football Edit

Penn State adds Lackawanna OL JB Nelson to Class of 2022

Penn State's pipeline from Lackawanna College in Scranton, Pa., continued Friday with the addition of offensive lineman JB Nelson.

Likely to play guard at the next level, Nelson has been on Penn State's radar since his time at Mt. Lebanon High School outside Pittsburgh, but he ultimately had to do a few classes at a junior college before taking that next step. He had the opportunity to attend another powerhouse juco in Garden City, which is located in Kansas, but like so many others in Pennsylvania, he ended up taking classes at Lackawanna in the fall, albeit at home and online due to the pandemic.

Nelson didn't actually arrive on campus until the end of January, and all it took was about a dozen practices for him to not only win the starting job, but beat out a returning starter. Although he played in just two games during the spring, that was enough to grab Penn State's attention. Then, when he performed well at the Whiteout Camp back on June 6, it was clear to James Franklin and Phil Trautwein that they had to extend an offer.

Evaluation: Breaking down OL JB Nelson's film

Penn State football started recruiting JB Nelson after its Whiteout Camp in June.
Penn State added its 13th commitment Friday in junior college offensive lineman JB Nelson.

“The Lackawanna connection was one big part of it," Nelson said, when asked why he committed to Penn State. "I know they’ve been great with Lackawanna players. Another part is just that I had a talk with my whole family about it, and they all want me to go there. My mom really liked the school. She really liked the coaches and we both felt like it felt at home there. The coaches were very genuine, and I really liked the campus and everything.”

Nelson ran a 5.2-second 40-yard dash at that camp, in addition to an even more impressive shuttle time at 4.7 seconds. At 6-foot-5, 320 pounds, there are no questions regarding his athleticism.

On top of that, he and his teammate, safety Tyrece Mills, who committed to Penn State at the beginning of May, will have four seasons to play three at the next level. That made it even easier for the Nittany Lion staff to pursue his commitment.

As mentioned previously, Penn State showed interest in 2019, and even hosted him for a visit that March. West Virginia was another school who was seriously interested in Nelson coming out of high school. The Mountaineers remained interested up until now, hosting him for a camp a few days before he did the same at Penn State. Nelson also traveled to Ole Miss. Overall, he earned five scholarship offers, with Maryland and N.C. State being the other two programs.

Penn State's class is now up to 13 commitments with three offensive linemen. Nelson joins two projected offensive tackles, Drew Shelton and Maleek McNeil.


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