Football: Manalapan’s Saeed Blacknall Flips to Penn State After Being Committed to Rutgers
Manalapan senior wide receiver Saeed Blacknall, who had been verbally committed to Rutgers since August, announced on Twitter Sunday night that he has changed his mind and is now going to commit to Penn State with National Signing Day looming on Feb. 5.
Blacknall took a surprise unofficial visit to Happy Valley a week earlier, where he was hosted by Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg. Blacknall had a pre-existing relationship with new Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin and his staff, who had recruited him at Vanderbilt. He becomes the fourth wideout in Penn State's current class, joining De'Andre Thompkins, Chris Godwin and Troy Apke.
Blacknall took his official visit to Rutgers this weekend, but announced on Sunday night that he had flipped to Penn State. Rutgers lost offensive coordinator Ron Prince, who joined the staff of the Detroit Lions on Jan. 18, and also has uncertainties at quarterback, where returner Gary Nova was benched this past season and no high-profile recruit at that position is part of this current class.
Four-star quarterback recruit Tyler Wiegers from Michigan de-committed from Rutgers in November, one of 11 de-commits from this current class for the Scarlet Knights.
A four-star recruit, Blacknall was the highest-rated remaining member of the Rutgers class before switching to Penn State. His de-commitment is the latest blow to an embattled recruiting class for Rutgers as the Scarlet Knights get set to join the Big Ten this fall.
He now joins fellow Shore Sports Network first-team All-Shore selection Mike Gesicki from Southern among the incoming class for the Nittany Lions, giving Penn State the top two receivers from the Shore Conference senior class. Gesicki played wideout for the Rams but is one of the top tight end recruits in the country.
Blacknall will be down in Austin, Texas, at the time of National Signing Day because he will be playing for Team USA in the International Bowl on Feb. 7.