Penn State adds another Lackawanna College player in OL Anthony Whigan

By Derek Levarse - [email protected]
Whigan - Lackawanna College
- Lackawanna College

Even if Penn State hadn’t just lost a promising freshman on the offensive line, Anthony Whigan would have been a big addition to the 2019 recruiting class.

But now that Nana Asiedu is officially retired from football due to medical reasons, a commitment from Whigan became critical.

The Nittany Lions got it on Tuesday.

Whigan continued Penn State’s strong relationship with Lackawanna College and Hall of Fame coach Mark Duda by becoming the second Falcons player to pledge to the Lions this year.

“I’m blessed to say that I’ve committed to the Pennsylvania State University!” Whigan wrote on Twitter a little over a week after he visited campus for the Lions’ annual Lasch Bash recruiting event.

He joins teammate Jaquan Brisker, who committed to Penn State in May, in the 2019 class, which has quickly swelled to 16 players.

Both Whigan and Brisker will play their sophomore season this fall at Lackawanna and then arrive at Penn State as juniors with three years to play two seasons of eligibility.

The 6-foot-5, 290-pound Whigan is the highest-rated prospect on the roster this season for Lackawanna, a program which has produced no shortage of Division I talent. A four-star recruit in the 247Sports Composite rankings, Whigan is listed as the nation’s No. 3 junior college tackle prospect and No. 13 overall among JUCO players.

The addition of Whigan helps fill the hole from some early losses on the offensive line, chief among them being Asiedu.

A four-star prospect who also projected as a tackle, Asiedu — who just signed with Penn State in December — was forced to quit the game because of a genetic heart condition. Another lineman, Robbie Martin, also left the team this offseason after redshirting as a freshman in 2017.

Whigan himself wasn’t sure what the future held for him in football after not receiving any major scholarship offers during his time at Great Mills High School in Maryland. But schools that came up to Scranton last fall to check out another offensive lineman — Falcons teammate T.J. Bradley, who signed with Maryland — came away impressed.

By the time Whigan committed on Tuesday, he had offers from the likes of Oklahoma, Louisville, Maryland and South Carolina, his other finalists.

“Not too long ago, I didn’t know if I was ever going to play this game I love again,” Whigan wrote. “I would like to thank my family and friends for always being there for me. You’ve all played a big part in me getting to this point.

“I want to give a big thanks to the coaches and teachers here at Lackawanna College for giving me another chance. You guys have took my game to another level on and off the field.”

It’s the second time under James Franklin that the Lions have brought in a tackle prospect from Lackawanna, having signed Paris Palmer back in the 2015 class.

That was under far different circumstances for Penn State, however. With offensive line the thinnest spot on the roster at that time, Palmer was asked to start immediately in the 2015 season and struggled with the task. He fared much better when he stepped into the lineup midway through 2016 before a knee injury cut his season short.

Whigan may be better suited to play right away when he arrives for 2019, but the Lions’ improved depth should mean that it won’t be a necessity.

Franklin has said multiple times this summer that the offensive line is now in the best shape its been during his five years with the program.

And the Lions’ recent recruiting surge has also helped the unit for the future.

With Whigan’s commitment, Penn State has added three new offensive linemen in the past 15 days. Zachary Franks joined up on Thursday and Saleem Wormley came on board July 23.

Those three join Caedan Wallace, a top-100 overall recruit who pledged at the Blue-White Game in April, meaning the Lions’ recruiting up front for this cycle is most likely finished — barring any surprises down the road.

Altogether, Penn State has added seven recruits — Whigan, Franks, Wormley, quarterback Michael Johnson Jr., linebacker Lance Dixon and wide receivers John Dunmore and Emery Simmons — since the start of July. That has lifted the Lions to No. 11 nationally in the Composite team rankings, nudging them just ahead of Michigan for No. 2 in the Big Ten behind Ohio State.

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.
Michael Johnson Jr. Fr. So. Jr.
Ta’Quan Roberson Fr. So. Jr.
Totals 5 6 5 4
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.
John Dunmore Fr. So. Jr.
Emery Simmons Fr. So. Jr.
Totals 9 10 8 8
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.
Juice Scruggs Fr. So. Jr. Sr.
Bryce Effner Fr. So. Jr. Sr.
Anthony Whigan Jr. Sr. RS open
Caedan Wallace Fr. So. Jr.
Saleem Wormley Fr. So. Jr.
Zachary Franks Fr. So. Jr.
Totals 14 17 13 9
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)
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 18 18 14 8
LB 2018 2019 2020 2021
Koa Farmer Sr. (RS)
Manny Bowen Sr. RS open
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.
Lance Dixon Fr. So. Jr.
Totals 11 10 8 7
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
Kyle Vasey Sr. (RS)
Blake Gillikin Jr. Sr. RS open
Jake Pinegar Fr. So. Jr. Sr.
Totals 3 2 1 1
TOTALS 85 89 68 51
AVAILABLE 0 0 17 34

Players in italics are non-binding verbal commitments

Whigan Lackawanna College College

By Derek Levarse

[email protected]