Penn State 2025 recruiting update: Dayshaun Burnett commits, Matt Zollers race continues



Linebacker Dayshaun Burnett, a Class of 2025 prospect at Pittsburgh’s Imani Christian Academy, announced his commitment to Penn State on Wednesday. Rated as a four-star in the 247Sports Composite, Burnett’s finalists included Rutgers and Pitt.

The 6-2, 215-pound Burnett is the No. 344 overall player in the class, per the Composite, and is ranked 13th in the state of Pennsylvania. Burnett’s commitment continues Penn State’s run on pledges from western Pennsylvania prospects in the 2025 class. Linebacker Alex Tatsch, of Greater Latrobe, committed to Penn State on Sunday. Tatsch, another four-star, is ranked 10th in the state.

Burnett joins a class that has commitments from 10 players, including five in-state pledges. All five — Burnett, Tatsch, tight end Brady O’Hara (North Catholic High School), running back Tiqwai Hayes (Aliquippa High School) and cornerback Xxavier Thomas (Central Catholic) hail from the western part of the state. Penn State is still in the running for many other in-state players, and there’s still a ways to go between now and December. The state’s top 2025 prospect, edge Zahir Mathis of Philadelphia’s Imhotep Institute, is committed to Ohio State. Tatsch is the only Penn State commit among the state’s top 10 prospects for the time being, but keep in mind that the state has 13 players ranked among the top 345 players in the nation this cycle.

Here are more details on Penn State’s growing 2025 class.

How many linebackers?

Burnett brings Penn State to three linebackers in the class, a group highlighted by Jersey City’s DJ McClary, Penn State’s highest ranked commit who sits at No. 91 in the nation, per the 247Sports Composite.

Will those numbers play a role in the pursuit of Penn State legacy recruit Anthony Sacca, another linebacker out of St. Joseph’s Prep in Philadelphia? Honestly, it shouldn’t change much.

Sacca is the No. 4 prospect in Pennsylvania and 173rd nationally. He returned to Penn State for junior day last month but most recently was offered by and visited Alabama. Spots are filling up, but Sacca is the type of player Penn State will make room for if it needs to down the stretch. There’s no timeline in mind for Sacca to decide, so expect Penn State to continue recruiting him hard.

Could this be a two-QB class?

Penn State remains open to the possibility. The Nittany Lions have a commitment from Bekkem Kritza of Boulder, Colo., and this week they made the cut for Spring-Ford quarterback Matt Zollers, whose other three finalists are Georgia, Pitt and Missouri. When Penn State picked up Kritza’s commitment in November, the staff spoke to him about the possibility of this being a two-quarterback class. He remains on board with it.

Zollers has become one of the more intriguing quarterbacks in this cycle. Ranked 13th nationally among quarterbacks in the Composite — a group which now includes quarterback Julian Lewis, who is reclassifying from 2026 to 2025 — Zollers is one of the top uncommitted prospects. Quarterbacks are usually among the earliest commitments in any class so that they can help recruit other players to join them. With fewer and fewer players of his caliber uncommitted, look for his finalists to continue pushing hard for him.

Kritza is the top-ranked player in Colorado and is ranked 33rd nationally at the position.

Quiet signing day

Sixteen of Penn State’s 25 signees in the 2024 class enrolled in January. As expected, there were no additions to the 2024 class on Wednesday during the traditional national signing day. The 2024 class has been finished since December, and although Penn State was active in the transfer portal between semesters, the second signing period has never been a huge day for the program.

All of Penn State’s newcomers — freshmen and transfers — were recently assigned jersey numbers. Of note, wide receiver Julian Fleming will wear No. 3, formerly worn by Dante Cephas. Transfer cornerbacks Jalen Kimber and A.J. Harris will wear Nos. 3 and 4.

What’s next?

Penn State’s winter workout program started this week, and the assistant coaches will continue shouting out the top workout performers of the day on social media. Between now and spring break, which starts March 2, much of the team’s progress will be monitored during those early-morning workouts and behind closed doors in the weight room. Expect the Nittany Lions to start spring practice sometime around March 11. The Blue-White game is set for April 13 in Beaver Stadium.

James Franklin will meet with reporters on Tuesday, his first gathering with the media since the Peach Bowl. There, he will introduce Justin Lustig, the newly hired special teams coordinator.

(Photo: Todd Kirkland / Getty Images)





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