4-Star RB Saquon Barkley Commits to Penn State

Alex SimsCorrespondent IIIFebruary 19, 2014

STATE COLLEGE, PA - JANUARY 11:  James Franklin, head coach of the Penn State Nittany Lions addresses the media on January 11, 2014 at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

The rebuilding process is looking promising for new Penn State Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin.

Tom VanHaaren of ESPN reported Wednesday evening that 247Sports Composite 4-star running back Saquon Barkley has committed to PSU's 2015 recruiting class.

Barkley, a 5'11", 190-pound Whitehall, Pa., native, was previously committed to Rutgers but pulled the trigger for PSU Wednesday. After his flip was announced, he thanked the Scarlet Knights' coaching staff on Twitter.

The No. 21 running back in the 247Sports Composite rankings, Barkley also claimed a scholarship offer from Pittsburgh.

Barkley has a good blend of size and speed and, with development, could become an excellent back at the next level. His highlights can be found on Hudl.

Penn State now holds verbal commitments from the No. 4 and No. 7 prospects in the state of Pennsylvania. Barkley, the No. 7 player, joins 4-star offensive tackle Ryan Bates.

The Nittany Lions have four commitments in their 2015 class. Barkley and Bates are joined by 4-star athlete Kamonte Carter and 2-star safety Jarvis Miller. The young class ranks No. 17 nationally and No. 2 in the Big Ten.

Miller took to Twitter to welcome Barkley to the class.

Penn State brought three 3-star running backs in the 2014 class: Johnathan Thomas, Nick Scott and Mark Allen.

The Nittany Lions will have some openings in their backfield going forward. PSU's top two running backs from 2013, Zach Zwinak and Bill Belton, are seniors, and the only other serious contributor at running back last year, Akeel Lynch, is a junior.

The trio combined for 2,150 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns last year. The Nittany Lions finished seventh in the Big Ten, averaging 174 rushing yards per game.