Check the oil. Kick the tires. Clean off the windshield. We're pulling the Blue White Roundtable out of the garage and taking it for a spin. In honor of signing day yours truly put together some questions for the group. Take note we've added Tangled Up In White and Blue and The Big Eleventh to the group because those guys kick ass. Here is the group.
How well did Penn State address their needs with this recruiting class?
Meh. We hit a home run with the linebackers Mauti, Zordich, and Yancich. But other than that we came up short in just about everything else. Our big needs were quarterback, running backs (2), wide receivers (2), offensive tackles (2), linebacker (3), and defensive backs (2 or 3). We had two running backs until Michigan sto...I mean, lured one away. If we don't get Terrelle Pryor that will be two years in a row we didn't bring in a quarterback. And we only got one defensive back, though he's going to be a great one.
We filled the spots at OT and on the DL, but I'm not overly impressed with who we got. They may turn into capable starters someday, but none of them are going to make immediate impacts.
Who was the big fish that got away? The kid you really really wish we had landed?
Everyone is turning their attention on Mike Shaw, but I really wished we had landed Deion Walker. Butler, Williams, and Norwood are in their final year. I don't have much confidence in Chris Bell yet and Derek Moye is an unknown. So we really needed two big time receivers in this class. A.J. Price looks good, but I really wanted Walker. And losing him to Notre Dame just sucks.
You're NCAA President Miles Brand. Take a break from counting your BCS cash for a minute. What would you do to improve the recruiting process?
It's time to have an early signing date. Last year over 200 kids committed to a school and later decommitted. It's crazy with how these kids are being harassed by recruiters. Their cell phone bills are going through the roof. A lot of them commit early thinking it will get everyone off their backs, but sometimes it just makes it worse. Give kids a chance to sign an early letter of intent on August 1. After a kid signs coaches are no longer allowed to contact them. But allow them to contact other coaches if they have second thoughts. If they want to reopen their recruiting they must express their wishes in writing to the school they verballed to and the NCAA.
Now you're Joe Paterno. So I guess prepare to dodge the question. What would you change about Penn State's recruiting strategy?
If I'm Joe Paterno I need to get my butt on a plane and go visit these kids. We just plain got out hustled this year. In the past two years Joe has visited one recruit in house. One. That isn't going to cut it. Not when Weis, Tressel, Rodriguez, and Wannstedt are regular fixtures at these kids' schools. When the head coach makes a special trip to come to your house to meet you that says something. Our coach refuses to leave State College. Some days he doesn't even come into the office.
Where will Terrelle Pryor go to school? Or should he just live off the hype for the next few years and directly enter the NFL draft in 2010?
Ohio State. But Dad want's PSU.
Which member of this class stands the best chance to make an immediate impact?
Brandon Beachum. With the injury prone Evan Royster and redshirt freshman Stephfon Green in front of him he has a good chance to play right away.