PSU Recruiting Reset: Part 3 (Defense)

The Lions continue to add athleticism on the defensive side of the ball, but where are they lacking? We break down the class of 2015 defensive gains to date inside.

Former Penn State head coach Bill O'Brien and current Lion leader James Franklin have plenty of things in common.

One familiar thread, however, is one neither would like to share.

Both O'Brien (in the class of 2014) and Franklin (in the class of 2015) have lost a verbal pledge from a linebacker.

Of course, the position had been a major need in the last cycle, and that (nor the Lions depth issues) have changed in this cycle.

To date, Penn State has taken care of business inside, but the same cannot be said outside after Indiana four-star Josh Barajas flipped to Notre Dame last week.

The same applies to the defensive line, where Penn State is still seeking reinforcements, as well.

In part three of a four part series detailing the Lions' recruiting efforts to date, Fight On State takes a look at the defenders to join the class so far, and what positions need work, below.

Defining the Defense


Defensive Line

Projected Use: 4-5

Progress:If there is another recruiting trend that has carried over from the O'Brien era to Franklin's, it's that interior lineman have been a bit hard to come by. Yes, State did grab a pledge from Maryland four-star Adam McLean to go along with commitments from a trio of ends in three-stars Ryan Buchholz and Jonathan Holland, and four-star Kamonte Carter. And, yes again: one of them could slide inside. Yet, one may be forced to, as even though there is a long (read: LONG) way until February 2015, the picture inside continues to be a bit of a mystery going forward.


Linebacker

Projected Use: 2-3

Progress: Penn State grabbed three-star Keystone State prospect Jake Cooper inside, and felt it had its outside man in Indiana four-star Barajas. He recently flipped to Notre Dame, though, and though players are out there to take his spot, Penn State cannot yet be considered a lock to land any of them.


Defensive Back

Projected Use: 1-2

Progress: The secondary gained a big injection of talent at the tail end of the Class of 2014, but defensive coordinator Bob Shoop, defensive recruiting coordinator Terry Smith and company are still seeking for more. Penn State grabbed a pair of safeties in its first junior pledge, Jarvis Miller, and most recently, Ayron Monroe. Penn State added New Jersey talent Myles Hartfield to fill a corner spot in the class, but it will still search for another.


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