In 2011, Penn State had the 34th-best recruiting class in the nation, according to Scout.com. It was the final class fully assembled by Joe Paterno.
Among the 16 signees, six were ranked as 4-star players, nine as 3-stars and one as a 2-star. There were nine offensive players, six defensive players and a kicker. While a good portion of the group has gone on to play meaningful snaps in blue and white, some never got their opportunity in Happy Valley.
Cornerback Shyquawn Pullium never made it Penn State, opting to instead sign with Blinn Junior College. Offensive tackle Ryan Nowicki transferred to Illinois when the sanctions were levied by the NCAA, while defensive end Shawn Oakman was dismissed from the team in early 2012 for violating team rules.
Oakman's been the most successful of the three. After a fine 2013 season with Baylor, he was recently named Honorable Mention Big 12 Defensive Newcomer of the Year.
There have been plenty of members from the 2011 class who have been valuable contributors at Penn State over the last few years. Let's take a look at the top five members of the 2011 class, based on individual production to date.