Getting the #1 TE in the country, Mike Gesicki was impressive, but I’m even more impressed with BOB’s ability to go head-to-head with Urban Meyer (considered one of the best recruiters in the country) and win key recruiting battles. It’s a trend I think we could all get used to. With the sanctions reducing the “playing field”, recruiting has become much more important and I think it will be very interesting to see O’Brien recruit without the restrictions of the sanctions (I personally think the bowl ban will be lifted or reduced come this August).
Even before the sanctions were reduced and well before the Gesicki pickup, Penn State had a very impressive recruiting class, especially on the offensive side of the ball. By many recruiting analyst’s Penn State was considered to have the best trio of WR’s in the 2014 class: De’Andre Thompkins, Chris Godwin, and Troy Apke. Thompkins is one of the fastest players in the country and has been clocked running a 4.37 40-time. Godwin is a big WR at 6’2 who is considered a good route runner and uses his size well to go up and get the ball. Apke is a mix between the two.
Hackenberg has handled playing as a true freshman just about as well as you possibly can and we can only hope and think he is going to get even better. I have no reason to think otherwise, mainly because of the head he has on his shoulders. Add all of these weapons to an already good receiving, TE core, and the potential of the offense for the next 4 years is crazy good it’s scary. Remember Allen Robinson is only a junior (will probably leave for the league though, can’t blame him), Jesse James and Kyle Carter are both only SOPHOMORES, Geno Lewis is a RS Freshman, Adam Breneman is a freshman, and Richy Anderson who has been playing a lot in the slot is also a freshman. You also have Bill Belton and Zwinak for another year, along with Akeel Lynch for 3 more after that. O’Brien and Hack are going to have weapons to utilize and create mismatches all over the field especially with the four crazy athletic TE’s they are going to have (Carter, James, Breneman, Gesicki). The potential is truly scary.
Oh, and by the way we have a 4-star QB, Michael O’Connor from Florida waiting in the winds for when Hack leaves.
Ps. To put into perspective the type of season Hack is having…Matt Stafford as a true freshman threw for 1,749 yards, 7 TD’s, and 13 INT’s through 13 games and he ENROLLED EARLY. Through 6 games Hack has thrown for 1,672 yards, 11 TD’s and 6 INT’s. Stafford turned out to be a #1 pick so those stats put into perspective how hard it really is to play quarterback as a true freshman no matter how much talent you have.
Pps. Keep an eye on 5-star DT Thomas Holley who also seems to be choosing between PSU and OSU following the Michigan game.
Also, follow our boy @BWISnyder for more PSU recruiting news.