1. Offensive Tackle Recruiting
If you ask a Penn State recruitnik about their biggest gripe over the last few seasons, the lack of pure offensive tackle prospects would be rather high on the list. With the 2020 class of Jimmy Christ, Olu Fashanu, and Ibrahim Traore, the Nittany Lions went a long way in addressing the need.
Sure, none of Christ, Fashanu, or Traore are the most highly-touted of prospects — all three are just 247Sports Composite three-stars — but each possesses the ideal length, frame, and build that you’d like to see out of a left or right tackle. The trio will need time to develop, but a few years from now, it wouldn’t be surprising if an All-B1G performer comes from this group.
2. Tight End Recruiting
Pat Freiermuth and Zack Kuntz in 2018, Brenton Strange in 2019, and Theo Johnson and Tyler Warren in 2020 — folks, that’s a heck of a haul for Tyler Bowen. Top to bottom, the tight end group might be the most impressive unit on the roster, which is saying something with the way Penn State has recruited the last four seasons.
2020 wise, Johnson will rightfully get the majority of the accolades, but don’t sleep on Warren. At 6-foot-6, 235 pounds, Warren has the length, athleticism, and body control needed to be an absolute terror at tight end. Plus, he looks just like Mike Gesicki.
I DIDN’T LIKE...
1. Missing Out On Julian Fleming & Bryan Bresee
This has been said multiple times over the last six months so we’ll keep this short, but it really sucks that Penn State couldn’t get one of Fleming or Bresee.
Like really sucks.
Those are two guys who are immediate impact type of players, and at one time or another, were very strongly considering Penn State. For the Nittany Lions to fall out of favor with both of them is a huge blow. And sure, while one or two prospects won’t make or break a program, those are the types of battles Penn State needs to win if it wants to make that jump from “great” to “elite.”
2. Lack Of Speed Rushers At Defensive End
I actually like the defensive ends Penn State signed. Zuriah Fisher, who will eventually transition to defensive end, has the potential to be a good one. Brandon Taylor, while he doesn’t have the measurables, is just a really good football player which I appreciate. And Bryce Mostella might be a few years away, but I have no issues taking a chance on a kid that long and athletic.
Still, it would be nice to have a bonafide speed rusher at defensive end. Which sure, every program in America would like to have, but once again: if Penn State wants to go from great to elite, those are the types of players it needs to sign every class.