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Looking Ahead To The Penn State 2011 Recruiting Class

Over the coming days Junny will take you for a walk through the incoming freshman class to acquaint you with them all once again. The ink from the fax machine is barely dry on this recruiting class, but I'm going to start looking ahead for the class of 2011. We will take a look at the major needs Penn State will have to focus on and fill when they hit the recruiting trail this spring, and we may point out a target or two for you to keep an eye on. But first, we have to get an idea for how many scholarships we have to play with. Here is the list of Penn State players on the current scholarship roster who will run out of eligibility after the 2010 season.

Evan Royster                      Brent Carter                    Graham Zug
Brett Brackett Lou Eliades Doug Klopacz
Stefen Wisniewski                  Tom McEowen                  Ollie Ogbu
Chris Colasanti Bani Gbadyu Cedric Jefferies

So that's 12 players. I'm not sure if Collin Wagner has a scholarship or not. If so you can put that number at 13. Besides this list, you can probably count on a player or two transferring after spring practice when it becomes apparent they aren't going to beat out the hot shot underclassman. Some guys may leave for the NFL a year early. Though I don't see any obvious Navorro Bowmans on this roster, nobody suspected Aaron Maybin would go pro prior to his redshirt sophomore year. Maybe Jack Crawford has a shot if he has a breakout year, but he's still relatively new to the game so I consider him a longshot.

You can probably count on one or two guys not returning for their fifth year. Also, if Penn State can get a few guys to enroll in January 2011, they can count those toward the 2010 total. Since Penn State only brought in 20 kids with this class and several of them enrolled early, it's not outside the realm of possibility. All told I would expect Penn State to have somewhere between 16 and 18 kids sign in February 2011 or enroll in January. So that should give us a good number to start with and keep in the back of our minds when we look at the major needs on the team.

Now, it's going to be a small class. The coaches are going to have to be very careful about who they offer. Nailing the assessments and evaluations is going to be critical. Because of its size, this is not going to be a top ranked class. With all the skill positions we've taken the past few years, it will most likely be a meat and potatoes class full of linemen. The recruiting services are not going to love it. So get that in your head now. You are not going to read a lot of articles about Penn State dominating the recruiting trail like we did this year. We're probably going to have to give up some big time recruits that we just don't have room for. So get ready to read articles about Wanny building his wall and Schiano giving us his New Jersey leftovers. It's going to be infuriating to listen to. Just remember, when your Pitt alum co-worker rubs it in your face because they got a verbal from a four star WPIAL receiver, ask him if the kid even had a Penn State offer.

For those of you new to BSD in the past year, over the coming weeks I will go through each position one by one. We will take a look at the depth chart and try to see if it makes sense for the coaches to pursue players at that position and how many. It's pretty early in the recruiting season, so there may not be many known targets at this time. All of that will come out during the spring evaluation period. But where there are known targets already holding a Penn State offer we will point them out to you as well.