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Recruiting 2010 - The Insider Answers, Part 3
Penn State head coach Joe Paterno
Penn State head coach Joe Paterno
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Jan 26, 2010


Are recruits concerned about a succession plan at Penn State? Is Ohio State in a holding pattern after last year's tremendous haul? These questions and more in Part Three of the key questions and insider answers for the 2010 recruiting season.

Recruiting 2010 - Key Questions

The Inside Info - Part Three

 
What's happening this recruiting season? Several Scout publishers provide their insider info on the key questions that matter to the real world of college football.

- Recruiting 2010 - The Key Questions, Part 1 - Is Bama taking advantage?
- Recruiting 2010 - The Key Questions, Part 2 - Is Miami keeping the top players home?
- Recruiting 2010 - The Key Questions, Part 4 - How is FSU doing without Bowden?
- Recruiting 2010 - The Key Questions, Part 5 - Does the loss of Carroll matter at USC?
- Recruiting 2010 - The Key Questions, Part 6 - Did the rumors about Stoops matter at OU?
- Recruiting 2010 - The Key Questions, Part 7 - Are Urban's health issues a problem? 
- Recruiting 2009 - The Key Questions

Q: How much concern is there for Georgia that Florida continues to load up on superstar recruits? What’s Mark Richt’s main focus to upgrade the team for next year?

A: Florida always loads up on recruits, so that's not new. Georgia just needs to take care of business in Jacksonville. They will not be overwhelmingly outmatched like they were in 2009. Richt's upgrade is on the defensive side of the ball - that's why he fired three coaches on that side of the ball. ... From Dean Lege, Dawgpost.com

Q: What, if anything, is Mike Sherman and staff doing to upgrade the defense for 2010? Is A&M winning any recruiting battles against Texas and OU?  

A: Sherman hired Air Force defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter to lead the defense. He's implementing an aggressive 3-4 scheme. Corey Nelson, a 6-foot-1, 210 lb. 5-star speed linebacker, picked Texas A&M last spring over both OU and Texas. He is considered the top linebacker in the state.

As far as other recruiting storylines, the biggest story is really the offensive line class which is the best A&M has put together in at least 15 years. The class includes 5-star offensive lineman Jake Matthews, son of Hall of Famer Bruce Matthews, who's the #1 OL in Texas. He picked A&M over Texas and USC. A&M also landed 4-star OT Luke Joeckel and 4-star OT Cedric Ogbuehi to go along with consensus state Top 50 OL prospects Shep Klinke and Garrett Gramling. Loaded with skill players, the offensive line has been the weak link for the offense, so this class bodes well for A&M's offense in the future. ... From David Sandhop, TexasWebsider.com

Q: After last year's tremendous class, is Ohio State in a holding pattern for 2011, recruiting-wise? Is the idea of playing with Terrelle Pryor for the next two years doing anything? 

A. I wouldn’t say Ohio State is in a holding pattern, but this year’s class has not lived up to the star billing of the past two classes for a few reasons. First off, the Buckeyes are finding out that having a lot of young talent on the roster helps scare away some younger recruits who want to see early playing time. That is not a realistic option for most positions at OSU this season, and that has had an impact on the 2010 recruiting class.

The Buckeyes live and die with the talent that originates within the Buckeye State, and that has had an effect this year as well. The state’s overall talent level is down compared to years past, and the top players are located in the Cincinnati region – long a tough spot for OSU to recruit for a number of reasons.

In addition, this year’s class never got much of a push because it did not have any players helping recruit others. In past years, the likes of Michael Brewster, DeVier Posey, Storm Klein and others have helped convince other top-ranked recruits to pick Ohio State. That simply has not happened this year.

The thought of getting the chance to play with Terrelle Pryor has not had much of an impact because there is plenty of thought that the quarterback might only have one more season remaining in Columbus. This year’s class will inherit an already crowded depth chart, making Pryor’s impact minimal for this group of recruits. ... From Adam Jardy, BuckeyeSports.com

Q: Are recruits wondering more and more about a succession plan? How much is JoePa’s age a factor now compared to five years ago?

A: 1) Are recruits wondering more and more about a succession plan?

I don't think this has changed much in recent years. Yes, kids wonder. But Penn State has done a good job of selling the notion that, when making a decision, a kid ought to focus more on the merits of the program and the university than the head coach. That's not to say they downplay Paterno's accomplishments. Far from it. However, they point out — and accurately so — that change can happen at any moment with any program. And they are pretty savvy in noting that many of the same opposing coaches who were using the "how-much-longer-will-Joe-be-around?" argument against PSU three or four years ago have left their respective programs since.

Most of the recruits we talk to seem to think the replacement will come from within the program and/or will be selected with input from Paterno. But my take is this is something that is being implied to them rather than promised.

2) How much is JoePa's age a factor now compared to five years ago?

It is actually less of a factor now than it was five years ago. Remember, at this time in 2005, Penn State was coming off a string of four losing seasons in five years. Paterno was 78 and under pretty intense scrutiny ("intense" for this neck of the woods). Back then, we were hearing kids who picked other schools say the eliminated Penn State because they were not sure how long Paterno would be around. Nyan Boateng was one of them. A direct quote when he eliminated the Lions from his recruitment was: "They say Joe Paterno will be there for four years, but they can't guarantee that."

We really don't hear that type of thing when kids pick other schools now.

Ironically, that was the same year Paterno and his staff landed the class that included Derrick Williams, Justin King and Sean Lee, difference-makers who helped quickly turn the program around.

In related news, Paterno is under contract through the 2011 season (he signed the extension in December of 2008, just as his previous contract was set to expire). Penn State is also re-seating Beaver Stadium in 2011 (via what is essentially a new seat-licensing plan), so barring injury or illness the odds of Paterno going anywhere before then are remote. ... From Mark Brennan, FightOnState.com

- Recruiting 2010 - The Key Questions, Part 1 - Is Bama taking advantage?
- Recruiting 2010 - The Key Questions, Part 2 - Is Miami keeping the top players home?
- Recruiting 2010 - The Key Questions, Part 4 - How is FSU doing without Bowden?
- Recruiting 2010 - The Key Questions, Part 5 - Does the loss of Carroll matter at USC?
- Recruiting 2010 - The Key Questions, Part 6 - Did the rumors about Stoops matter at OU?
- Recruiting 2010 - The Key Questions, Part 7 - Are Urban's health issues a problem? 
- Recruiting 2009 - The Key Questions