Cotton Bowl Classic, Penn State vs Memphis, James Franklin

Penn State head coach James Franklin walks around the field at AT&T Stadium ahead of the Cotton Bowl against Memphis on Dec. 28, 2019.

After months of uncertainty regarding how sports would be played this fall, all levels of football are back at some capacity — meaning some Penn State recruits have taken the field for their high schools.

Certain states, such as Maryland, aren’t fielding any fall sports this fall, so players like 4-star offensive tackle Landon Tengwall and 4-star safety Zakee Wheatley won’t be adding to their highlight reels anytime soon.

But a handful of future Nittany Lions have played, demonstrating their potential at the next level with some star performances early in their seasons.

Here are some of the top storylines for Penn State commits and targets from the past weekend of high school football.

Mehki Flowers (2022 4-star WR, Steelton-Highspire High School, Pennsylvania)

In the first game of his junior season, Mehki Flowers came out of the gates strong for Steelton-Highspire.

Playing both offense and defense for the Steamrollers against Newport High School, it didn’t take long for Flowers to get on the board — scoring his first touchdown of the season on a reception in the first half.

Flowers would go on to score another touchdown by halftime and finished the game with three receiving touchdowns on seven receptions.

A 4-star wide receiver and the fifth-ranked prospect in Pennsylvania in the class of 2022 according to the 247Sports composite rating, Flowers is projected to choose Penn State over Nebraska, Pittsburgh and Virginia Tech, among others.

With big-play ability and the willingness to strive for the endzone each time he catches the ball, Flowers posted a picture on Twitter that personifies his talent level compared to the defense he faced on Friday.

Peace out.

Kaden Saunders (2022 4-star WR, Westerville South High School, Ohio)

Another wide receiver in the class of 2022, Kaden Saunders already knows where he’ll be spending his college career.

Saunders committed to Penn State on July 25 and is the only wideout currently in the Nittany Lions’ next recruiting cycle.


Out of Westerville, Ohio, Saunders helped Westerville South defeat rival Westerville North on Friday by a score of 32-28.

The Wildcats were down by three with just under two minutes to go in the affair before Saunders did his part in driving his team down the field, eventually resulting in a Westerville South touchdown to keep the team’s undefeated season alive through three games.

Boasting a .9307 247Sports composite rating, Saunders is the 19th-ranked wide receiver and the seventh-ranked prospect out of Ohio in the class of 2022.

Saunders’ next chance to lengthen his highlight reel will be on Friday against Dublin Scioto High School.

Rodney McGraw (2021 3-star DE, Elkhart High School, Indiana)

A few months ago, the status of Rodney McGraw’s senior season was in jeopardy with the coronavirus pandemic stripping sports away for multiple weeks.

Now, though, McGraw is back to doing what he does best — wreaking havoc in the backfield.

In Elkhart’s third game of the 2020 campaign against South Bend Washington, McGraw was a defensive anchor for a unit that only gave up six points en route to a blowout 52-6 victory for the Lions.

At 6-foot-5, 255 pounds, McGraw led Elkhart in tackles-for-loss with three and turned in four total tackles.

McGraw’s performance against South Bend Washington comes just one week after his breakout game against Columbus East on Sept. 4 in which he totaled 17 tackles and four tackles-for-loss.

McGraw was previously committed to Indiana before flipping to Penn State in early May while also receiving offers from Michigan and Michigan State.

The Elkhart, Indiana, native is the fifth-ranked player in Indiana and the 30th-ranked weakside defensive end in the class of 2021 according to the 247Sports composite rating.

The Lions will play Penn High School on Friday in hopes of keeping their undefeated record.


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