With the raging popularity of the 2009 Recruiting Class: Where Are They Now post finally starting to ebb, a new post is needed to fill the void. Like a junkie looking for his next fix, I will try to regain the feeling of the 2009 post (though, from what I hear, you never catch the dragon).
Like Christina Hendricks, the 2009 class was loaded from top to bottom, with a belle-curve (EDIT: for waxman, because constructive criticism is always welcome) disbursement of stars. The 2008 class, by comparison, was essentially top heavy, with nine 4* guys and five 2*/3* guys.
Since this class has had two years (or one and a redshirt) to establish itself, conventional wisdom says that we should know a lot about these guys. Some have seen some serious playing time, some have spent the better part of two years in a doghouse, and some have changed positions so many times you'd think they were trying to recreate the Kama Sutra.
In any event, and to try and get you closer to the dragon, here are the 2008 recruits and their current goings on...
Four star recruits (stars by Scout)
Mike Yancich (LB) - redshirt 2008; saw playing time in 9 games in 2009, mostly on special teams; is definitely in the mix for an OLB position in 2010, but reports are saying that the spot(s) are going to other guys older than him (see Stupar, Nate and Gbadyu, Bani); whether or not he can crack the starting lineup, which will include keeping younger guys at bay, is up to the staff, but I wouldn't be surprised to see him in the regular two-deep rotation
Michael Zordich(LB) - redshirt 2008; staff toyed with moving him to fullback due to a slight lack of depth at the position, but I believe he stays at linebacker for 2010; like Yancich, he'll have to push for meaningful playing time; he was recruited as a MLB, which might be his best option this year, but with Mike Hull destined to play MLB for the blue and white, Zordich might want to stay outside; he makes the 2010 LB two-deep regardless
Mike Mauti (LB) - redshirt 2008; heir apparent to the Linebacker U throne; third Mike recruited at LB in 2008 (not unlike the time there were two Beldings in one building, one of which was balding); almost guaranteed a starting spot in 2010, probably at Fritz; local favorite of Kevin, RUTS and myself
Matt Stankiewitch(OL) - has seen playing time in both seasons, even starting in 2009; could probably play every line position, although he sort of failed at guard last year; will once again push for time but certainly has to work to get back into the starting lineup; he better be careful or the young blood might pass him by; is not "whorish in nature" that we are aware of
Mark Wedderburn(TE) - redshirt 2008; saw action in two games last year, but did not touch the ball (the football, at least); likely backup in 2010 behind the only TE on the team to have touched the football Andrew Sczerba
D'Anton Lynn(DB) - proof that Penn State recruits in Texas; has seen action in both seasons, starting all 13 games last year; source of unsubstantiated Internet rumors about Penn State transferees; staff has been/is toying with a move to safety, but will probably be a lock for a CB spot in 2010; may or may not be homesick
DeOn'tae Pannell (OL) - limited action in 2008; started at tackle in 2009, pulled, and came back as a guard dressed as banana peel; due to his experience and hopeful skill maturation, he probably has a tackle position on lock for the start the season; expect a short leash if he regresses into his Iowa game self
Brandon Beachum(RB) - just over 100 yards rushing as a freshman; very similar numbers in 2009, as he was third on the depth chart; busted his ACL and will sit out spring practice; once again third on the chart heading into his junior year; is walking the fine line between on-the-verge-PSU-back and Brent-Carter-type injury plagued career (even though its only been one injury); talent above and below him on the depth chartery will require him to work very hard for quality PT
Three star recruits
Pete Massaro(DL) - tore ACL in last years BW game, forcing a redshirt; injury probably made way for Jack Crawford to blow up, the guy he'll now be playing behind; should be on the two-deep, and will likely see time in LJSr.'s rotating defensive end position; hopes are high and reports are that attitude is good with this kid, although vowel at end of last name keeps him out of the doghouse permanently
AJ Price (WR) - very little experience in 2009, with no catches for no yards; will probably be the low man on the WR totem pole with (better) talent above and below; transfer to DB is always in the cards for a WR, but I don't have any information as it relates to him; Price may or may not be wrong
Two star recruits
James Terry(DL) - redshirt 2008; limited action in 2009; with PSU's version of Big Snack struggling, breaking into the two-deep is possible in 2010; likely to see action at some point, as LJSr. likes to spell the linemen frequently; I'd guess he's on the two-deep by Game 1, but with two very talented DTs behind him in Jordan Hilland Evan Hailes (and DaQuan Jones)
Brandon Ware(DL) - redshirt 2008; Big Snack, Jr.; has actually asked Penn State Mail Services to forward his campus mail to Paterno's dog house; doesn't like class; will be on the bubble for two-deep DT, and might get it because of experience, but will be on very short leash either way; no chance at transfer to DB
And that's all she wrote. Seven linemen and three linebackers were the priorities, but the addition of D'Anton Lynn was one of the better pick-ups in this class. This class was only 14 strong; the 2011 class will be similar in stature, but hopefully we can raise the star average.
For some of these guys, they better get busy livin' or they will be getting busy on the bench permanently. Hopefully, there is a future for them, in one career or another.