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Penn State could fill another need with this transfer OL from Wisconsin

Editor’s note: A few hours after this post was published, Nolan Rucci reportedly committed to Penn State. An updated story is linked below following the original post.

Penn State has already added two commitments out of the transfer portal from other Big Ten programs. Could they be in the mix to add one more? With a need to beef up the offensive line, one possible Penn State target has entered the transfer portal from Wisconsin, and there are reasons to believe Penn State could be a possible candidate to land his transfer commitment.

Offensive lineman Nolan Rucci, a former five-star recruit in the Class of 2021 and the top-rated recruit in Pennsylvania from that recruiting cycle, entered his name in the transfer portal. The Wisconsin Badgers lineman does so after news that the player he had been backing up in Madison, Jack Nelson, has decided to return for the 2024 season. Rucci’s older brother, Hayden Rucci, also opted out of the ReliaQuest Bowl to focus on his path to the NFL draft. With those two developments, it seems a change in scenery could do Rucci some good.

And Penn State is a destination that could make some sense.

For starters, Penn State could use some bodies on the offensive line after losing Olu Fashanu and Caedan Wallace to the NFL draft this year. Rucci was also heavily recruited by Penn State, and we have already seen how those relationships can pay off for the Nittany Lions years later. Penn State also recruited Julian Fleming out of high school before he eventually committed to Ohio State. But now Fleming is coming home from the transfer portal and crediting his relationships built through the recruiting process as part of the reason for his move to Happy Valley.

If Rucci has similar feelings about his relationship with the Penn State coaching staff, that could be vital to Penn State’s chances of bringing Rucci home. And it would be considered home for Rucci, of course. His father is former Penn State offensive lineman Todd Rucci, and both of his parents are Penn State alums. They also have season tickets to Penn State football games.

It’s too early to suggest Penn State is the favorite to land a transfer commitment from Penn State, but all of the ingredients appear to be there to make a strong case why Penn State would not only be interested in Rucci, but also one of the favorites in the running.

And even if it happens years later, Penn State could still claim the best in PA stay in PA in the end.

Penn State has added three players from the transfer portal, including one of Rucci’s teammates. Penn State secured a commitment from linebacker Jordan Mayer this week, just days after receiving the expected commitment from former Ohio State wide receiver Julian Fleming. Penn State has also added a transfer commitment from former Tulsa kicker Chase Meyer.

UPDATE (3:08 PM ET): Nolan Rucci has reportedly committed to Penn State from the transfer portal.

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Story originally appeared on Nittany Lions Wire