
John Petrishen Jr. (RS) Sr. (RS)    
Zech McPhearson So. (RS) Jr. (RS) Sr. (RS)  
Lamont Wade So. Jr. Sr. RS open
Tariq Castro-Fields So. Jr. Sr. RS open
Jonathan Sutherland Fr. (RS) So. (RS) Jr. (RS) Sr. (RS)
Donovan Johnson Fr. (RS) So. (RS) Jr. (RS) Sr. (RS)
D.J. Brown Fr. (RS) So. (RS) Jr. (RS) Sr. (RS)
Isaiah Humphries Fr. So. Jr. Sr.
Trent Gordon Fr. So. Jr. Sr.
Jordan Miner Fr. So. Jr. Sr.
Jaquan Brisker   Jr. Sr. RS open
Marquis Wilson   Fr. So. Jr.
Tyler Rudolph   Fr. So. Jr.
Keaton Ellis   Fr. So. Jr.
Totals 15 17 13 9
ST 2018 2019 2020 2021
Blake Gillikin Jr. Sr. RS open  
Jake Pinegar Fr. So. Jr. Sr.
Totals 2 2 1 1
TOTALS 86 85 64 48
AVAILABLE 0 0 21 37

Players in italics are non-binding verbal commitments

By Derek Levarse

[email protected]

Reach Derek Levarse at 570-991-6396 or on Twitter @TLdlevarse

Reach Derek Levarse at 570-991-6396 or on Twitter @TLdlevarse