Penn State Football Recruiting Commit Breakdown: RB Ricky Slade

Five-star running back Ricky Slade has committed to Penn State

Penn State’s recruiting momentum is not going to die anytime soon. On Friday, five-star running back Ricky Slade gave his pledge to the Nittany Lions. This came one day after linebacker Charlie Katshir committed to Penn State.

Ricky Slade was one of two commitments the Nittany Lions got on Friday. The other was three-star linebacker Jesse Luketa. With the commitments of Slade and Luketa, the Nittany Lions added to their already top-ranked 2018 recruiting class. Ricky Slade chose the Nittany Lions over offers from Clemson, Miami, Ohio State, and Virginia Tech, among others.

Landing a verbal commitment from Ricky Slade is a big one for James Franklin and company. Slade is the top-ranked running back in the country in 2018 recruiting cycle, as well as being the 24th best player in the country according to the composite ratings of 247 Sports. He becomes the second highest rated commit in Penn State’s 2018 class behind Micah Parsons.

This marks the second time in the last three recruiting cycles that Penn State has landed the top ranked running back in the country. The other was Miles Sanders in the 2016 cycle.

Penn State’s coaching staff has made Ricky Slade a priority recruit for over a year. No coaching staff has visited Slade as much as the Nittany Lions have, and he has not visited any campus as much as he has visited Penn State. Slade has been viewed as a Penn State lean for some time now, but that does not make landing his commitment any less exciting.

The five-foot-nine, 195-pound Ricky Slade is an elite athlete. His acceleration and explosion are second to none. And this is something that simply can not be coached. It’s something that either someone has or they do not have.

Slade runs a laser quick 4.48 second 40-yard dash. Ricky Slade also has fantastic vision and instincts. Vision might be the most important quality for a running back to possess. Vision is what makes the difference between a good running back and a great one.

When he has the ball in his hand’s Slade is a very elusive runner. He is also shifty in the open field, making him difficult to bring down. Slade also has great balance, which contribute to his ability to break tackles and make tacklers miss.

One area where Slade needs to improve is his size. At just five-foot-nine, he will never be a big power back, however, he can still add some size and muscle to his frame. And I would expect that to happen over the course of the next year and a half.

Ricky Slade will have the ability to make an impact as a true freshman in the fall of 2018. Most likely, Saquon Barkley will go pro after this season and that will leave Miles Sanders as Slade’s main competition for playing time. Regardless, Slade will have the ability to make an immediate impact in the return game.

You can watch Slade’s film here. Welcome to Happy Valley, Ricky!

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