I think this class feels like a letdown to some because of the names you mentioned. This was supposed to be “the class” that took Penn State to that elite next level. Obviously things changed and that didn’t happen. But outside of Jacobs, there isn’t really that elite level talent here. At least not yet. So it just gives the illusion of a big missed opportunity and a step back. We won’t know for sure how this class will eventually be remembered, but for now you are right that it’s just filled with potential.
I think this class represents a step back and potentially a regression to the mean. The momentum of the 2016 season is gone and I fear the talent gap will continue to widen. The road to the playoff is either through extraordinary coaching or extraordinary recruiting and right now we don’t have either.
I think the new OC/QB coach hire is going to be huge determining the next few years of whether or not the team can make that next leap. The buzz surrounding the JoeMo hire was real and along with the Big Ten championship, helped with recruiting and national perception. If they make another hire like that, it can hopefully lead to an elite QB committing (Caleb Williams would be nice) and then picking up momentum on and off the field.
I'm not sure I'd agree it's a step back. It's very much in line with last year's class overall. The only letdown is there was an opportunity to take a big step forward with some of the guys I mentioned, but I think at worst it's maintaining the status quo. I will 100% agree it doesn't close the gap on the Ohio States, Clemsons, and Alabamas of the world, but the overall talent on the roster is not going to change significantly because of this group. Taking that next step is incredibly difficult, but returning to 10 wins, and a NY6 game is absolutely going to push it more in the right direction.
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Biggest issue we are facing is putting guys in the NFL -
Ohio State, Clemson, Bama have all done that consistently - and we haven’t...mostly because of numbers after the ol’ Emmert sanctions...if we can do that (ESPECIALLY on Dline and Oline) kids will want to come here.
look at OSU w the Bosas and Clemson with last year’s dline draft kids - THAT is what we are missing right now
It's getting there. Starting in 2016, which seems like a reasonable benchmark for Franklin's staff, Penn State has had 17 players drafted. They'll have several more this year, including a potential (likely?) first round guy in Gross-Matos.