Several weeks ago, Matt de Bear and I had a discussion about whether or not Penn State should be recruiting a quarterback for the 2014 class. I’ve meant to write about that conversation for some time. Since he is in Las Vegas, I’ll now present my argument while he isn’t around for a rebuttal. That’s really the best way to argue, anyways.
Six months ago, the quarterback situation at Penn State looked like a storage unit with a paperback book in it. You had starter Matt McGloin, backup freshman Steven Bench, and a black hole behind him. At the time, Christian Hackenberg was verbally committed but those words conjure up emotions of previous heartbreaks among Penn State fans. At that time, I would have said that Penn State should recruit a quarterback in the 2014 class.
Insert walk-ons Austin Whipple and DJ Crook, along with JuCo transfer Tyler Ferguson, who is competing with Bench for the starting job in spring practice right now. In the summer, those four will be joined by not only Hackenberg, who has since signed a letter of intent, but also by two star preferred walk-on, Jack Seymour, who turned down mid-major offers to pay his own way at Penn State.
A quarterback depth chart that had one player certain to return for the 2013 season will have six players vying for snaps this summer. Making the situation even more beneficial to PSU, every one of those players will have at least two more years of eligibility AFTER the 2013 season. At least one of them will redshirt and come back with four years of eligibility and freshman phenom-to-be, Christian Hackenberg will have at least three years left in Happy Valley. Those factors should all contribute to Bill O’Brien passing on a quarterback in next year’s class. Oh yeah, I forget to mention that Penn State is battling with severe scholarship limitations and will likely be limited to 10-14 kids in this next class.
Among fans, there is a saying that usually sounds like this: “We should take a quarterback every year!” To be honest, I generally agree with that, outside of a particular set of circumstances: If you have six quarterbacks on your roster, none of whom have less than three years of eligibility, and a limit of 65 scholarships leading to an abnormally small class, you should NOT take a quarterback that year. Look who fits right into that criteria…
According to various reports, Penn State is showing limited interest in recruiting a quarterback right now. Two 2014 QBs have claimed offers from the Nittany Lions. Not to say those offers aren’t valid but with written offers prohibited until the fall, there’s always room for misunderstandings. Whether or not Penn State will take a recruit is impossible to say right now but if the roster holds up through the summer, I think it would be a mistake to use one of 65 scholarships on a 7th quarterback.
Should they? Will they? We’ll see!
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