Imagine if Joe Paterno and his staff were aggressive in recruiting during his final few seasons at Penn State?
What if Bill O’Brien didn’t have the NCAA sanctions hampering recruiting?
What would it look like? Well, probably what the last six weeks looked like in Happy Valley.
It’s been a while since Penn State owned the Northeast in recruiting, but the early returns of the 2015 class suggest it is heading that way. It is ranked fourth nationally by Scout.com.
Penn State has nine commits already, the most this early in a class since Scout.com begin tracking it more than a decade ago, and they are some of the best prospects in the region.
Coach James Franklin, who won’t coach a game at Penn State for more than five months, is creating an excitement for the Nittany Lion faithful not seen in a while.
In building the 2015 class in the span of six weeks, Franklin landed marquee out-of-state talent, is keeping the top players from Pennsylvania home, and selling an image of restoring Penn State’s winning ways while also making the team relevant again on the field.
Penn State’s 2015 class already has nine members, including six rated with four stars. The class includes four-star prospects from Virginia (receiver Brandon Polk), New Jersey (receiver Juwan Johnson) and Maryland (defensive end Kamonte Carter), and five prospects from Pennsylvania, including four-star running backs Saquon Barkley of Whitehall High and Andre Robinson of Harrisburg Bishop McDevitt and four-star offensive tackle Ryan Bates.<p>
The last time Penn State had this many four-star prospects in a class was 2010, when it had 12 four-star players and three five star players.
So as Franklin replenishes the talent and seemingly cherry picks players from around the region, there is one more question that will move to the forefront?