The Nittany Lions are off and running with the Class of 2021.
On Wednesday, James Franklin added the second member of his Class of 2021 with the commitment of four-star Florida tight end Nick Elksnis. An Episcopal School of Jacksonville standout, Elksnis picked the Nittany Lions ahead of Florida, Florida State and more than 20 others.
At 6-foot-5 and 220 pounds, Elsknis already has prototypical NCAA size and sub-5.00 second speed. He’s ranked as a top-10 tight end prospect and among the top-50 overall players in the state of Florida for the Class of 2021.
Elsknis was won over while attending a Penn State camp weekend just days earlier. He told 247Sports that he connected with tight ends coach Tyler Bowen and the rest, as they say, is history.
“I came up because I had been talking back and forth with Bowen, and he and I got along well and have similar personalities,” Elksnis told 247Sports. “I have known the history of how they use tight ends so that was big, but what was huge is the fan base that goes along with the team and also its traditions.
“[Bowen] coached me like I already was playing for him, not letting anything slide. I really enjoyed that because at a lot of schools anything I do they say I did great and wouldn’t actually coach me like Bowen did.”
So tough love can be a selling point. Now Penn State will hope Elsknis can help convince other top prospects it’s the right approach to get them to the next level, too.