As part of National Letter of Intent Signing Day, Times Shamrock newspapers’ Penn State football beat writer Donnie Collins is breaking down every member of Penn State’s 2018 recruiting class. This is a look at kicker Jake Pinegar, who is ranked as the No. 6 kicker prospect in the nation by 247sports.
School: Ankeny (Iowa) Centennial HS
Projected position: Kicker
Ranking: Three stars by 247sports and ESPN; Two stars by Rivals.com
Status: Signed LOI in December; expected to enroll Summer 2018
Other offers: Bowling Green, Indiana, Northern Illinois, Western Illinois
Projection: Kickers can be difficult to figure sometimes, as it seems teams are often as likely to get a good one from a walk-on tryout as they are a scholarship. But this is a position Penn State badly needs to fill, and Pinegar will be in the mix this fall. He made 9 of his 13 field goal attempts as a senior, with two coming from 60 yards. So clearly, he has a strong leg, and he regularly can boot the ball through the end zone, which would be an improvement for the Nittany Lions. Pinegar also seems able to kick the ball directionally. What he really has working for him is that he’s a terrific athlete. He was an Iowa all-State honoree as a defensive back, and he also owns school records in the long jump and high jump. Kickers don’t tend to develop (or in some cases fall back to the pack) until they start to focus exclusively on the craft, which Pinegar will do for the first time when he gets on campus this summer. He’ll be interesting to watch in camp and should at least get a look as a kickoff man. He’ll compete with Carson Landis for the starting job, with the most consistent performer in camp getting the nod.