Why Penn State commit Justin Shorter is about to explode on the national recruiting scene
It is not fair to say that Justin Shorter was an under appreciated member of Penn State’s Class of 2018 heading into last weekend. After all, he was already a four-star recruit and the No. 16 receiver in the country according to the 247Sports’ Composite rankings.
Under the radar, though? That might be a better way to describe the Monmouth Junction, N.J., South Brunswick talent.
Shorter has not yet exploded onto the national scene like the program’s other big-time commits, like five-star quarterback Justin Fields and four-star tailback Ricky Slade have, but that’s about to change, if it hasn’t already, as the longtime Lions pledge shined during The Opening Regionals event in New Jersey to punch his ticket to The Opening and also a higher profile.
“It’s just great to know that I’m the best here, and now I have to keep on working so I can be the best in college,” Shorter said. “It’s awesome.”
The receiver will represent Penn State there along with Fields and Slade, among potentially others, and he’s destined for a rankings bump sometime soon from the recruiting services.
Beyond all that, though, who exactly is Justin Shorter?
Penn State fans will remember that he committed to the Lions back in August 2016, a bright spot during the summer camp buildup to what would be a spectacular 2017 season. He now stands an impressive 6-foot-5, 220 pounds, and while Shorter had the option to go to places like Miami, Michigan, and elsewhere, he picked the school he did for a handful of reasons.
“Basically the offense, they’re throwing more, and just the fans, because it’s just packed, and every single game was just crazy,” Shorter said. “That was a big aspect of it, too.”
Penn State commit Justin Shorter’s highlights from The Opening Regionals
So were offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead and receivers coach Josh Gattis.
“They’re just always staying close to me, always talking to me every single day.”
The wide receiver depth chart for the 2018 season will get a bit clearer just before Shorter signs with the Lions in February of next year, but there is no question that he has the potential to play from day one, as he showcased quick twitch coming out of routes, straight speed as the camp’s fastest man to go along with a 4.5-second 40-yard dash, plus hands for just a prep junior, and the ability to high point the ball.
What more could the Lions be looking for?
“Faster, stronger, just get more quick; I’m just trying to get faster, so I can dominate,” Shorter said when asked to explain how he wants to improve.
As for Penn State’s message? It isn’t much of a surprise.
“It’s been the same; they just want me to get there early and just work hard and try to start as a freshman.”