Penn State Football: Jake Cooper and Ryan Buchholz Commit to Nittany Lions

Alex SimsCorrespondent IIIFebruary 24, 2014

Jake Cooper (center) and Ryan Buchholz (not pictured) committed to Penn State Monday.
Jake Cooper (center) and Ryan Buchholz (not pictured) committed to Penn State Monday.Credit: 247Sports

New head coach James Franklin and the Penn State Nittany Lions have continued their fantastic February on the recruiting trail with another pair of commitments for the class of 2015.

Ryan Snyder of Rivals tweeted Monday afternoon that 3-star defensive end Ryan Buchholz and 3-star linebacker Jake Cooper have verbally committed to PSU.

Buchholz is the No. 26 strong-side defensive end in 247Sports' Composite rankings, while Cooper comes in as the No. 27 inside linebacker.

As Synder suggested, their commitments don't come as a shock to those familiar with their recruitment. Both prospects showed 100 percent of their 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions for Penn State.

Buchholz—a 6'6", 230-pound, Malvern, Pa., product—chose to head to Happy Valley over offers from Maryland, Northwestern, Pittsburgh, West Virginia, Vanderbilt and others. Cooper, a 6'2", 230-pounder from Warminster, Pa., showed a similar offer list.

Buchholz, who tallied 70 tackles and 10 sacks as a junior, told Sean Fitz of 247Sports that his comfort with Franklin and his new staff sealed the deal during his junior day visit:

It's just everything. How close it it, the coaching staff. I even told Coach Franklin last time that I wasn't as comfortable with the last staff, but with his staff I feel more comfortable and a lot better with them.

It's just a combination of everything, basically.

They make six commitments for Penn State's 2015 class, all of which have announced in the last nine days. PSU's top rated commit is 4-star offensive tackle Ryan Bates, a high school teammate of Cooper at Archbishop Wood.

Cooper is the first linebacker in the class, while PSU claims a commitment from 4-star athlete Kamonte Carter, who will likely play along the defensive front with Buchholz at the next level.

PSU now boasts the No. 1 class in the Big Ten and the 14th-best group in the nation early in the 2015 recruiting period, per 247Sports' Composite Rankings.