James Franklin: 2016 Season Will Have Big Impact on 2018 Class

By Nick Polak on February 1, 2017 at 1:18 pm

Winning cures everything.

This holds especially true in the world of recruiting. Consistent, winning teams will always be an attractive destination for recruits. Being an attractive destination recruits leads to more blue chip prospects. More blue chip prospects leads to more winning. And so and so forth.

It's a simple concept, but one that's not so easy to accomplish. The national heavyweights such as Alabama, Ohio State, Clemson just to name a few, have gotten to where they are now because they've used their winning ways to bring in more and more talented recruits to further those same winning ways.

Penn State is still trying to get back to that place. Yes, there were special circumstances that made winning tougher for a period of time, but 2016 was a big step in the right direction. The Nittany Lions' 11-3, Big Ten Championship-winning season signaled a shift in Happy Valley. Gone are the Penn State teams struggling to reach seven wins with a young, depleted roster. Now, James Franklin and his staff will be looking to cash in on that on-field success in the recruiting game.

In the interview with the Big Ten Network shown above, Franklin stated that the effects of the historic 2016 season would really start to be felt with the 2018 recruiting class and beyond. Some would say that class has already started to feel those good vibes. Take a look at what the Nittany Lions' 2018 class currently looks like.

Current 2018 Commits
Name Position High School Rating Position Rank
Micah Parsons SDE Central Dauphin (Pa.) ★★★★★ (0.9978) 2
Zack Kuntz TE Camp Hill (Pa.) ★★★★ (0.9695) 1
Justin Shorter WR South Brunswick (Nj.) ★★★★ (0.9617) 9
Justin Fields Dual-QB Harrison (Ga.) ★★★★ (0.9579) 5
Pat Freiermuth TE Brooks School (Ma.) ★★★★ (0.9401) 7
Isaiah Humphries S Sachse (Tx.) ★★★★ (0.9142) 19
Chris Bleich OT Wyoming Valley West (Pa.) ★★★★ (0.8964) 25

Penn State already holds commitments from five different players ranked within the top-ten at their respective positions. For comparison sake, the 2017 class ended with five players in the top-ten at their positions. The 2018 class has only just begun accumulating talent.

James Franklin and the staff certainly must have big plans on the horizon with their next class if they're talking about the impact that the Big Ten Championship season will have, instead of the impact it's already had. Should be fun to watch.