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I think the reason you mentioned is exactly why it made no sense for him to stay an additional year. His limitations (athleticism, etc.) wouldn't have improved with another year of college. His rights are still controlled by New Orleans, and he's getting paid. Another year isn't going to change that, other than put off drawing a good sized paycheck.
The top-50 will certainly change between now and December of next year when these guys sign, but, it's not a huge stretch to say that PSU lands at least 5 or 6 of those guys I listed above. For comparison, Ohio State's 2018 class, which for my money is the most talented Big 10 recruiting class in the last 10+ years, at least, had 7 top-50 kids.
If you want to get really crazy, Georgia had an absurd 10 guys in the top-51 in 2018.
Thought that might be it, but wasn't sure.
In short, it's probably too early to say. Fleming is elite by every definition of the word. But after that it's a little more wide open, and more importantly, very early. Michael Carmody (Robby's brother, freshman basketball at Notre Dame) at Mars is a good looking OL prospect. Nikhai Green-Hill at Pittsburgh North Catholic is solid too. As of now, it doesn't look as deep as 2018, but a lot can change this fall during those guys' junior seasons.
More importantly, IMO, is that there is a TON of talent in PSU's natural recruiting area in 2020. Bryan Bresee, Mekhail Sherman, MarShawn Lloyd, Chris Tyree, Rakim Jarrett, Kalel Mullings, Antoine Sampah, Demon Clowney, Jalen Berger, and Kalel Mullings, plus Fleming, are all top-50 national guys from PA, DC, VA, MD, NJ, or MA, and all guys that PSU has done a great job with early.
I think the H-Back reasoning is exactly the reason a 2-back set makes a lot of sense. You can fill that type of role easier with the options you have there than you have at TE or WR.
The 2019 class (soon to be seniors) is very very very down. 2018 was as good a year as there's been in PA in awhile. For comparison, the top ranked player in PA in 2019 (Joey Porter Jr) would be No. 12 in the 2018 class. Only two 2019 Pennsylvanians are 4-star.
I'll be interested, among other things, to see how they handle the not all that unlikely case that the TE spot is a huge negative. I hope it's not, but it's not a huge leap, IMO, to think that they get very little out of the position, at least early on. Do they go to more 4 WR sets? Do they go to more 2 back sets? I think the latter is more likely given some of the options you have there with different types of players.
Love the optimism! I'm always hesitant to pick an undefeated type season, just because it's such a huge challenge. The pieces exist for that type of run, but there are a lot of big questions to answer.
Nothing specific on Zembiec, but I think it's telling he wasn't on the depth chart last year, and Sean Clifford was as a true freshman.
Stars aren't necessarily important to them in general. However, they want good players, and good players tend to be highly regarded and ranked.
As for QBs specifically, the eye test is important to them. All of their QB offers, with very few exceptions, have come from guys they've seen in person at camps or during evaluation periods.
Absolutely. Look at someone like John Dunmore. He knew nothing about PSU, but the success of the program, plus a connection in Seider got him onto campus, and he comes away shocked by what he sees. Winning doesn't necessarily bring great recruiting success, but for PSU, it's been massive in extending the reach of the program to prospects.
Bud Elliott over at SB Nation pretty much said as much. Logic says he'll at least look at FSU, but PSU's track record of hanging onto high end guys is pretty solid, despite the high profile cases like Justin Fields or Brandon Wimbush. Remember guys like Juwan Johnson, Shane SImmons, Miles Sanders, etc. were all thought to be "soft verbals" for a long time.
For one, the QB class in 2019 is way down. But Clifford is a former four-star and Roberson, the current QB commit is also a four-star.
That's a surprise, absolutely. Don't discount Ohio State or USC either. Penn State is in a very good spot, however.
The names you listed are exactly why recruiting at a high level is a must if the goal is to consistently compete for conference and national titles. Logic says that not every one of these guys is going to turn into a star, but your odds are so much higher of having a "hit" when you have this level of talented depth. There is not a time in my history as a Penn State fan where virtually every spot on the field goes two-deep with blue chip level talent. It's remarkable.
I think the secondary could be better this year than it was last. Reid is an all-conference type, as you said. Oruwariye has been solid as long as he's healthy, and Castro-Fields may be the most naturally talented corner on the roster,
As you said, linebackers are the huge question mark. I've gained a level of trust that both Banks and Spencer are going to find the pieces to make the safeties and DL work. They've shown that to be the case over their time at PSU. There are some intriguing pieces at LB, but it's been the one spot they haven't really developed a ton of reliable depth.
Thanks for sharing your unique perspective. And thank you to your daughter for the work she does.
I think I can safely say this is the first piece we've published in nearly two years in existence that has any political slant. You are certainly free to disagree it's not relevant, we don't need to agree on everything. However, the Lamont Wade connection made it something worth covering.
The other thing I will never do is tell Bill, or anyone else who writes on this site how to write or what to write about. That's just not who we are.
As I said, you are certainly free to disagree, and we more than accept that. I hope you continue to read the site.
Sorry to hear that. But two things. One, that "what RLR is not" was very specific regards to the Sandusky scandal. This is the exact text:
We will not focus on the aspects of the Jerry Sandusky scandal that do not have a direct impact on the current and future athletic programs. There are many other sources for scandal news, opinions, conspiracy theories, and secret statue locations. Comments and forum posts referencing the scandal will be heavily moderated or deleted outright. Repeat offenders will be banned.
Roar Lions Roar is about the present and the future, not the past. This is supposed to be fun.Please wage your battles elsewhere.
Two, this is a post highlighting the very public work a Penn State student-athlete is doing to highlight an issue he sees in his community. You may disagree with aspects of it. That's fine. However, it's very much relevant to Penn State, and the entire editorial staff of RLR saw zero issue with publishing this.
We have confirmed he's a preferred walk-on. Cannot, however, speak to the tweet.