Penn State is well on its way to signing a terrific Class of 2023 that will add plenty of quality players to the depth chart after managing to pull a significant Class of 2022. One of the key factors in the recruiting success in Happy Valley can be credited to one of the newer members of the coaching staff, Alan Zemaitis.
Zemaitis officially returned to Penn State as an assistant recruiting coordinator in March 2021. He returned to his alma mater, where he previously was a cornerback for the Nittany Lions and a three-time All-Big Ten player. Since then, Penn State’s recruiting has been on fire, and perhaps that is not a coincidence.
Kenny Sanders, Penn State’s director of player personnel, took to his Twitter account on Saturday after another major four-star commitment to the Class of 2023 to praise the work being done by Zemaitis on the recruiting staff.
“My man [Alan Zemaitis] has everything covered from A to Z,” Sanders said. “Lockdown CB, lockdown recruiter. I challenge you to find someone better.”
The praise from Sanders was validated by an analysis on Penn State’s most recent commitment of four-star safety DaKaari Nelson out of Alabama from Sean Fitz, formerly of 247Sports.
“Alan Zemaitis was huge in the DaKaari Nelson commitment,” Fitz said on his Twitter account. “Has really made a mark as one of Penn State’s best recruiters since his arrival early last year.”
Penn State head coach James Franklin has done a solid job of improving the recruiting that Penn State has been doing since being named the head coach of the Nittany Lions, and his recruiting classes have tended to be among the best in the Big Ten with Ohio State the only school consistently ranking higher among in the recruiting rankings. Since the hiring of Zemaitis, Penn State has pulled in a top 10 recruiting class in 2022 and is looking to be on pace for another top 10 class in 2023.
In the era of recruiting rankings, Penn State has never had back-to-back top 10 recruiting classes.
So yes, maybe Zemaitis has helped raise the bar significantly with his recruiting planning and strategy for the entire staff. The evidence is certainly there even if it is still a relatively small sample size. But back-to-back top 10 recruiting classes don’t happen by accident, and it has never happened before in State College. Perhaps this isn’t a coincidence.
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