Bill O'Brien says with little hesitation that the bulk of Penn State's recruiting will take place within 300 miles of Happy Valley. This, of course, consists of metro areas like Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, NYC, Washington DC and Baltimore.
Looking at his recruiting class for this year, Penn State did largely get players from those areas. Of the 17 signees, 13 come from Pennsylvania, DC, New Jersey, Virginia or Maryland. Another one, Tyler Ferguson from California, is an outlier. The other three come from the south.
Parker Cothren is from Alabama, Neiko Robinson from Florida and Kasey Gaines is from Georgia. O'Brien said they would continue to recruit the deep south because of their connections.
O'Brien obviously used to coach in the south, as did offensive line coach Mac McWhorter. Newly-hired safeties coach Anthony Midget recently coached at Georgia State and is a Florida native.
As much as O'Brien talks about the need to stay in the northeast, you have to wonder if he's strategizing for more of a presence in the south. Given the lack of talent in the north compared to the south in recent years, plus the addition of Maryland and Rutgers to the Big Ten (not to mention Urban Meyer recruiting talent in Ohio and the Northeast), O'Brien is going to need look outside of the 300-mile radius more than he'd like to admit.
Signing these three from the south is far from dramatic but, Penn State fans should hope, a step toward getting more in the future.
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