The 2017 season is officially in the books. Alabama is national champions, blah blah blah Nick Saban, blah. In college football, each team is around for only one year. Next year’s team will be will lose key players Marcus Allen, Jason Cabinda, Mike Gesicki, Daeshean Hamilton, and Troy Apeke among others to graduation. Undeniably, the biggest loss will be of consensus first team All American, Saquon Barkley who isforgoing his senior season for the NFL draft and is predicted to be a top five draft selection. Key returning players include: Trace McSorely, who is on the preseason shortlist of Heisman Trophy contenders, Juwan Johnson, Miles Sanders, and John Reid who is returning after missing last season with a torn ACL. The team has certainly lost a lot of star power, but there are several key young players waiting for their chance to shine. Among those potential stars are Tariq Castro-Fields and Lamont Wade at the defensive back position, and five star freshman Micah Parsons who will be looking to earn the starting position at linebacker. After losing the star power this teamhas, most teams would experience a rebuilding year, but not Penn State. Coach, James Franklin has done an admirable job recruiting in the last few years and has the young talent primed to make an instant impact. This year, Franklin has his recruiting class situated nicely at 4 in the country with several incredibly promising prospects.
Taking an in depth look at this year’s recruiting class, it is no secret that homegrown, 5 star, 5th best prospect in the country, Micah Parsons is a huge recruiting win for Franklin. Beyond Parsons, there are two other five stars, WR Justin Shorter (number one receiver in the country according to ESPN), and RB Ricky Slade (number two running back according to ESPN). These three players are the nucleus around which Franklin hopes to build a national championship team. All three players have the potential to have a considerable impact as freshman. What Franklin has accomplished is quite remarkable as having three five stars commit in one class is the most Penn State has ever had. In the class, Penn State has an incredible 14 blue chip recruits. (a blue chip recruit is any recruit who is four or five stars) Some may say that four and five star recruits do not matter, they may use the example of three star QB Trace McSorely leading PSU to a Big Ten title, but there is no way to deny hard statistics. The last ten national champions have been over the magical threshold of more than 50% of their scholarship players being former blue chip recruits. With this year’s class, Penn State will join an exclusive club of less than ten teams nationally that can claim that. Does this mean a national championship is in the cards? Potentially, but one cannot forget wh
at Urban Meyer has been able to do at OSU where his class currently sits at 2 in the country.
Being the offseason, the blogs will continue to look at Penn State off the field in the subsequent blogs.
#dontbethatguy goes to Georgia. Blowing that lead? Come on dawg.