National Signing Day was essentially pretty quiet for Penn State, but that is nothing new. But being quiet does not mean that Penn State is bringing in a class of recruits to look past.
The Class of 2010 is one of the best classes brought in by Penn State in recent years and should help sustain success for the Nittany Lions for the next few seasons. The new batch of recruits is being heralded as the best class in the Big Ten and is a top ten class according to a couple recruiting outlets.
Penn State did well on both sides of the ball. At first glance it would seem that Penn State focused more on the offensive side of the ball, bringing in some good offensive linemen to create depth at a position that was shaky last season. There is no explosive wide receiver in the batch but the quarterback duo of Paul Jones and Robert Bolden could be the best pair of quarterbacks recruited in the same class in Penn State history. Some say that Bolden could compete for the starting job very early, although I would be stunned if Kevin Newsome is not the man taking snaps when the 2010 football season starts. A true freshman at quarterback in the season opener? Forget about it.
The running back position, even without the addition of South Carolina-bound Marcus Lattimore, is in very good shape. The position is already well stocked for 2010 but the additions of Silas Redd and Zach Zwinak add a bit of thunder and lightning to the group. Redd was a top recruit out of Connecticut and has some speed and elusiveness to boats, while Zwinak could be a good fit as a fullback on the team who can pound out the short yardage.
The tight end position welcomes Kyle Baublitz and Kevin Haplea to a position that is lacking in depth. Baublitz could make a push for some early playing time after the departure of Andrew Quarless. Haplea is not that far behind Baublitz according to some scouts.
As impressive as the offensive game plan was in recruiting, although I think a stud wide receiver would have been a good catch, the defense did pretty well too.
Linebacker U will bring in a couple top linebackers as usual. The cream of the crop will be Mike Hull, regarded as one of the top linebackers in high school. Expect Hull to continue the mold formed by guys like Paul Posluszny, Dan Connor and Sean Lee. Nothing too flashy about Hull, but he is almost certainly going to be around the ball on any given play. Khairi Fortt on the other hand I believe has what it takes to fit another mold, set by guys like LaVar Arrington and Navorro Bowman. Fortt looks like a guy that can bring some attitude to the field and I expect he will do just that when he gets on the field.
The defensive line will add some weight to it with the addition of Evan Hailes at defensive tackle and some athleticism with C.J. Olaniyan and Dakota Royer at defensive end but that is essentially it for the line. With the experience on the line the team should be fine for 2010, but the defensive line will be a priority in the Class of 2011 as it thins out.
Over the next few days I will be introducing you to each new member of the Nittany Lions one by one. In these profiles we will take a closer look at how each player fits in and when we can expect to see them start taking the field as a contributing actor in the game plan. For now, enjoy the slide show below of some of the new additions in the Class of 2010.
You can also see how the whole day unfolded for Penn State by checking out my live recruiting updates form yesterday.
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