Penn State recruiting now has strength in numbers - The Daily Collegian: Football

Logout|My Dashboard

Penn State recruiting now has strength in numbers

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Related Stories

Posted: Thursday, September 26, 2013 12:00 am

Bill O’Brien has shown time and time again that he has no problem recruiting, displayed by the litter of talent he’s already brought in.

But the struggles were always in numbers.

With a limited number of scholarships, Penn State could only sign around 15 scholarships for the 2014 recruiting class, a solid 10 less than every other Division I program.

However, the NCAA announced Tuesday it would gradually reinstate Penn State’s scholarships early because of progress the university has made. Prior to the change, the full 85 scholarships were supposed to be restored by 2018-19. Now, they’ll be back to this total amount by 2016-17, and back to the 25 scholarships per year by 2015-16.

The governing body also said it would allow Penn State five more scholarships for the 2014 recruiting class. Struggles in numbers are ending.

O’Brien said Tuesday that having 10 less scholarships per year to dole out often allowed the coaching staff to take only one athlete from each position. That makes it difficult -— especially if the athlete doesn’t live up to expectations.

Ryan Snyder, a recruiting analyst for Blue White Illustrated, said Penn State could sign up to 23 athletes now for the 2014 recruiting class, but he thinks the staff will save some for the 2015 class and sign around 20 total. The 2014 class now stands at 12 verbal commitments.

As far as where those additional scholarships go, Snyder said the staff is targeting linemen on both sides of the ball and may take one or two linebackers to boost the depleted position.

While Penn State now has the ability to hand out additional offers, the increase in scholarships can draw in recruits to the school, maybe even more than a restoration of bowl opportunities would.

“These guys that are coming in now, they’re coming in for the right reasons,” Snyder said. “For these guys, I don’t think bowls are as a big of a factor as many would think, but every recruit is different.”

For many of these high school athletes, knowing the school has better recruiting success and more scholarships is important in terms of going against the best guys possible in practice settings.

Snyder used defensive tackle DaQuan Jones as an example. Yes, Jones can go up against walk-on’s in practice, but there’s going to be a considerable size and skill difference.

With more scholarships, that divide could narrow.

On the heels of Tuesday’s announcement, Penn State’s coaching staff is hitting the recruiting trail this week. This bye week and the next one will be vital to finding the right athletes to be the next Nittany Lions.

And with strength in numbers, O’Brien’s got a larger arsenal of ways to sell Penn State to the individual.

“We always felt that, from the day we walked in here, that once we were able to get a young man and his parents here on campus,” O’Brien said, “that the place sold itself.”

More about

More about

More about

Welcome to the discussion.

Connect with us

Football Columns

My View: Title IX is a scapegoat for college football’s role in decline of NCAA men’s sports
Posted: March 05, 2014

In this article, I argue that Title IX is a scapegoat for the true culprit for the decline in men’s non-revenue sports: the exorbitant spending on football programs by schools which fruitlessly pursue a mirage of revenue.

Comments (0)
In the midst of uncertainty, Penn State needs stability — whether it's Bill O'Brien or his successor
Posted: December 31, 2013

If Penn State brass is out shopping for a new coach in the coming weeks (or days), its representatives need to identify who could also be using this job as a way to boost their personal brand.

Comments (7)
Penn State football: given ‘new normal’ in Happy Valley, 7-5 record even more impressive than 2012 results
Posted: December 02, 2013

There wasn’t a grand reveal to honor Penn State’s season on Senior Day, nor will there be a Maxwell Coach of the Year award waiting for coach Bill O’Brien come winter.

Comments (2)
Purdue coach Darrell Hazell unwise giving Penn State bulletin board material
Posted: November 18, 2013

Hazell thought earlier last week that Penn State’s running game wasn’t on par with Iowa and Wisconsin. Bill O’Brien proved otherwise.

Comments (0)
If Jameis Winston deserves the benefit of the doubt, so does the woman who said she was sexually assaulted
Posted: November 15, 2013

Media, fans and those pesky pundits are responding in a typical way — they’re perpetuating the idea that sexual assault can be the fault of the victim by blindly criticizing a typical 11-month investigation.

Comments (4)
In recruiting ratings, the analysts tab the five-stars, but lower than that? It’s shades of gray
Posted: November 14, 2013

Rating Division I football prospects is a serious business that garners a great deal of national attention. So we had to ask: are these ratings indicative of how a player will perform in college?

Comments (0)
Column: Penn State football once again shows down doesn’t always mean out
Posted: October 13, 2013

A Penn State win appeared hopeless at several points in Saturday’s game against Michigan. But resiliency once again led coach Bill O’Brien’s squad to victory.

Comments (0)
Lions face a gut check in Michigan
Posted: October 11, 2013

The second-year coach said this week it’d be crazy to think Saturday’s all-stadium White Out on ESPN at night is a normal contest.

Comments (0)
Penn State football isn’t perfect, and that’s OK
Updated: October 08, 2013 - 12:00 am

Yes, a Joe Paterno-coached team never lost to Indiana. And no, Penn State didn’t play or coach its best Saturday in a loss to the Hoosiers. But come on, Internet. Settle down.

Comments (0)
Penn State didn’t play horribly Saturday --- it just didn’t play complementary football in a loss to Indiana
Updated: October 08, 2013 - 2:17 pm

While football seems like a game distinctly separated into offense and defense, the two indirectly go hand-in-hand. The units aren’t on the field at the same time, but one affects the other in a major way.

Comments (0)