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James Franklin and the Penn State Nittany Lions are coming off a fantastic season in 2016 that resulted in a Big Ten title and a Rose Bowl appearance. Now, expectations are through the roof for Saquon Barkley and company for the 2017 campaign and, even before the season begins, Penn State is already winning.

On Friday, the Nittany Lions out-dueled the Ohio State Buckeyes in a recruiting battle for four-star and No. 2 overall center Fredrick “Juice” Scruggs, as the rising senior announced his commitment on Twitter.

The 6-foot-3, 270-pound center prospect ranks as one of the top 200 players in the country according to the 247Sports composite and, as noted above, the primary competition for Scruggs’ commitment came from Ohio State. Obviously, winning one recruiting battle, even against a big-time rival, isn’t the end of the world for the Buckeyes or anything like a “statement” for the Nittany Lions. Still, this is a very important victory for Penn State and it should be treated as such.

Scruggs becomes the 21st recruit to pledge to Franklin and his staff for the 2018 class and he is the fourth offensive line prospect to join the group. With the way PSU has been building on the offensive side of the ball, that emphasis makes sense and it will be interesting to see what the program can continue to do on the recruiting trail.

No. 2 center Juice Scruggs spurns Ohio State, commits to major rival Twitter/@RivalsRyan
Rowland is a lifelong Atlanta sports fan that also grew up in a Michigan Wolverines household. He previously worked with FanSided, SB Nation and UPROXX sports and covers college football for FanBuzz.
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