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2009 Recruiting - Defensive Tackles

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We looked at the offensive recruiting for the 2009 class, and so far we’ve used 13 of the 25 scholarships we’re able to hand out. Now we’ll turn to the other side of the ball taking a look at the defense. And today we’ll start with the defensive tackles.

Defensive Tackle Depth Chart
First String Second String Third String Fourth String
Jared Odrick - Jr Phil Taylor - Jr Tom McEowen - So Brandon Ware - Fr
Chris Baker - Jr Abe Koroma - So Ollie Ogbu - So James Terry - Fr

The heralded defensive line class of 2006 should really come into their own in 2008 even if Chris Baker isn’t a part of it. In 2009 this group is going to be downright scary. Not surprisingly the top notch defensive tackles have not been flocking to Penn State since 2006. The depth chart is stocked full of freakishly strong big men with evil intent. The only guys willing to sign with us are the kids who didn’t get many offers outside of Temple and Delaware. They’re projects. But this year the depth chart is starting to look a little more promising to a blue chip player looking for early playing time. It’s still not great, but Baker, Odrick, and Taylor will be gone after 2009. So after a redshirt year an incoming freshman would only have to compete with McEowen, Koroma, Ogbu, Terry, and Ware in 2010.

Like the offensive line, you always have to bring in a few defensive linemen in each class. Given the depth chart, the number of scholarships available and the fact we lose three top players after 2009 I’m going to project Penn State will bring in two defensive tackles this year. Maybe three if they can get some good prospects. Here are some of the targets Penn State is going after.

Top Defensive Tackle Prospects for 2009
Name Hometown Size
Tyson Chandler North Plainfield, NJ 6-6, 315
Brandon Copeland Baltimore, MD 6-2, 254
Jordan Hill Steelton, PA 6-3, 260
Terrence Stevens Gaithersburg, MD 6-2, 280
Tyler Stockton Princeton, NJ 6-1, 280

So we’ll see how it goes. Here is the updated scholarship allocation chart.

Projected 2009 Scholarship Allocation
Position Projected Scholarships
Quarterbacks 2
Running Backs 2
Wide Receivers 3
Guards/Centers 2
Offensive Tackles 3
Tight Ends 1
Defensive Tackles 2
Total 15