Four-star DT flips from Florida to Penn State

There was a buzz coming into this weekend that Penn State might get a high-profile defensive lineman to switch his commitment from a program in the south to the Nittany Lions.

They did. It just wasn’t the recruit most people were expecting.

Fred Hansard, the 6-foot-3, 305-pound four-star tackle from the Hun School in Princeton, N.J. flipped to Penn State after taking an official visit to University Park on Sunday. Hansard previously had committed to Florida.

He is the 15th member in a 2017 Nittany Lion recruiting class that figures to eventually wind up with about 20 members. Hansard also fills a big need for true size on the defensive interior.

Although Hansard has been linked to Penn State for a couple of years, the Nittany Lions seemed to be devoting most of their focus at the position to New Jersey’s Dalyn Wade-Perry and Virginia’s Elijah Conliffe until Hansard made an unofficial visit to see Penn State host Iowa on Nov. 5. Last week, it came out that he was going to follow up with an official.

According to recruiting websites that cover Penn State, James Franklin and his coaching staff made a big impression on Hansard’s family. The Lions were one of the finalists along with Rutgers and Tennessee when Hansard originally committed to Florida on Aug. 26.

A defensive end at Hun, Hansard also had offers from Alabama, Ohio State, Michigan, Pitt, Southern Cal, Miami, Mississippi, Georgia, Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan State, Mississippi State, UCLA and Virginia Tech, among others.

Hansard is a top-200 national prospect and the 11th-best defensive tackle in this class according to 247Sports composite ratings. Scout.com’s Brian Dohn describes Hansard as an “explosive” defensive lineman who gets upfield quickly.

“He changes direction well, uses his length and can disengage and chase down plays from behind,” Dohn wrote in an online evaluation. “He has the size and center of gravity to be a run-stopper.”

Hansard is considered a player who still is a little on the raw side but who has undeniable upside. He apparently showed a lot of commitment by dropping about 20 pounds and improving his conditioning for this season.

Penn State already had gotten a verbal commitment from the No. 1 tight end in the 2018 class, Camp Hill’s Zack Kuntz, on Saturday before its 45-12 win over Michigan State.

Hansard was one of four official visitors in this weekend, including Maryland five-star defensive end Josh Kaindoh. Kaindoh, who has played the last two years at IMG Academy in Florida, is committed to Maryland, but he still is being pursued by Penn State, Alabama and Florida State.

A number of recruiting analysts over the last week have predicted Kaindoh would flip from the Terrapins to the Nittany Lions.

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