Penn State head coach James Franklin is working his way through the ESPN car wash up in Bristol, Connecticut today. Somewhere along the way he probably received a phone call that will have him beaming. Class of 2016 five-star defensive end Shane Simmons verbally committed to Penn State this afternoon, choosing the Nittany Lions over Florida State, Alabama and Big Ten (division) rivals Ohio State and Maryland, according to 247 Sports.
That last part is significant because Simmons comes from DeMatha Catholic in Hyattsville, Maryland, one of the top high school programs in the state. Getting one of the top players out of Maryland is a win for Penn State in recruiting turf wars with Maryland, but it is also a stomping ground for current Ohio State defensive line coach Larry Johnson, who thrived in the area while at Penn State.
Simmons is ranked No. 25 in the Rivals 100, which was released this week. 247 Sports rates Simmons with five stars (four stars on the composite rankings), but Rivals has him at four stars. Regardless, Simmons is viewed as one of the top players in the state of Maryland, and he has quite the recruiting profile building up already. Simmons is now Penn State’s second commit appearing on the Rivals 100, joining running back Miles Sanders (No. 42).
Looking at his timeline on 247, Simmons received an offer from Notre Dame last week and Georgia a few weeks before that. He visited Penn State for a camp in late Jume, followed by an unofficial visit to Ohio State the next day.