Concern for Penn State Recruiting?
Posted July 7, 2013 4:58 pm
Since Penn State got hit with one of the hardest sanctions in College Football History, everybody in the nation thought the program would fold and become a mediocre team the next ten years. Enter Bill O’Brien. O’Brien has done wonders for Penn State to keep the Nittany Lions relevant until the sanctions are over in 2016. He hasn’t been doing just a good job on the field; O’Brien has been reeling in highly touted recruits, selling them on program tradition and a chance to compete for a National Championship once the sanctions are up.
Since last year, Penn State has done a great job of getting the players they need with only 15 available scholarships thanks to the NCAA sanctions. They’ve landed studs like the #1 QB in the nation Christian Hackenberg and the #1 TE in the nation Adam Breneman to go with him. This year, they continue to surprise the recruiting world as they keep gaining pledges with offers all throughout the nation. Guys like De’Andre Thmpkins, Troy Apke, Troy Vincent Jr, DaQuan Worley, and Chris Goodwin are playmakers that can make impacts throughout their whole career and would’ve been very solid starters for any team in the nation. They also landed another prized QB in this year’s class; state of Florida’s own Michael O’Connor.
There is no doubt Penn State has a top 15 recruiting class in the nation if we are looking at “skill” players. A major concern though, is the lack of depth they are getting in the trenches. For example, they only have two more scholarships available for this 2014 recruiting class. Of the 13 committed, they only have 1 offensive lineman and 1 defensive lineman. In the class of 2013, they had three offensive linemen and 1 defensive lineman. This could lead to a major cause of concern down the road from now in three to five years as they may have to play young players on the line who need a redshirt to develop a year and will not have the chance to.
So what does Penn State do with their two remaining scholarships? That is just another problem. Both Aliquippa’s Dravon Henry and New Castle’s Malik Hooker have Penn State high on their list. Both players were told they would have a scholarship for them, as they are high on Penn State’s recruiting board. If both commit, they would have two total linemen in their 2014 class. For all schools in the NCAA, that would be a major problem. You also can look at Mount Lebabon’s Alex Bookser. Bookser is an ESPN150 guy that can play both sides of the ball, but prefers offense. He has Penn State high on his list also. Bookser seems to be the perfect guy Penn State NEEDS, as he can play on the offensive and defensive side of the ball, and early too.
It is clear Penn State is in a tough bind with their limited number of scholarships. Any football coach will tell you, a game is won up front starting with the line. Penn State may have a good rank on “class rankings” in recruiting, but make no mistake about it: there should be concern for Penn State’s past two recruiting classes.