Penn State Football: Five Areas of Improvement for the Nittany Lions

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Nov 29, 2014; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions players pray prior to the game against the Michigan State Spartans at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

It is no secret, nor an excuse, that the sanctions handed down in 2012 was a significant blow to the usual talent level that comes to Happy Valley . Penn State dressed just over 45 scholarship players in 2014. Although 7 wins would make a good majority of fan bases content, that simply is not the case at Penn State. This team has been held together, over the past few years, by desire and heart alone.

The role that the walk-ons, better known recently as the Run-Ons, have played in keeping this team prepared and ready is well-documented. Many of them were all over the field again on Saturday. However, to reach the level that Penn State is accustomed to once again, they must continue to restock the shelves.

The good news is, Coach Franklin is a master at recruiting. He put together a class last year, on short notice, that has already left its mark on the program. Names like Marcus Allen, Saeed Blacknall, Chris Godwin, and Grant Haley have made their presence known.

In June, a Top 15 class is set to enroll and hit the ground running. A total of 25 signees are ready to join the program and, by all accounts, help Penn State get back to a full roster of scholarship players in 2015. Already hard at work on the 2016 class, Penn State has 6 verbal commits and are in the final list of many of the top rated players heading into their senior high school season.

The next few months are crucial in the recruiting world, and the Nittany Lion staff has already hit the road in search of the right fit to fill the needs of a successful future.

Next: Fourth Top Area Needing Improvement