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Penn State Lands Commitment From Virginia S Elijah Gaines

Penn State's Ayron Monroe pumps up the crowd.

UNIVERSITY PARK, PA - SEPTEMBER 30: Ayron Monroe #23 of the Penn State Nittany Lions waves to the crowd as he runs out for the game against the Indiana Hoosiers on September 30, 2017 at Beaver Stadium in University Park, Pennsylvania. Penn State defeats Indiana 45-14. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)

Penn State has recruited Virginia extremely well under James Franklin over the last few years. The Nittany Lions just added a third player from the state to its 2020 class, with safety Elijah Gaines.

Gaines is a three-star player, but that ranking probably doesn't quite match the schools that he was considering. Ultimately, Penn State beat out, Duke, Michigan, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Syracuse, and Virginia, which were announced in his top seven over the summer.

247Sports ranks him as the No. 597 player in the 2020 class. He's the No. 41 safety and No. 15 recruit out of Virginia.

Gaines made his college announcement earlier today:

The decision comes after Gaines had a great official visit to Happy Valley during Penn State's win over Pittsburgh.

He spoke about the visit and the decision to 247Sports:

“Just the family feel at Penn State, that stands out a lot to me,” he said. “A lot of schools say the same thing about the facilities, say this and that about playing time and the education, but Penn State checks off a lot of my boxes.

“It’s the education, the community with the students there and it’s Big Ten football. From what I heard from the players, they have really good relationships with the coaches.”

Elijah Gaines also says he'll be given the chance to compete for a starting job right off the bat, which certainly doesn't hurt matters for him. He joins a class that already had a pair of other safeties, joining four-star Michigan product Enzo Jennings and three-star Ji'Ayir Brown out of Scranton.

Penn State has a very big class already, with 26 players committed. It is ranked No. 14 overall, and third in the Big Ten for the 2020 recruiting cycle.