Monday, March 31, 2008

A Ridiculous Exercise In Recruiting

I'm getting a little ahead of the curve here, but the 2009 recruiting class is going to be one of the most important in recent history. After having it's hands tied a little bit do to the small number of available slots, the staff will have a lot more head room in 2009 with 25 scholarships available. If you are interested in where exactly Penn State will have it's holes, Mike his that shit locked down over at BSD (last episode, including links to all positions, here).

Well the runners are off the blocks and lets see where the contestants stand. OBVIOUS DISCLAIMER: The current date is March 31, 2008. We have a long way to go. This Top 100 list will change substantially, players will jump ship right up to signing day (huhumcoughShawcouch), the coaching ranks are infested with Snake Oil Salesmen who wear funny hats.

A quick look at the Rivals Top 100 yields the following verbal commitments (note: schools are in order of their highest ranked verbal commitment):

SchoolVerbalsPlayer Rank
USC61, 15, 21, 30, 77, 97
LSU24, 91
FSU35, 37, 92
Michigan210, 42
Texas511, 33, 59, 65, 69
OSU532,38, 47, 48, 88
MSU250, 64
Oklahoma St170

Couple things to note: Penn State is, of course, absent. USC, Texas and Ohio State have a pretty big jump on the rest of the pack. North Carolina? WTF?

Moving on to the all important in-state race. There are five players on the current Top 100 who reside in the Commonwealth, none have given verbals. Of the five, all but the lowest ranked player are considering Penn State. That doesn't mean much right now except that they were given an offer. Most of these kids have lists with half the D1a teams on them. No bad news to report, however.

I wouldn't normally be looking at this now except to point out that you have to really be concerned about Paterno's situation. Where in the past it was always a question of "Will he be my coach in four years? Three?" we've moved right on up to "Will he be my coach, ever?" While bashing Paterno's recruiting is popular right now (and for the most part warranted), there are players who, once announcing their commitment, simply say "I'm excited to play for such a great coach." The name sells, even if it's somewhat marginal, it matters.

The current group on the recruiting trail appear to be in the worst possible situation. The team has had two average years in a row. The Paterno card has been removed from the deck, even if temporarily. Hell, they can't even say that they will be in State College next year.

To get to the point: I don't know why the hell they are waiting so long to make a decision. It is clearly hurting the program.

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