I've been getting sick and tired of hearing about how PSU and Paterno can't recruit anymore so I submitted this question to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette yesterday and got a response from Ron Musselman, their PSU beat writer. Looks like he totally whiffed on his response.
Ron, isn't the real reason for Penn State's recruiting difficulties this year because 70 percent of the roster is comprised of freshmen (47 total) and sophomores (34) who came in highly regarded top-10 ranked national recruiting classes and there are very few upperclassmen (only 11 graduating seniors)? If I was a superstar high school football recruit, why would I want to go to Penn State where I would have to go sit on the bench for two or three years? His response - As I wrote earlier this year, Penn State's recruiting will continue to struggle as long as Joe Paterno remains the coach. Most national recruiting experts agree that age (83), concerns about Paterno's health and outdated recruiting practices have finally caught up to the Nittany Lions. It doesn't help that Paterno has not visited a prospect since Terrelle Pryor in January 2008 and offensive coordinator Galen Hall doesn't recruit at all. Eight months after recording a top-10 class, Penn State has been super slow to secure prospects for their class of 2011. The Lions, who have approximately 14 scholarships to offer, have just four verbal commitments for 2011, and only one of those players is considered a top-100 player. There are plenty of opportunities for playing time at Penn State now due to all the injuries and more freshmen are playing each week, so there are opportunities to get on the field. http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10294/1096828-215.stm Injuries to this year's team have nothing to do with recruiting! You still have 81 underclassmen from two top 10 recruiting classes competing for starting positions in the next 3 years! No great high school prospect is going to want to come to PSU when they have no chance to start for the next 2-3 years while they sit behind the current freshmen and sophomores!