Penn State Football: Franklin And Staff Hit The Six Commit Mark Faster Than Ever
Penn State has landed six recruits in 10 days to open up the 2015 recruiting class.
It's not uncommon that recruits will commit in bunches, like a snowball collecting speed. It's even less surprising that commits will pull the trigger shortly after Junior Day, a show and tell of recruiting for the nation's top junior prospects.
But just how fast is Penn State bringing in recruits compared to its own history? Faster than ever.
Penn State had recruited well long before James Franklin ever came to State College, but Penn State has never landed its first six recruits of a class this fast. These six verbal commitments coming within a span of time well ahead of anything to have happened since 2002 when the Scout network began logging recruiting data.
The closest Penn State has ever been to matching a recruiting start like this was in 2013 under Bill O'Brien and even then it still took nearly two full months to go from Christian Hackenberg's commitment to Andrew Nelson's. 2009 was also a fairly fast start going from late March to mid May to land the first six recruits.
On average though it has taken Penn State around 7 months to land its first six recruits in a class. The longest in 2011 with a 10 month span to get to No. 6 with it taking 3-5 months to do the same during six different recruiting cycles.
Recruiting is a bit of a hit or miss endeavor. Even with a "slow" start to a recruiting class there are still months where multiple recruits commit all within a fairly short span of time and these classes still culminating as a nationally ranked collection of talent. To not have a burst of commitments would be more of a rarity than anything else.
So while the commitment "bubble" is not a new phenomenon, it has rarely -if ever- occurred at the genesis of a recruiting class at Penn State.
Why did it happen? Franklin is one of the hottest rising stars in the coaching ranks which brings with it plenty of earned (and pending) clout. That coupled with a recruiting class that features four prospects from within the state well versed in Penn State's history doesn't exactly make the program an impossible sell. The right coach and the right players coming together at the right time. While Franklin may never divulge his plans, it wouldn't be unreasonable to assume to landed some of the easier fish he could get in the pond before going after ones less prepared to make a decision. The appearance of a quickly growing class as important as it actually happening.
So what's next? Essentially a year from national signing day, just about anything can happen. A fast start isn't a promise of a strong finish nor is a guarentee that all six currently committed recruits will be Nittany Lions by the time that day comes. There is no reason to think they won't be, but the fluidity of recruiting makes it hard to predict the future with any certainty. It's simply the reality of the recruiting world.
That being said, it's undeniable that Penn State has started off the 2015 recruiting class faster than any class in the past 13 years which is nothing if not interesting. If James Franklin is going to make good on his claims of dominating the state in recruiting though, this isn't a bad start.