BREAKING: Penn State lands Zane Durant, four-star DT from Florida
Penn State's commitment surge has continued in a big way.
On Sunday afternoon, the Lions landed Zane Durant, a four-star defensive tackle prospect from Florida who was trending toward an in-state school until he wasn't.
Durant, who stands 6-foot-1, 260 pounds, took an official visit to State College about two weeks ago and put the Lions in his top three by the time it was over.
Miami had the last chance to host Durant, and many thought that trip would seal the deal, but evidently, it did not overcome the memories of Beaver Stadium, the Lasch Building, in-person meetings with head coach James Franklin and the staff, plus other parts of campus.
"I committed to Penn State because of the family atmosphere," Durant said. "I love the vibe up there. Why not Penn State? Their whole staff really bonded with me and my family while I was up there, so I felt like it was only right to commit to Penn State."
Durant, who plays at Lake Nona High in Orlando, Fla., had 15 reported offers, but his recruitment mainly focused on the Lions, Hurricanes, Indiana, Tennessee and Central Florida.
According to MaxPreps, Durant made 40 tackles over eight games as a junior, including a whopping 15.5 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks. Over three seasons at the varsity level, he has amassed 103 tackles (60 solos) 29 tackles for loss, and 9.5 sacks.
His HUDL tape also shows his athleticism, as its first highlight features Durant scooping up a fumble and rumbling to the end zone for a touchdown. He's exactly the kind of twitchy tackle position coach John Scott Jr., seeks.
“Coach Scott is a real genuine man and he’s put guys into the NFL. He has a history of developing defensive linemen and getting them to reach their best,” Durant said following his official visit. “Some of them have even gone to the NFL in the first round. He was comparing me to Kevin Givens, who’s a former Penn State defensive lineman who went to the San Francisco 49ers. They think I’m a great fit for them at the three-technique. I also like Coach [Deion] Barnes. He’s my dog. He used to play at Penn State and then went to the NFL. We relate well.”
Durant is the third prospect to commit to Penn State in the past three days, as offensive lineman JB Nelson committed on Friday, followed by Philadelphia native and three-star linebacker Keon Wylie yesterday.
Overall, Durant is the 15th prospect to join the Nittany Lions' Class of 2022. He's the first defensive tackle in the class, but that may not last for long, as New York City native Kaleb Artis is scheduled to end his recruitment later this evening. The Nittany Lions are considered the favorite. Throughout the year, we expected Penn State to take just two defensive tackles in this class, but with Michigan native and Rivals250 prospect Alex VanSumeran still undecided, it's possible that the staff could add a third.
The Nittany Lions also moved up one spot in the Rivals Team Rankings to No. 7 overall.
- Blue-White Illustrated's Ryan Snyder contributed to this report
• Talk about this article inside The Lions Den
• Watch our videos and subscribe to our YouTube channel
• Learn more about our print and digital publication, Blue-White Illustrated
• Follow us on Instagram
• Like us on Facebook