Ok, I've heard all the justifications for our weak recruiting class. Weak in numbers, I might add, not in quality. The recruits we did get are superb. How does a top tier program like Penn State go from having the best recruiting class in the conference to darn near the worst? I've read and heard, just like all of you out there, that Joe Paterno's health is a primary reason. Then that was dispelled and the new reason was we don't have many scholarships to give out. And then the reason was that JoePa and Galen don't go out on the recruiting trail.....Sheesh...... Now I think the latest rumor flying around is that we are targeting a lot of recruits that are going to commit late, and we are in the running for a lot of them.
From the little snippets that I've been reading here and there that seem to come from the mouths of the recruits themselves, I believe the coaching staff just took a cavalier approach to recruiting this season. If you think back to last year's class, they were fast out of the chute and then from the middle of the season to the end, it seemed to just stop at a point where I believe that Penn State could have been among the top five classes for 2010. That seems to be the beginning of this recruiting effort.
The very first comment that I saw was one made by Ben Koyack, the tight end from Oil City who decided for Notre Dame (the mere thought of that makes me cringe). Along with Ohio State, Penn State was in serious contention with him and then when he committed, he mentioned that he was really interested in Penn State, but they seemed to have lost interest in him and that he hadn't heard from them in a while. Then a number of prime prospects, several of them in Penn State's back yard, were very slow to get any offers if at all. Such is the case of Jarrett, the kid that was supposedly in the bag. I believe that he thought PSU wasn't that interested. I'm getting the feeling that this approach is costing us some prime beef this season.
Perhaps these kids coming out of high school see a very young team, loaded with young talent at most of the skill positions and figure they won't get much playing time until they are juniors and seniors. I truly believe this IS somewhat of a disadvantage for PSU, because I think some other places lead their recruits to believe they will play right away, when in fact, there is a serious tendency to over signing recruits when the team has insufficient scholarships to hand out. I think the PSU coaches are more honest about the way life at Penn State will be.
From my limited perspective, it would have been great to follow up last season with another great recruiting season, making it three in a row and giving the lions a very talented, very young group of players. The kind that a three or four year run can make if you have a good quarterback with a couple of years under his belt. Does that sound like something we may have beginning next year?
So I guess I'm a little disappointed so far. Concerned? Maybe not as much as I should be, but I am disappointed. When Ohio State has an off recruiting season, they still finish among the top 25, right now, PSU is hovering around 60th. That's not an off year, that just plain stinks.
So why do you think our recruiting this year is so poor? I'm curious to hear.