Penn State Football: Offense of the Future in Place with 2014 Recruiting Class

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Penn State Football: Offense of the Future in Place with 2014 Recruiting Class
courtesy of 247Sports
Chris Godwin

The Nittany Lions logged letters of intent from the newest members of the football program on Wednesday, and there's no arguing where the majority of the talent is grouped.

With a 4-star quarterback, three 4-star receivers, a 4-star tight end, the top tight end in the countryaccording to 247Sportsand three players who are projected as running backs, the Penn State offense has its key components for the future in place now.

Starting in 2014, Penn State could be fielding 4-star players at every skill position—two-deep in most cases.

This recruiting class will let the coaches be selective with the offers they extend in the next cycle. There's no reason to settle for less-than-top-notch players at the skill positions when there's a plethora of talent already in place there.

For example, a 3-star linebacker or offensive guard becomes more valuable now than a wideout with the same grade.

By loading up on offensive talent in one class, another benefit is positioning in the numbers game.

Recruits who are rated as 4- or 5-star players project as better athletes, but that's far from a guarantee (see Rob Bolden). However, the odds of a higher-rated recruit finding success on Saturdays is higher than that of a lower-rated player. 

The 2014 recruiting class allows Penn State's coaching staff to be wrong on nearly 50 percent of the recruits who signed while still fielding a team of solid players. And, because of how highly they were graded in high school, 50 percent is likely a worst-case scenario.

It will be interesting to see how the recruiting classes develop over the next few years. Will some of the incoming freshmen redshirt? Will Christian Hackenberg stay for his senior season? Who will step up in the absence of Allen Robinson?

Regardless of the different units that take the field over the next four years, one constant theme will remain: talent—made possible largely by the 2014 recruiting class.

 

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