1. The million-dollar question… How solid is Hackenberg?
“Jordan Smith, a defensive back from Washington DC area is planning to enroll early as well. As of right now those are the only two guys that plan to enroll early. It’s kind of a little late because that process needs to start fairly early. The staff is trying to find players that can enroll early and that is definitely a focus of the coaching staff right now, but the majority of prospects that decide to enroll early also make their commitment early, so it’s hard to find those players at this point. It’s also hard for the players that are already committed to Penn State to move up their graduation date, as most have to take extra classes of online classes during the summer.”
4. What positions is B.O.B targeting as positions of need as this class goes forward?
“One or two defensive backs, another linebacker, another offensive lineman, possibly anotherdefensive tackle. They would also like a running back and a wide receiver. They would like an offensive tackle that can fill Dorian Johnson’s spot, but I’m not sure if they’re going to have room for all of that though.”
6. Could some of the players be awarded academic scholarships and have it not count against the 65 athletic scholarships?
“No. In Division I basketball and football you are either on full scholarship or a walk-on. You can’t split up scholarships.”
7. Is O’Brien still going after three, four, five star guys or has he kind of changed the type of players he is recruiting?
9. Here’s a quote from 2014 OL Quenton Nelson: “By the time I’d go there, if I redshirt, the sanctions will be all but over,” he said. “So it doesn’t really matter if Penn State can’t go to a bowl game there. I feel like every game is a bowl game there. They have at least 80,000 fans show up, and that’s more than what an NFL game gets.” Is that how most recruits feel? B.O.B was off to a great start before the sanctions, can he duplicate that as time goes on?
“It’s still a little early to get a good grasp on these 2014 guys but when you say most, it’s kind of tough to say. Each guy is going to be a little different. There’s definitely a couple of guys that see this a challenge and see this as more than just playing in a bowl game. But the staff is doing a great job with the 2014 class. A lot of guys have already been up for visits and I believe PSU will do much better than most of the national experts believe.”
10. Which current verbal would you consider to be “shaky”?
“Everyone that picked Penn State ahead of time is pretty solid at the moment. They all are fully committed but are keeping an eye on how the season goes. They’re focusing on their high school season and then after the seasons over they will reevaluate a bit, as most recruits do, but I think for the most part they are Penn State guys. They are pretty solid commits.”
11. What are some names we should keep an eye on these next few months? Commit watch?
“The majority of prospects that have received offers from Penn State lately have been pretty quiet, but out of those guys, Richie Anderson is a name to watch. Richie’s currently committed to Maryland, but his dad went to Penn State. He also had Penn State really high on his list before getting an offer. Don’t get me wrong, he really likes Maryland, but I could definitely see him taking a serious look at Penn State. He’s a running back that may be more of an athlete in college and that is definitely a position that fits really well at PSU. He’s supposed to be at the Penn State for the Ohio State game so we’ll see how that goes.”
Notes: OT Dorian Johnson out. WR Tyler Boyd out. They really want an outside or weak side linebacker. WR David Wilson would take a real look at PSU if he got a PSU offer. PSU will get the recruits mid-season film in a week or two. Once they get their hands on that they will probably get a few more offers out.
Reaction: Bill O’Brien has done a fantastic job and it looks like PSU is going to have a much better class than most people think.