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Class of 2007 Breakdown - Defense

Well, the excitement of signing day has passed and the dust is beginning to settle. Now we'll start breaking down the recruiting class this year and see how well or poorly the Lions did. Today we'll look at the defense.

But first, a word about recruiting. You're going to see a lot of reports and rankings that suggest the Lions didn't do so well in this class. I'm telling you don't pay attention to them. Penn State did just fine this year because Penn State recruited for their needs. The recruitnik rankings are heavily weighted by who brings in the best skill position players. Penn State didn't need many skill position players this year as you'll see. When assessing a team's need, you want to look two years down the road. That is, who are your stars with two years of eligibility left? These are the players you need to think about replacing with this class. With that, let's look at the...

Defensive Line

Like offensive linemen, you can never have enough defensive linemen. Ideally, I think you should try to bring in two or three good defensive linemen in each class. With the amazing class of defensive linemen the Lions brought in last year this wasn't a pressing need, but again, you can never have enough depth at this position.

The Lions did a fantastic job in this area highlighted by four star defensive end Devon Still. Many people consider Still to be the best player the state of Delaware has to offer. He had nearly 20 offers from the biggest schools in the country, but when it was all said and done he chose Penn State over his second choice, Ohio State. Still has the potential to see time on the field as a true freshman.

Chimaeze Okoli will be a solid three star defensive tackle that will surely push for some playing time. Rounding out the defensive linemen is defensive end Kevion Latham. He's a really bright and quick kid, but everyone seems to agree he will have to redshirt his first year to put on some weight.

Linebackers

Remember now, we want to look two years down the road. Poz is already gone. Connor graduates next year and Lee graduates the year after that. Last year the Lions only brought in Navarro Bowman, so linebacker was a pressing need this year. And when it comes to linebackers, Penn State hit it out of the park with this class landing the top three linebackers in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan.

Chris Colasanti from Brother Rice in Michigan is the prototypical middle linebacker at 6'2" and 235 lbs. Many people believe he may be the best football player in this class and is sure to be a future all conference pick.

Andrew Dailey played safety in high school, but he is projected to play linebacker in college. The four star prospect from Ohio will likely play outside linebacker and I expect he will redshirt a year in order to learn how to shed blockers and maneuver through traffic. He's already working on putting on weight to get ready for his new position. During his official visit he reported having put on 20 lbs and now weighs 220. Dailey was one of the few kids this year to get an offer from Florida and choose to give Urban Meyer the finger.

Nate Stupar committed early to the Lions and went on to have a fantastic senior year for the Little Lions of State College. The two time first team AAAA All State player is considered my many people to be the best linebacker in PA. He along with Dailey and Colasanti will carry on the tradition of Linebacker U just fine.

Defensive Backs

So how did we sit with defensive backs this year? Right now we're loaded, but two years from now King, Davis, Sargent, Fentress, Ridenhour, and Scirrotto will all be gone. So landing a few players was a priority for the coaches this year.

Stephfon Green is a high school track star with lightning 4.3 speed. He put up some obscene numbers as a running back including one game where he rushed for 330 yards and 5 TD on six carries. He broke his ankle midway through his senior year and needed a few surgeries to recover. Right now he says his leg is almost 100%, but he will probably redshirt his first year to assure he is 100% healthy. I really think Green has a chance to be the diamond in the rough for this class.

Chaz Powell didn't get much recognition before he signed with the Lions. But as his senior year wore on he turned a lot of heads from some big time programs. Scout upgraded him from a three star to a four star prospect after he was named a first team AAA All State selection.

The highlight of the group is four star blue chip safety Nick Sukay from Pittsburgh. If there was a Pennsylvania All Star team, Sukay was on it. He had his pick of any program in the country with offers from Michigan, Notre Dame, Michigan State, Pitt, and West Virginia to name a few.

Rounding out the group is Drew Astorino and Joe Suhey, both good athletes who will give the Lions plenty of depth.

Kickers

With Jeremy Kapinos graduating, finding a new punter was imperative for the Lions in this class. They landed one of the best in Ryan Breen from Michigan. Breen also does kickoffs and more often than not put his kicks through the back of the endzone.