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Penn State Football: With Ball Headed To Florida State, Fries The New Focus On Recruiting Trail

by on June 06, 2015 10:00 AM

Friday afternoon brought a little bad news to those who follow Penn State football recruiting.

Offensive tackle prospect Josh Ball opted to sign with Florida State over several schools including the Nittany Lions.

As James Franklin and his staff continue on the recruiting trail for the 2016 class, the focus on offensive linemen has been an obvious one. Three of the eight prospects to verbally commit to Penn State will play on the offensive front. Exeter product Michal Menet is one of the rare offensive linemen who can legitimately headline a recruiting class. Coupled with Alex Gellerstedt and Connor McGovern and the Nittany Lions are bringing in size to the offense.

So what's next?

According to Greg Pickel of PennLive, another big body is on the radar for Penn State's recruiting efforts. This time in the shape of Cranford, NJ native Will Fries. The 6-foot-6, 270 pound prospect has a diverse skill set.

"Will Fries is a top target because, like Reading, Pa., Exeter four-star and Penn State pledge Michal Menet, his film and frame make college coaches believe he could be a guard or tackle," Pickel said. "James Franklin and his staff have keyed in on linemen that can play anywhere, and Fries fits that mold. If Penn State can land him, the program will be one step closer to establishing a starting offensive line, and depth, for years to come."

Landing Fries means beating out Rutgers, Clemson and Michigan which is far from an impossible task. If Franklin can sign Fries it will add a valuable asset to a growing stockpile of linemen. The ability to play multiple positions makes him even more valuable in case of injury. For the big picture it allows Penn State to continue to create a cycle of development for linemen, keeping them off the field until they are ready, but not sacrificing present success for the sake of the future.

So far, Penn State's 2016 recruiting class has been as hot and successful in the early going as the nationally recognized 2015 haul. As in all things recruiting, it is a long process with many ups and downs. Picking up Fries would be a big step for the program, now and years down the road.

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Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for StateCollege.com. He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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