Offense Recruiting Update


Okay, so I'm sick of sitting around waiting for Penn State news to break. So when there is nothing newsworthy to talk about, a good blogger makes something up. So let's talk about how Penn State is doing in recruiting for the offense this year. I'll have another post for the defense maybe tomorrow. We'll go through it by position.

Quarterbacks

Projected Need: 2

Verbal Commits: Paul Jones


With Daryll Clark running out of eligibility after the 2009 season and Kevin Newsome being the only other scholarship quarterback, it's imperative that Penn State bring in two quarterbacks in this class. They did fantastic in landing Paul Jones who both recruiting services consider to be one of the top five quarterbacks in the country.

But they can't stop there. We desperately need some depth to foster competition. Penn State is pushing hard for Robert Bolden and Barry Brunetti of Michigan and Tennessee respectively. Both guys are highly rated and hold a fist full of offers from all of the major programs in the country. Surprisingly, both guys are high on Penn State despite the fact the competition is going to be tough with Newsome and Jones. If Penn State can pull off the coup and get one of these guys we will easily have the best quarterback recruiting class in the country.

But personally, I'm not counting on getting either one of them. I think it's more likely that once they both decide to go play somewhere else you will see Penn State grab a three star kid from Maryland or the WPIAL.

Running Backs

Projected Need: 1

Verbal Commits: Silas Redd

Penn State is loaded with running backs. Royster and Carter have two years left. Green and Beachum have three. Curtis Dukes joins the team this summer. And now we have Silas Redd.

But State is still pursuing running backs. Specifically, they're looking at Corey Brown, Braylon Heard, and Marcus Lattimore. I think our chances are slim with all of them due to our overloaded depth chart. And I think it's all or nothing with these kids. It's one of those cases where you swing for the fences and take your chances. If you get lucky and hit a home run you find a way to make room for the kid. But, again, I think Silas Redd will be the only running back you see Penn State take in this class.

Receivers

Projected Need: 2

Verbal Commits: Adrian Coxson

If you're going to run a spread offense, you need a lot of wide receivers. Penn State brought in six guys in the last class that can all play wide receiver. But with guys like Zug, Brackett, McDonald, and Cousins all running out of eligibility soon there is room to take a few kids.

Coxson is a huge get. Scout recently re-evaluated him and gave him a fifth star and ranked him the #2 receiver in the country. But Penn State is still going after a few guys. They seem to be going after California receiver Kenny Stills and State College High receiver Alex Kenney the hardest. Getting Stills away from home state USC is going to be tough, but landing Kenney seems to be a foregone conclusion and just a matter of time.

Tight Ends

Projected Need: 1

Verbal Commits: None

Penn State can be selective here since they have Szczerba, Wedderburn, and Gilliam with plenty of eligibility. But time is running out for Shuler and Quarless, so they better get one or two in this class.

Kevin Haplea seems to be the top target. He speaks highly of Penn State, but he's enjoying playing the recruiting game and taking his visits. So right now anything can happen there. In general it seems like a weak year for tight ends, so maybe Penn State is going to put all their eggs in this basket and wait until next year if they have to.

Offensive Line - Centers

Projected Need: 1

Verbal Commits:Miles Dieffenbach

With Shipley graduating we have a scholarship available. And with Wiz entering his junior year we need to start grooming a replacement to compete with Ty Howle. Dieffenbach is a good one, so consider Penn State done here.

Offensive Line - Guards

Projected Need: 2

Verbal Commits:Luke Graham, Tom Ricketts

The last class was heavy on tackles, so I figured they were going to focus more on the interior of the line in this class. With Graham and Ricketts on board I think this will do it for offensive guards.

Offensive Line - Tackles

Projected Need: 1

Verbal Commits: None

Like I said, the last class had Shrive and Arcidiacono. Ricketts and Graham are both 6'6" and kind of like tweeners. If they can put on the necessary weight and keep their athleticism it's conceivable one of them could grow into a tackle. So Penn State is going to be extremely selective here. It's going to be all-or-nothing with a few kids.

Overall Evaluation

So far, so great. You really can't ask for much more for the first week of June. Major needs have been addressed at quarterback, running back, wide receiver, and the offensive line. And the level of talent they are securing is out of this world with almost every kid having four or five stars with the recruiting services. This has the makings of a very special class, but there is still work to do.

They need another quarterback. He doesn't have to be anything special. A two or three star game manager-type would do just fine. Another wide receiver would be nice, but there is no need to waste a scholarship on a project kid. We need a tight end, but we can afford to be selective. If they fail to land one, it becomes a necessity next year. And finally, they could use one pure offensive tackle prospect to balance out the class which is currently heavy with interior linemen.

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