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 offensive lineman Bryce Effner, who is ranked as the No. 46 offensive tackle prospect in the nation by Rivals.
School: Metea Valley (Ill.) HS
Projected position: Offensive tackle
Ranking: Three stars by 247sports, Rivals.com and ESPN
Status: Signed LOI, expected to enroll Summer 2018
Other offers: Ball State, Bowling Green. Buffalo, Central Michigan, Colorado State, Duke, Kansas, Kansas State, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Purdue, Syracuse, Toledo, Western Michigan, Wyoming.
Projection: Effner is an interesting prospect. The big-program offers generally weren’t there for him, outside of the one he took, and the general consensus with him is that he is a three-star player. And really, on film, he doesn’t explode off the screen the way some of the big-name offensive tackle prospects in most classes do.
At the same time, you also feel after watching enough of that film that most of the doubts you have about his game are nitpicks. His technique is really good. His feet are always moving, but could be better. He is not the most athletic tackle prospect in the 2018 class, but he’s far from the worst, as his testing results indicate (5.5-second 40, 24.9-inch vertical jump). Is he going to play immediately for Penn State? Probably not. It might take him a few years to even crack the two-deep. But, there’s something to this kid, and the way Penn State has developed prospects in the weight room, he’s certainly a decent bet to be a contributor at some point by the end of his redshirt sophomore season. By 2021, when Will Fries’ career will be wrapped up, Effner has the raw tools to be there to take his place.