Franklin picks up another star recruit

It’s fast becoming an issue more of who won’t be in the 2015 Penn State football class than who will be.

Spots are filling up fast.

Another slot was filled on Saturday when Washington, D.C. St. John’s defensive back Ayron Monroe became the 16th rising high school senior to commit to James Franklin and the Nittany Lions.

It was the third commitment of the week for the Lions, who got Baldwin offensive tackle Sterling Jenkins and New Jersey quarterback Brandon Wimbush on Tuesday.


The 6-foot, 197-pound Monroe could play either safety or cornerback, but it appears he is more likely to play safety. If he stays there, he’ll be the second safety in this class, joining Connecticut’s Jarvis Miller, and probably will close the book on that position for the Lions in 2015.

Because of NCAA sanctions, Penn State is limited to 80 scholarships next year and is looking at 20 recruits in this class. The Lions, though, still are interested in bringing in at least two cornerbacks – Central Valley’s Jordan Whitehead and St. Joseph’s John Reid appear to be the primary targets – along with another defensive tackle, at least one more offensive lineman and probably another linebacker.

The number of available scholarships could increase in a number of ways. The most likely is that a few players on the current roster leave the team between now and signing day.

Monroe was part of a Cadet defense that held opponents to 11 points per game last season as St. John’s made it all the way to the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference championship game.

“My goal is to always make plays, interceptions and key tackles and as the team rallies around that, it contributes to a complete effort in our goal of winning a championship,” Monroe told the Washington Post in an interview earlier this spring.

Monroe, who reportedly runs a sub-4.5-second 40-yard dash, also is the latest product of the pipeline from the Prime Xample defensive back school and Penn State. Roman Morris, father of former Penn State corner Stephon Morris, is one of the instructors at Prime Xample, which currently has several of its former students on the Lion roster.

Maryland, where Monroe’s brother, Andre, plays, probably was Penn State’s biggest competition in getting Monroe’s pledge. A consensus three-star prospect, he also had offers from Auburn, Mississippi State, Virginia, Georgia Tech, Nebraska, Iowa and Boston College, among others.