The class of 2009 is on the books now. We took a few days to enjoy our triumphs, imagine who will be the freshman designated to run the not-so-surprising end arounds, and think about depth charts three years down the road. But recruiting never ends. With the 2009 signees finalized, the staff immediately turned their attention to the class of 2010 and will be mailing out offer letters in the coming days.
Here at BSD we have a spring ritual of going through each position one at a time to determine what Penn State's major needs are maybe identify some of the key targets on the board. But before we can do that, we have to determine how many scholarships they have to play with. Here is the list of scholarship players who will run out of eligibility after the 2009 season.
So there are 16 scholarship players that will not be eligible to return for the 2010 season. But projecting the exact amount of scholarships at this point is difficult to do.
One problem Penn State faces right now is that if you add up the scholarship players returning in 2009 plus the number of kids we signed in this new recruiting class you come up with 88 or 89 players. So Penn State is going to have to shed three or four guys to get down to the 85 man scholarship limit by August. Fifth year seniors who have their degree are usually the first to go when tough roster cuts have to be made. So assuming three or four guys from the list above are the ones who get cut, Penn State may only have as little as 12 spots available on the 2010 roster. (89 - 16 = 73) But more than likely I think we'll see one or two kids from this latest class greyshirted.
Of course there are always a few kids who transfer after the spring when it becomes apparent their time at Penn State isn't going to work out. These are usually juniors and sophomores who came in highly touted but haven't been able to crack the depth chart. There is usually superior upper class talent ahead of them and a host of incoming stud freshmen behind them. Some kids to keep an eye on would be Chris Colasanti, Jon Ditto, Nick Sukay, Andrew Dailey, Quinn Barham, Kevion Latham, Tom McEowen, and Bani Gbadyu.
(NOTE: BSD is just speculating on these players. I have no knowledge of any of these kids seeking a transfer. I'm just saying their position is one where transfers tend to happen. Please do not start any threads on FOS saying BSD says all these players are transferring.)
The other possibility is that we lose a few kids who elect to leave early for the NFL. Navorro Bowman has to be a strong consideration for this if he plays at the same level he did in 2008. Other candidates would include Evan Royster, Abe Koroma, and Stefen Wisniewski if any of them have a breakout junior year.
We have 16 kids that can't come back. But we're already over the 85 scholarship limit by three or four. We'll undoubtedly lose a few kids between now and August due to transfers or, God forbid, dismissals. And keep in mind the staff always has the option of oversigning in the next class and hoping to shed a few next spring too.
So when it's all said and done I think we'll see a 2010 class between 18-20 kids. Over the next few weeks we'll break down the roster by position to determine where our specific needs are and we'll discuss some of the targets the staff is going after.