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 tight end Pat Freiermuth, who is ranked as the No. 6 tight end prospect in the nation by 247sports.
School: Brooks School (Mass.)
Projected position: Tight end
Ranking: Four stars by 247sports, Rivals.com and ESPN
Status: Signed LOI in December, expected to enroll Summer 2018
Other offers: Boston College, Duke, LSU, Maryland, UMass, Missouri, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Rutgers, Syracuse, Toledo, Wake Forest
Projection: One of the big questions for Penn State heading into the fall is who will step in at tight end for Mike Gesicki, because the sense here is that the Nittany Lions don’t really know exactly what they have there. After all, Gesicki took just about every meaningful snap the past two seasons. Freiermuth is the second big tight end recruit Penn State has gotten from New England in the last three recruiting classes (joining Danny Dalton), but he might be the best pure prospect James Franklin has landed at the position during his career with the program. Freiermuth is not a great blocker yet, but he’s a very willing one, and as a receiver, he has potential to grow into a solid one. He can go up and get a jump ball, and he makes the tough catches in traffic. He has good hands for a big player, and he blocks better than someone who is primarily a receiver. He’s not like Gesicki (who was?) but Freiermuth is going to be no worse than a decent tight end in the Big Ten, and potentially a top-level one. That said, it would be easy to see him contributing immediately if he was on campus for spring semester. He’s not, and he’ll need some time to hit the weights and learn the system. He might be a factor later in the 2018 season, but I couldn’t blame Penn State for holding off until 2019 to see what he can do in game action.