Penn State coach James Franklin knows the old saying, "You win some, you lose some," and fortunately for him, he is winning more than he’s losing, especially when it comes to bringing three- and four-star players out of Michigan to Happy Valley.
After losing former four-star offensive tackle Grant Toutant from Warren DeLaSalle — he de-committed from Penn State last month and flipped to Ohio State — Oak Park four-star defensive back Enzo Jennings committed to Penn State last month.
Then, East Kentwood 6-foot-6, 240-pound defensive end Bryce Mostella committed to Penn State over Fourth of July weekend.
Mostella, ranked No. 14 on The News Top 25 list for the upcoming season, took an official visit to Penn State in early June. His lone other official visit was to Iowa. He had 22 offers, including Michigan and Ohio State, but not Auburn where his father, Marcellus was an All-SEC linebacker during the mid-1990s.
“One of the big reasons I decided on Penn State was the way I felt about the coaches,” Mostella said. “I felt like they were people I could trust implicitly, like just regardless of anything, and I felt like there was a really genuine family atmosphere and not just between the players, but between the coaches and each other. And, of course the history and tradition speak for itself, so I just felt like it was the best fit for me.”
What makes Franklin stand out?
“He’s high energy, which is great, and he has a great way of understanding us kids,” Mostella said. “He knows how we want to play the game and he knows how the game is supposed to be played and how he can mix that perfectly.”
Mostella put on some weight since last summer.
“There’s that strength aspect, and I feel like I’ve gotten faster, but my biggest thing would probably be technique,” Mostella said. “Like in these past few years I don’t believe I had the right pass rush moves like I should have. I kind of just got off the ball and hoped I got to the quarterback in time.
“In the summer I’ve worked on my technique a lot. What I ended up doing is looking up pass rusher’s moves and then working on them consistently.
"I can see myself getting a lot better.”
Three-star recruits in Flint Beecher defensive back/receiver Earnest Sanders (No. 18, Kentucky), Farmington linebacker Jordan Turner (No. 20, Wisconsin) and Southfield A&T quarterback Anthony Romphf (No. 21, Florida Atlantic) also committed in recent weeks, leaving just three seniors in The News' Top 25 left to commit.
West Bloomfield four-star safety Makari Paige (No. 5) plans to make his choice later this month with Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan and Kentucky among his final schools. Oak Park receiver Maliq Carr (No. 10) will make his decision during this fall when he will pick between Michigan, Georgia, LSU, Auburn and Purdue. And Detroit King tackle Deondre Buford (No. 17) said he plans to set some official visits next month.
The News Top 25
1. Justin Rogers, 6-3, 290, Sr., OT/DT, Oak Park (Kentucky)
2. Braiden McGregor, 6-5, 250, Sr., DE, Port Huron Northern (Michigan)
3. Enzo Jennings, 6-1, 190, Sr., Athlete, Oak Park (Penn State)
4. Garrett Dellinger, 6-6, 265, Jr., OT/DT, Clarkston (10 offers, including Notre Dame, Alabama, UM, MSU)
5. Makari Paige, 6-3, 190, Sr., S, West Bloomfield (Ohio State, UM, Penn State, Kentucky)
6. Rocco Spindler, 6-5, 255, Jr., OT/DT, Clarkston (13 offers, including Notre Dame, UM, Alabama, MSU)
7. Damon Payne, 6-3, 290, Jr., OT/DT, Belleville (22 offers)
8. Cameron Martinez, 5-11, 180, Sr., QB, Muskegon (Ohio State)
9. Rayshawn Williams, 6-1, 185, Sr., Detroit King (Indiana)
10. Maliq Carr, 6-4, 230, Sr., WR/TE, Oak Park (UM, Georgia, Auburn, LSU, Purdue)
11. Andre Seldon, 5-9, 160, Sr., CB, Belleville (Michigan)
12. Peny Boone, 6-2, 225, Sr., RB, Detroit King (Maryland)
13. Grant Toutant, 6-6, 315, Sr., OT, Warren DeLaSalle (Ohio State)
14. Bryce Mostella, 6-6, 235, Sr., DE, East Kentwood (Penn State)
15. Cornell Wheeler, 6-1, 220, Sr., LB, West Bloomfield (Michigan)
16. Abdur-Rahmaan Yaseen, 6-1, 180, Sr., WR, Walled Lake Western (Northwestern)
17. Deondre Buford, 6-5, 265, Sr., OT, Detroit King (30 offers)
18. Earnest Sanders, 6-2, 195, Sr., WR, Flint Beecher (Kentucky)
19. Ian Stewart, 6-3, 200, Sr., WR, Gibraltar Carlson (Michigan State)
20. Jordan Turner, 6-3, 220, Sr., LB, Farmington (Wisconsin)
21. Anthony Romphf, 6-0, 180, Sr., QB, Southfield A&T (Florida Atlantic)
22. Dallas Fincher, 6-4, 280, Sr., G/T, East Kentwood (Michigan State)
23. Devell Washington, 6-4, 215, Sr., WR, Bay City Central (West Virginia)
24. Josh Priebe, 6-5, 280, Sr., G/T, Edwardsburg (Northwestern)
25. Donovan Edwards, 5-11, 190, Jr., RB, West Bloomfield (30 offers)