Whatever Franklin is selling, these kids are buying. I think we are all stunned at the pace with which Franklin and his staff have accelerated and energized recruiting at Penn State. Starting with what he was able to do to close out the 2014 class with such a limited amount of time, we were all impressed. However, wrestling kids away from places with national title hopes like Notre Dame and Ohio State for this 2015 class while still having the sanctions hanging over his head is truly remarkable. His ability to close the deal when he gets these kids on campus is becoming the stuff of legends. I don't know if it's hypnosis, blackmail, or advanced interrogation techniques, but nobody can say no to the man. With the momentum he has going he may be assembling a top ten class this year.
My only worry is that it is still so early in the recruiting cycle and so much can happen between now and signing day. We hope that Franklin is as good a coach as he is a recruiter but we just don't know yet. This is likely to be the worst year regarding on the field performance during the sanction period. This reminds me a bit of how Michigan started out the recruiting season last year. Very fast out of the gate but really faded as the losses started to pile up in Big Ten play. I don't think they lost many of those early recruits but they didn't really add anybody late either. A class that looked to be one of the best in the nation early struggled to stay in the top 25.
Michigan finished 7-6 last year, which seemed to be just enough to keep their recruitment treading water. I wonder what kind of year it would take for this 2015 Penn State class to start falling apart? If PSU goes 5-7 or 4-8 is that bad enough to discourage some kids? My hunch is most kids will stay unless there is a complete and total meltdown. I think the kids are really being sold more on the future then the present which is why they are committing despite the bowl ban still in place for the next two years. They know this is Franklin's first year as well and they know what kinds of things he accomplished at Vanderbilt by year 3 there.
I think 5-7 is not really a problem (unless they win the first 5 and lose the last 7). 4-8 and the class might leak a little bit. 3-9 and we start really taking on water. 2-10 and we are going to be running for the life boats.