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Looking Ahead to 2008 Recruiting - Offensive Line

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We've covered the running backs and quarterbacks, so today we'll look at the offensive line and where the Lions will be focusing their efforts as they head out on the recruiting trail. First, a look at the 2007 roster.

Sr- John Shaw (T)
Sr - Elijah Robinson (G)
Jr - A.Q. Shipley (C)
Jr - Rich Ohrnberger (G)
Jr - Gerald Cadogen (T)
Jr - Ako Poti (T)
Jr - Nerraw McCormack (T)
Jr - Austin Hinton (G)
So - Dennis Landolt (G)
rFr - Antonio Logan-El (T)
rFr - Lou Eliades (G)
rFr - Doug Klopacz (G)
Fr - Quinn Barham (G)
Fr - J.B. Walton (T)
Fr - Johnnie Troutman (G)
Fr - Josh Marks (G)
Fr - Stefen Wisneiwski (G/C)

With all the emphasis on the failure to land a big time running back, back in the fall everyone conceded that offensive line was the biggest need in recruiting this year. Penn State did very well for themselves in this class of offensive linemen, but it isn't getting the recognition it deserves because of the running back situation.

There was a need to instant depth due to the early departures of Chris Auletta, Wyatt Bowman, and Greg Harrison. To fill that need the coaches recruited two mature junior college offensive linemen in Poti and McCormack. That just filled the immediate need. These two guys will not be here two years from now, and neither will Shipley, Ohrnberger, Shaw and Cadogen. So the coaches also needed to bring in some youth to start grooming them for the future. This they did with five freshmen. Wisneiwski, Walton, and Marks are all highly touted and should be future starters.

Looking two or three years down the road, it appears our starting offensive line will be Logan-El, Marks, Wisneiwski, Barham, and Walton. What the coaches have to focus on now is providing some depth for these guys. Looking at the 2007 roster above you notice how the top is tackle heavy and the bottom is guard heavy. Looking ahead to this next recruiting class it's important the coaches go after some blue chip offensive tackles. I think they will try to bring in at least two pure tackles, and one kid who could play either position.

Targets Under Consideration

OT - Vinston Painter - 6'5" 315 lbs - Norfolk, VA (already offered)
OT - Kyle Long - 6'7" 275 - Charlottesville, VA (already offered)
OT - R.J. Dill - 6'8" 280 - Camp Hill, PA
OT - Leon Mackey - 6'6" 275 - Newark, DE