Lackawanna’s De’Jahn Warren is one of the most sought-after junior college prospects in the 2021 recruiting class. (Christopher Dolan / Staff Photographer)
It’s becoming abundantly clear that one of the biggest junior college football prospects in the nation in the 2021 recruiting class will be playing this fall at Lackawanna College.
Seems like Falcons corner De’Jahn “Nugget” Warren is getting a big-time offer every few minutes — literally, considering he just announced another one from Temple as I started typing out this post to announce that Texas A&M officially extended him an offer.
By my count, he’s up to 13 offers, and the attention has really started to turn his way the last few days. Penn State and Oregon offered him last week, which would have been pretty good in and of itself to land offers to play for contenders in the Big Ten and Pac-12. But Wednesday, Warren got offers from Alabama, Oklahoma and Nebrkasa — which isn’t a bad Hump Day, by any stretch — then followed it with the Aggies and Owls today.
If you don’t know much about Warren, now’s the time to familiarize yourself. I wrote this story about how he earned his distinctive nickname leading into Lackawanna’s appearance in the NJCAA championship game in December, but his play in 2019 defined why he has received so much attention on the recruiting trail.
He led the Falcons with five interceptions, and he actually forced three fumbles as well. He was fifth on the team in tackles, which shows he plays the run pretty well. He’s also a weapon on special teams: He blocked five kicks and was an effective punt returner when called upon, as well.
Both Rivals and 247 project he’ll be a Penn State commit, but this is the early going. Fair to say, though, that the Lackawanna-to-Penn State pipeline is one both programs are excited about, and Nittany Lions coach James Franklin is serious about continuing to foster that relationship after landing players like Jaquan Brisker, Anthony Whigan, Norval Black and Ji’Ayir Brown in the last recruiting classes.
“We really feel like we are blessed and fortunate to have a program like (Lackawanna) in our own state,” Franklin said in December. “How they have won, how the academic course work at Lackawanna transfers into Penn State, obviously, there’s a lot of familiarity there. Obviously, for us there wasn’t great history and tradition between the two institutions, which made no sense to me. I’ve known Coach (Mark) Duda for a long time, all the way back to my Maryland days because he’s a Maryland grad, and it just makes too much sense for both.
“We’d like to sign the best players out of Lackawanna every single year. They have a bunch of them. It’s something that we’re committed to doing. We kind of look at it very similar to signing the best players out of the state from a high school perspective. … I think that’s a real advantage.”
Here’s a look at some highlights of Warren’s first season with the Falcons:
Donnie Collins has been a member of The Times-Tribune sports staff for nearly 20 years and has been the Penn State football beat writer for Times-Shamrock Newspapers since 2004. The Penn State Football Blog covers Nittany Lions, Big Ten and big-time college football news from Beaver Stadium to the practice field, the bowl game to National Letter of Intent Signing Day. Contact: email@example.com; 570-348-9100 x5368; @DonnieCollinsTT