2009 Recruiting - Linebackers

I was getting bored going through these recruiting position breakdowns, but I got a few emails asking me to wrap up the linebackers and defensive backs. So today we’ll go back to doing that. Let’s look at the linebackers. Here is the projected depth chart.

2008 Linebacker Depth Chart
Position First String Second String Third String
Fritz LB Tyrell Sales - Sr Navorro Bowman - So Bani Gbadyu - So
Inside Chris Colasanti - So Dontey Brown – Sr Mike Mauti - Fr
Sam LB Sean Lee - Sr Josh Hull - Jr Nathan Stupar - rFr

There was talk about moving Sean Lee from Sam to inside, but I get the impression now that isn’t going to happen because the coaches are very high on Chris Colasanti. You may remember he saw considerable action late in the season. In addition, Mike Mauti enrolled early and physically looks ready to play right now. After going through the spring he should be ready to play a backup roll. So the coaches are feeling pretty good about the middle linebackers. Not included in the list are Andrew Dailey, Mike Zordich, Mike Yancich, or Shaine Thompson, a freshman walkon from New York that is reportedly looking very impressive.

We look to lose four guys in the next two years: Lee, Brown, Sales, and Hull. The good news is we have a flood of great talent waiting to take their place. The bad news is this is going to scare off a bunch of kids. I have a feeling we’re probably looking at one or two years of taking pretty average linebacker classes much like we’ve done on the defensive line the past few years. The stellar class of 2006 has seemingly scared off a lot of talent the past two years. We’ve signed kids that look more like projects than future All-Americans. This may be what we’re in for over the next few years as kids will be looking at our roster thinking they have a better chance of playing and standing out somewhere else.

But with 25 scholarships to give I think Penn State will still try to land two linebackers in this class. Here are the early targets we’re looking at.

Top Linebacker Prospects for 2009
Name Hometown Size
Glen Carson Manahawkin, NJ 6-3, 220, 4.6
Jordan Hill Steelton, PA 6-3, 260, 4.8
Jelani Jenkins Wheaton, MD 6-1, 200, 4.45
Mike Marrow New Albany, OH 6-1, 235, 4.85
Dan Mason Pittsburgh, PA 6-1, 223, 4.59
Mike Privot Norfolk, VA 6-0, 215

Again, I wouldn’t get too excited about these kids. I expect we’ll probably end up taking some local three star kids with a dream of wearing the blue and white more than being a star. Here is how the scholarship allocation chart is shaping up. Next time we’ll do the cornerbacks.

Projected 2009 Scholarship Allocation
Position Projected Scholarships
Quarterbacks 2
Running Backs 2
Wide Receivers 3
Guards/Centers 2
Offensive Tackles 3
Tight Ends 1
Defensive Tackles 2
Defensive Ends 2
Linebackers 2
Total 19
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