Poor Frank Figueroa. The 6'4" 275 lb offensive lineman from Alexandria, VA had the Penn State message boards buzzing for about thirty minutes this morning when it was learned he committed to Penn State. Who is he? Where did he come from? Nobody knew he had an offer. Heck, nobody even knew he existed since Penn State appears to be his only offer. But his moment in the sun had come, and after about 30 minutes it was over as a bombshell hit the message boards. Eric Shrive is coming to Penn State.
Before we get to Shrive, let's give Mr. Figueroa his due. He was selected to his All Conference Team as a junior and his coach has a lot of great things to say about him.
"He’s got a great work ethic," Lewis said. "He hasn’t missed 10 days in the weight room since he entered Edison. He’s got over a 3.9 GPA. He’s got size. He’s going to be a really good player."
Like I said, he didn't hold any other offers but he was seeing interest from Rutgers, Michigan State, Maryland, and Virginia.
Now on to Shrive. Words cannot describe how huge a get the 6'7" 300 pounder is for Penn State. Name a major Div I-A football program and the chances are Shrive has an offer from them. Ohio State, Michigan, Notre Dame, Florida State, Tennessee, Miami, Illinois, Georgia, Oklahoma, Florida, West Virginia, Auburn, and Nebraska were just a few of the 40-plus schools that all competed for Shrive's services. Offensive line talent is the hardest to judge, and I don't like to call kids "can't misses", but it would appear that Shrive is as close as you can get in that regard.
Common sentiment for the past month or so was that Shrive was a done deal to Notre Dame with Illinois falling a distant second. There were even rumors about him hating Penn State, so this verbal came as a shocker to everyone. I guess he wasn't impressed by Ron Zook's motivational tactics.
Along with Mark Arcidiacono Penn State now has a pair of solid bookend tackles. We have Ty Howle anchoring the middle and now Figueroa to push guys around in the middle. I would say our offensive line recruiting is coming along quite nicely. I think we'll still look to bring on one more guard and one more tackle, but now we can be very selective in who we go after. Or depending on how you look at it we have the luxury to take a chance on a project-type kid. Either way we're in good shape on the offensive line through 2012.
Now if we could just get a quarterback and a few wide receivers...