Penn State Football Recruiting Receives Big Boost from NFL Draft

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NittanyCentral is home for the latest Penn State Football, Penn State Wrestling, Penn State Basketball news, updates, and analysis of the Penn State Nittany Lions

NittanyCentral is home for the latest Penn State Football, Penn State Wrestling, Penn State Basketball news, updates, and analysis of the Penn State Nittany Lions

The latest news, insight, and analysis of Penn State Football, Penn State Wrestling, and Penn State Basketball, including schedules, game results, analysis of breaking news, rumors, speculation, and recruiting coverage of future Penn State Nittany Lions

NittanyCentral is home to the latest Penn State Nittany Lions news, updates, insight, and analysis, including in-depth coverage of Penn State Football, Penn State Wrestling, Penn State Basketball, and much more

Penn State Football Recruiting Receives Big Boost from NFL Draft

Penn State Football was one of the big winners of the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft Thursday night.

Offensive tackle Olu Fashanu went No. 11 overall to the New York Jets, while defensive end Chop Robinson was the 21st overall pick to the Miami Dolphins.

Penn State Football, James Franklin,
Penn State Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin (Mandatory Credit: Matthew O’Haren-USA TODAY Sports)

The Nittany Lions joined Alabama, Washington, LSU, Texas and Georgia as the only programs with multiple players taken on Thursday night. Great company to be in.

On the surface, this is already a massive boost for Penn State’s recruiting efforts, but as you dig deeper, it’s an even bigger deal.


How Olu Fashanu, Chop Robinson Bolster Bolster Penn State Football Recruiting

Penn State Football, Olu Fashanu
Penn State Football OT Olu Fashanu (Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire)

These two selections were important to Fashanu and Robinson’s position coaches at Penn State, because it was the first time both coaches put a player in the first round of the NFL Draft while members of the Penn State staff.

Offensive line coach Phil Trautwein put in a lot of effort over the last four seasons to take Penn State’s offensive line from below average to now a respectable unit. He’s had draft picks before, but Fashanu is his first, first round selection at Penn State.

This shows the strides Trautwein and his unit have made over the years. Now, Trautwein can walk into the living room of a high-profile recruit and say he’s put a former player into the first round of the NFL Draft.

For defensive line coach Deion Barnes, his return on investment came a little quicker.

This past season was Barnes’ first as the defensive line coach at Penn State and in year one he helps a player get selected in the top 25 of the NFL Draft. Yes, Robinson was already on his way, but Barnes helped him get to the finish line with a monster 2023 season.

With Barnes being a young and new position coach, you can understand if recruits would have some reservations about his ability to development them, but Robinson’s draft status should help put those doubts to bed.

Penn State’s recruiting overall should see a boost from this, but two position coaches at two keys positions now have some serious validation next to their respective names.

MORE: Predicting Where Each Nittany Lion Will Land in The NFL Draft

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Alec Whitaker
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