With the 2012 signing day almost a full week behind us, it’s time to look ahead to 2013.
We’re going to take a look at what PSU needs to be focusing on during the next 12 months, by position.
While you can never have enough elite pass rushers, Penn State has taken six players in the last two classes who will likely play DE. If an elite DE is available, they’ll certainly find room. I would be surprised if take more than one.
PSU will lose Justin Brown and Devon Smith after the 2012 season. Both have seemingly been staples in the offense since playing as true freshmen. O’Brien and staff will look to replace them with elite playmakers as they introduce their offense, but will have approximately 12 WRs on scholarship after Brown and Smith leave.
PSU got a stud OG commit in 2011 with Angelo Mangiro, but did not get a real standout this year. They also haven’t taken a true Center in a couple of years and it’s likely that new OL Coach McWhorter will want to add a couple of big interior lineman in this cycle.
The Nits pulled at least 3 DTs in the 2012 class but did not take one in 2011 and will certainly look for a star DT in this recruiting cycle.
I thought about combining the entire O-Line but the need at Tackle is a bit greater than at Guard or Center. In 2011, PSU pulled 3 true OTs, including Donovan Smith, who should compete for a starting job this year, as a redshirt freshman. However, the 2012 class did not include a single player who fits the mold of an offensive tackle.
Penn State has brought a TE in with each of the last two classes, but there’s no doubt that Coach O’Brien would like to add an elite player at the position to utilize some of the plays he had success with this season in New England. There happens to be one in Penn State’s back yard…
Although Penn State landed two CBs, a Safety and an Athlete (Malik Golden) who can play DB this year, they acquired only one DB in 2011 and will look to strengthen that unit. A good enough freshman defensive back from the 2013 class could contribute immediately.
Silas Redd will be a junior in 2012. Though unlikely, he is on pace to graduate early and could leave for the NFL. Penn State added Akeel Lynch with the 2012 class but did NOT land one in 2011. Redd’s potential departure would make the RB depth chart VERY thin.
I am a believer that major college universities should chase after at least one good quarterback every recruiting cycle. So many times a kid doesn’t live up to the hype (Rob Bolden, Paul Jones) and you need to have options. Penn State didn’t take a QB last season and took only one (Steven Bench) in the 2012 class. The coaches should look to add some depth, if not a stud who can compete for playing time soon.
Over the last 2 years, Penn State has taken only two total LBs, 3 star players Ben Kline and Nyeem Wartman. Linebacker U is going to be pretty thin and young when those guys are upper classmen. Don’t be surpised if PSU looks to add 3 or more LBs in this class.