Fight for the Future: Penn State Football and SEC Heavyweight Battle for Elite Recruit

Penn State Football, James Franklin
Penn State Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin leads his team to the field (Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire)

Penn State Football finds itself in the middle of one of the best recruiting battles of the 2024 cycle.

Jamonta Waller, a 5-star outside linebacker from Mississippi, dropped his top ten list of schools on Saturday afternoon and the Nittany Lions made the cut.

What makes this list interesting is that Penn State is the only non-SEC team on Waller’s list. The other schools include Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Auburn, Ole Miss, Miss State, South Carolina, Texas A&M and Tennessee.


BREAKING: Elite 2024 LB Jamonta Waller is down to 🔟 Schools!

The 6’2 230 LB from Picayune, MS is ranked as a Top 80 Player in the ‘24 Class

Where Should He Go?👇🏽

— Hayes Fawcett (@Hayesfawcett3) May 13, 2023


On the surface, it seems impossible for Penn State to win a recruiting battle like this, but not so fast.

How Penn State Football Can Beat SEC’s Best On Recruiting Trail

The fact that Penn State Football is the only northern school, and non-SEC team on the list, says that Waller’s interest in the Nittany Lions is real.

Penn State is the only school in the country Waller would consider leaving the South for.

Additionally, Waller already has an official visit lined up to Happy Valley on June 9. According to 247 Sports, Waller will also visit Auburn, Georgia and Florida in June. With there no longer being a limit on how many official visits a recruit can take, he may pop up on the campus of some of his other finalists down the road.

This official visit will be James Franklin and Manny Diaz’s chance to sell Waller on being the next great one from LBU.

Cowboys star Micah Parsons has been a massive selling point for the program lately and now Abdul Carter is as well.

With Curtis Jacobs likely moving on after the 2023 season, and the likelihood Carter leaves after the 2024 season, Penn State can sell Waller on early playing time as well.

This will be a battle, but Penn State Football has a chance to pull off the upset here.

Penn State Football
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Alec Whitaker
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Alec Whitaker

Alec Whitaker is a 2021 graduate of Penn State University earning a BA in Journalism and a minor in History. He is an avid sports fan and spends his free time co-hosting podcasts on his YouTube channel, Whitaker Media. Prior to arriving at NittanyCentral, Whitaker covered Penn State Football and Penn State Football recruiting for, part of the FanSided network.