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Penn State Football: 5 Newcomers to Watch for the Nittany Lions

James Franklin

Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin is bringing in a new wave of talent to his program between a top-10 recruiting class and some key transfers

Penn State may be sending off a good amount of talent to the 2022 NFL Draft, but the Nittany Lions have plenty of new faces ready to add quality to the depth chart for this coming season as well. Penn State head coach James Franklin is widely respected for being a talented recruiter, and he may have just signed what is arguably the best signing class of his career with his latest one.

Penn State's 2022 recruiting haul is coming in with a tremendous amount of hype with some of the best players at their particular skill positions, which just so happen to be some key positions for the Nittany Lions in the next few years.

Here is a look at five of the biggest names you should be aware of that are joining the program in 2022, with a mix of help from the recruiting trail and the transfer portal.

Nicholas Singleton, RB

Arguably the biggest name to know is Singleton. The top-rated running back in the nation in the 2022 class, Singleton comes to Penn State right from the state of Pennsylvania. This is a recruit that was a must for Penn State, and he is already heading to the program with plenty of accolades including the Gatorade National High School Player of the Year and Maxwell Football Club's National Offensive High School Player of the Year. The Nittany Lions' running game was lacking in 2021, but the future of Singleton carrying the football is a big reason to be optimistic about the future of this offense.

Drew Allar, QB

Whether it happens this year or next, the player handing the ball off to Singleton will be Allar. One of the top quarterbacks in the 2022 class, Allar was named Mr. Football for the state of Ohio. He has Penn State fans eager to see what he can do with offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Mike Yurcich, although he will have to likely sit behind incumbent starter Sean Clifford, who is returning for his sixth and final year of eligibility.

Related: Early 2022 Big Ten QB Preview and Rankings

Dani Dennis-Sutton, DL

On the defensive side of the football, all eyes are on Dennis-Sutton, who has only seemed to improve his national recruiting ranking since committing to Penn State. The Nittany Lions have developed a nice track record over the years of developing defensive linemen, and Dennis-Sutton should continue that trend with his ability to bring pressure off the edge. And he could jump into a big role early on with the defensive line in some flux entering spring practice.

Mitchell Tinsley, WR

With Jahan Dotson making his next move to the NFL, the Nittany Lions needed a little help at the wide receiver position from the transfer portal. They should get it with the addition of Tinsley, who comes to Penn State after a solid tenure with WKU. Tinsley may not be able to replace Dotson alone, but combining what Tinsley can do with Parker Washington and Keandre Lambert-Smith should give Penn State a wide receiving corps fully capable of making some big plays happen with regularity.

Related: Ranking the Big Ten Transfer Classes for 2022

Hunter Nourzad, OL

Simply put, Penn State’s offensive line was a problem in 2021. The good news is the offensive line is being addressed in a big way with its early returns for next year's recruiting class, but the addition of Nourzad should provide some immediate help once he arrives on campus. A graduate transfer from FCS Cornell, Nourzad was a target in the program of several Power 5 programs and he should provide some stability in the trenches for the Nittany Lions.

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— Written by Kevin McGuire, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Follow him on Twitter @KevinOnCFB, on Instagram, and Like him on Facebook.