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2017 Penn State Recruiting: Can James Franklin Capitalize On The Conference Championship?

With limited scholarships, will Penn State be able to grab top tier talent after the conference championship win?

NCAA Football: Rose Bowl Game-Penn State vs Southern California Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

This is a recurring feature leading up to National Signing Day where we will preview each teams recruiting class and who each team’s best recruit is and who can make an immediate impact. We’ll go in order from worst to first based on 2016 standings. All ratings come from the 247 composite rankings.

Where do they stand?

Penn State currently has the 15th ranked recruiting class in the nation, 3rd in the Big Ten and 3rd in the East.

How does the class breakdown?

Penn State currently has 18 commitments, 4 of which are early enrollees. They’ve taken 10 guys on offense and 8 on defense. Here is the positional breakdown:

  • QB: 1
  • RB: 1
  • WR: 4 (1 ath)
  • OL: 4
  • DL: 3
  • LB: 1
  • DB: 4

A lot of these are depth and future recruits as Penn State doesn’t have a ton of needs outside of WR where they graduated players and lost one to the draft. Here is the full class list, via 247:

Is the talent any good?

Yes. Penn State averages a high 3 star recruit with a class average of .8881. There are no five star players in the class but Penn State has grabbed some quality defensive players and weapons on offense. The OL could use a quality tackle but the two they grabbed aren’t bad either.

Who are they still after?

With a small amount of scholarships available, Penn State has I believe 1 more slot open. They have been after Tariq Castro-Fields, who is down to MD and Penn State and pushed his decision from last week to NSD. Castro-Fields is a four star player at CB is down to PSU and Maryland.

Since it’s Maryland related..I’ll offer my prediction. This is a bit updated because I had Ellis Brooks in here who just announced to PSU, but Castro-Fields appears to be headed to MD after pushing back his commitment date when Maryland went in home with him. The decision of Anthony McFarland to go to MD along with the last second push by the staff seems to have swayed his decision.

Can anyone make early contributions?

Yes. Lamont Wade should see time immediately as the teams nickel corner. He’s Will Likely sized so I don’t think he’ll see too much time as a boundary corner but would probably be just fine. KJ Hamler should see time as a slot WR early on for Penn State as well. Penn State generally redshirts their linemen, so a good bulk of this class is probably headed that way.

Up next: Ohio State