Penn State Football's James Franklin Proving He's a Recruiting Genius

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Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The Penn State Nittany Lions were considered by many to have one of the nation’s top recruiting classes already coming into today, and it’s only getting prettier. Head coach James Franklin added third-ranked offensive lineman Steven Gonzalez to the class of 2014 today (Saturday), and it’s safe to say the hype surrounding Franklin and his ability to recruit was completely accurate.

Franklin is wrecking the recruiting trail in his first year at Penn State, and that may be putting it lightly. Counting the recent addition of Gonzalez, the Nittany Lions are up to 10 commits from the class of 2014. We officially have a specialist on our hands.

Though we shouldn’t be surprised because of his well documented recruiting success at Vanderbilt during his three years in the SEC, how many of us honestly expected him to pick up where he left off so early in his career at Penn State? I didn’t undermine Franklin as a coach or a recruiter, but I’ll admit I thought there would be a bit of a transition period. That certainly isn’t the case, though.

Looking at Penn State’s recruiting board, all you see is sheer talent and potential for the next level. Some are speculating Happy Valley is going to become the favorite destination of the nation’s top wide receivers, while big-boy recruits like Gonzalez and Ryan Bates joyfully sneak into the action. It’s a whirlpool of talent developing under Franklin’s watch.

I wrote previously about the window Franklin has to work with as far as results are concerned because everyone was aware of his ability to recruit top talents, so immediate results wouldn’t be necessary. I retract that statement. We’re looking at a recruiting powerhouse, not only in the Big 10, but nationally.

Tyler Fenwick is a Big 10 writer for Follow him on Twitter @Ty_Fenwick, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.


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