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The Staff of FightOnState.com
QUOTES ON PENN STATE'S RECRUITING EFFORT
Cory James, FightOnState.com Recruiting Reporter
"Penn State had verbal commitments from 15 recruits and managed to hold on to all but one running back — Michael Shaw. That leaves the Lions with just one incoming freshman [Brandon Beachum] to help bolster the running game with returnees Evan Royster and Stephfon Green.
"Penn State kept the cupboard full with three outstanding linebacker recruits and picked up three offensive linemen to add depth, especially at offensive tackle.
"The class also includes one wide receiver to help fill voids that will be left by graduation after 2008. The defensive backfield replaced NFL-bound Justin King with a bright young prospect from Texas, D'Anton Lynn. The tight end and defensive end positions got richer with outstanding, athletic playmakers on both sides of the ball. Larry Johnson even picked up a few more big bodies at defensive tackle to work into his rotating defensive line schemes.
"The real unanswered question is quarterback. Can Penn State land one of the top prospects in the country in Terrelle Pryor? Pryor will visit Penn State in the coming weeks and if he should choose the Lions the class will take a gigantic leap forward."
Bob Lichtenfels, Scout.com Regional Recruiting Analyst
"Overall the class is solid. Those three linebackers [Michael Mauti, Mike Yancich and Michael Zordich] are as good as anybody and could play anywhere in the country. After that, I'd say D'Anton Lynn is their best prospect so far.
"Losing Michael Shaw hurt because I thought they needed two or three running backs with this class. And there are a lot of questions at quarterback and in the secondary. Lynn is exceptional, but I thought they needed more depth.
"A.J. Price is a play-maker at wide receiver and was a good get late. But some think they needed two or three receivers this year. They did well on the offensive line. The numbers were not great on the defensive line but that's OK because they've stocked up there in recent years. And the players they did get will do well under Larry Johnson.
"I think the whole succession thing with Joe Paterno is starting to catch up to Penn State. There is no more saying Joe will be there for four or five more years, and I think that is starting show. They have to address that."
Jamie Newberg, Scout.com National Recruiting Analyst
"Penn State wasn't high on numbers but this class is high in quality. Brandon Beachum (RB), Mark Wedderburn (TE), Matt Stankiewitch (OL), Jack Crawford (DE), Mike Zordich (LB), Michael Mauti (LB), Mike Yancich (LB) and D'Anton Lynn (S) are all very good prospects. I love what they did at linebacker with this trio. They are as solid as any group in the nation."
Mark Brennan, FightOnState.com
"With a limited number of scholarships available, there was little chance Penn State would finish with a top-25 class this year. So the fact that the Lions will end up well out of the top 25 is not really an issue, in my view.
"More troubling is the fact that Penn State came up short in attempting to address some of its most serious needs (at least so far). As of this writing, the Lions had signed only one receiver and no quarterbacks. Of course, the QB situation -- indeed the entire class — will be viewed in a much more positive light if PSU can land Terrelle Pryor.
"This marks the second straight year Joe Paterno has not hit the road to recruit at all in December and that he has done very little traveling in January. While it is difficult to blame him for that, it points out the need for Penn State to — at the very least — name an assistant head coach who can pick up the slack when Paterno is unable to travel."