Penn State Class of 2010 Rewind

Looking back at the vaunted Nittany Lion recruiting class whose eligibility window just closed.

In terms of making an impact on the field at Penn State, the Nittany Lions' 2010 recruiting class is destined to go down as one of the worst in the modern era of the program.

We mention this because the group just saw its five-year eligibility window close. And to say it did not live up to the No. 9 national ranking it received back in 2010 would be an understatement.

Of course, we would be remiss if we did not mention the impact the NCAA sanctions stemming from the Sandusky scandal had on this class. After all, in the summer of 2012, players were allowed to transfer to other schools without penalty, or quit playing football and remain on scholarship with the Lions.

But even taking that into account, as a whole this was not a particularly productive group.

The entire class produced only two first-team All-Big Ten selections. And none of the players who transferred to other major-college programs won first-team All-Conference honors there.

So far, only two players have been taken in the NFL Draft, both in the fourth round. Three more have a chance to be drafted this year, but it will be surprising if any of them go earlier than the fourth round.

There are players who did very little at Penn State (or anywhere) who, when rated now as compared to then, actually moved up, only because there were so many flat-out busts in the Class of 2010.

We will have a detailed breakdown of what happened to every member of this class in our upcoming Penn State Recruiting Yearbook.

In the meantime, take a look at how the players stacked up coming into the program. That's in the column to the left below. The column to the right is our take how they actually performed in college (whether at Penn State, at PSU and another school, or at another school. The +/- change is the difference between the two.

Find comments on each player below the graphic. Note that the player cards included are from back in 2010.



1. LB Mike Hull (even)

The Big Ten's leading tackler earned All-Conference and second-team All-America notice last season. PSU's sixth-leading tackler all time, and a key contributor on defense and special teams for all four seasons.

2. DT DaQuan Jones (+2)

Four-year mainstay and two-year starter on the D-line is now with the Tennessee Titans, who made him a fourth-round draft pick. He was a first-team All-Big Ten pick in 2013.

3. WR Levi Norwood (+17)

Left PSU before enrolling. Did you realize he compiled nearly 4,000 total yards at Baylor, including 1,945 receiving? Imagine if he had been paired with Allen Robinson.

4. RB Silas Redd (-1)

Feel free to boo the USC transfer and the classless way he exited PSU. But he finished his college career with nearly 3,000 rushing yards, more than half at Penn State. Now a reserve with the Washington Redskins (though he was not drafted).

5. RB Zach Zwinak (+6)

Was good when he had it rolling, rushing for right around 1,000 yards in 2012 and '13. But he didn't seem to quite fit in James Franklin's system, then sustained a career-ending injury.

6. DE C.J. Olaniyan (+4)

Took time to fill out but ended up being a two-year starter who made 111 tackles and 17.5 sacks.

7. OL Miles Dieffenbach (+2)

Would have been higher here if not for injury issues as a senior. But he still made 26 career starts.

8. Khairi Fortt (-3)

Superior athlete who had 114 career tackles, 50 of them at Penn State. Was actually pretty good after transferring to Cal, at least when he wasn't hurt. Injury issues continued to plague him as he bounced around three NFL teams last season (he was a fourth-round draft pick in '14).

9. OL Alex Mateas (+11)

Never played a down at Penn State but became a two-plus year starter at center for UConn.

10. DL Kyle Baublitz (+3)

Had one solid year as a starting DT at Penn State (2012) before hanging it up with a season of eligibility remaining. Who can forget his blocked field goal in OT to save the Michigan game that year?

11. QB Rob Bolden (-5)

Threw for 200 or more yards in four of his first five games. Never reached that plateau again -- at PSU, or after transferring to LSU (where he never threw a pass) or Eastern Michigan.

12. DE Brad Bars (+8)

Injury issues prevent him from ever being more than a backup. But his special teams exploits included a blocked punt and 32-yard rush on a fake punt. Good team guy, too.

13. Alex Kenney (+2)

Had one decent season under Bill O'Brien, making 17 catches for 172 yards, and returning four kickoffs for 72 yards in 2012. But he disappeared in 2013 and transferred to UMass last fall.

14. Kevin Haplea (-7)

Had 11 career catches -- six at Penn State and then five after transferring to Florida State. Had injury issues at both schools.

15. Paul Jones (-13)

Ended up catching more passes (one) than he threw (none) at Penn State, as academic issues, trouble grasping the playbook and a refusal to move to tight end eventually did him in. Completed less than 50 percent of his passes (122 of 261) after transferring to little Robert Morris for the 2013 season and was out of football last year. That Jones is this high tells you something about the guys who rank below him.

16. Luke Graham (even)

Failed to make an impact on the offensive or defensive line in his first two seasons. Quit the team in 2012, but took advantage of the NCAA sanction that allowed him to stay on scholarship.

17. Khamrone Kolb (even)

Played in one game in two seasons before transferring to Fordham (before the NCAA sanctions hit PSU) in 2012. Played one year for the Rams, starting nine games.

18. Dakota Royer (-6)

Another player who could not find a home, shuffling between DE and TE (and playing at neither) before quitting in 2012. He also chose to stay on scholarship, and graduated in May of 2013.

19. Evan Hailes (-11)

Saw reserve action in only two games at PSU (both in 2012) due to blood clot issues that ultimately ended his career. At least he had a valid excuse for slipping so far, so we can't qualify him as a bust.

20. Tom Ricketts (-6)

Never played a snap at PSU, then transferred to Pitt before the 2011 season. Never played a snap there, either, first because he had to skip a year due to NCAA transfer rules and then because his career came to an end due to a shoulder injury.

21. Shyquawn Pulliam (-3)

Signed with PSU twice (2010 and then 2011 after attending a prep school) but never reached a qualifying SAT score and never enrolled. Played two years of juco ball ('12 and '13) but was out of football last season. So he never even practiced at the major-college level.


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