Penn State Class of 2007 Breakdown: Part 2

Our player-by-player breakdown of Penn State's Class of 2007 continues with five more athletes who signed with the Nittany Lions Wednesday. Get the lowdown on a juco, a couple of legacies, a huge tight end and a Carolina prospect from FOS recruiting reporter Cory James.

Ako Poti (Community College of San Francisco, San Francisco, Calif.):This 6-foot-5, 300-pound offensive tackle is another rarity as a junior college recruit for Penn State. You can tell the Penn State coaching staff sensed an immediate need for offensive tackle recruits. Poti chose Penn State over BYU, Kentucky, Utah and Texas Tech. Poti has great quickness off the snap and attacks the defender on the run. In pass protection, Poti has an excellent sense of the pocket and doesn't chase defenders to open up gaps. The only problem we see in Poti is that in pass protection he tends to be passive. He often backs up off the snap rather than attacking quickly and then forming a pocket. This causes him to struggle a bit on the bull rush and to occasionally be beaten on a stunt. With some work on a few things here and there, Poti can be another big, physical offensive lineman with the potential to come in right away and contribute at Penn State.

Joe Suhey (Loyola Academy, Wilmette, Ill.): This 6 -2, 190-pound athlete is the son of former Penn State standout Matt Suhey, grandson of former Penn State All-American Steve Suhey and great-grandson of former Penn State All-American and head coach Bob Higgins. Suhey played wide receiver, quarterback and running back at Loyola, and it isn't sure where he might line up for the Nittany Lions. Some project Suhey as a wide receiver, running back, safety or linebacker. Suhey may be known for his family legacy at Penn State, but there is no question that he has some skills. It will be interesting to see how his career at Penn State turns out, but we figure that he could be an impact as a spark plug player on the special teams units early on.

Stefen Wisniewski (Central Catholic Highl, Pittsburgh, Pa.): This 6 -3, 275-pound offensive lineman is the son of former Penn State defensive lineman Leo Wisniewski and nephew of former Penn State All-American offensive lineman Steve Wisniewski. Stefen has a lot to live up to at Penn State if he hopes to pick up where his father and uncle left off, but he has the talent to do so. Wisniewski selected Penn State over offers from Boston College, North Carolina, Michigan, Pittsburgh and others. Wisniewski was selected to the U.S. Army All-America game for his efforts on the offensive line at Central Catholic. Wisniewski is a guy who has a lot of natural ability and a lot of smarts to pick up nearly every blocking scheme. He also shows great technique in leverage and shielding blockers from the runner as well as setting a wide base. The one thing Wisniewski will have to work on is adding some size as he could afford to put on 10-20 pounds to keep up with the physical defensive lines in the Big Ten. Wisniewski has the frame to do just that, so we don't look for it to be a problem. It is awfully tough for freshmen to come in and make an immediate impact, so we expect a redshirt year for Wisniewski to add some size. But look out for big things from him in the future.

Andrew Szczerba (Salesianum High School, Wilmington, Del.): This 6-6, 250-pound tight end might make for two early impact tight ends from the past two recruiting classes for Penn State. Szczerba is a big kid with a lot of strength and pass-catching ability who could be the thunder to Andrew Quarless' lightning. Szczerba adds a big, blocking tight end to an offense that could use the help off the edge this year. The real question for the Penn State coaches will be which major need to use Szczerba to fill. PSU loves big, blocking tight ends to help seal the end in the running game, which fits Szczerba to a T. The other position of need for the Nittany Lions, offensive tackle, may be where Szczerba ends up after packing on a few pounds. Szczerba has a huge frame, great feet and can easily pack on the pounds without losing his agility. The question will remain in Penn State fans' minds as to where Szczerba lines up. Whether it be at tight end or offensive line, we feel Szczerba is an impact player for years to come.

Quinn Barham (Hillside High, Durham, N.C.): This 6-4, 265-pound offensive lineman was an under-the-radar player on the recruiting scene this year, but really showed us some things after the season in the Shrine Bowl practices and game. Barham is a powerful lineman with a low center of gravity. He is very big in the lower body. Barham could use some work building up his upper body, but if he does so he could make an impact at Penn State on the offensive line. Barham has good technique and shows good balance and lateral movement. Barham will also need to add some weight to keep up in the trenches of Big Ten play, but hopefully that will come in working that upper body. Barham could be a sleeper in this class, but it will take a few years for him to make an impact in our view.

In the next installment, we size up Andrew Dailey, Stephfon Green, Kevion Latham and Nick Sukay.


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