NFL draft may keep recruiting hot
Penn State is likely to have a few players’ names called over the next couple days as the NFL conducts its annual draft. While it’s always gratifying for Lions’ fans to see the guys they watched on Saturdays get the chance to play on Sundays, PSU’s continued success in the draft also helps James Franklin’s pitch to high school blue chippers.
Penn State’s draft history is a bit checkered. High profile picks Courtney Brown, Ki-Jana Carter, Blair Thomas, Curtis Enis, and a few others, are generally regarded as busts in that their NFL careers didn’t live up to their draft position. Carter’s was largely due to injuries, but the stigma remains.
Still, many Penn Staters have and continue to enjoy solid NFL careers. Michael Robinson recently made the pro bowl, and caught a pass in Seattle’s Super Bowl win in February. Paul Pozlusny is a top quality linebacker. As is Sean Lee. Tamba Hali is a star in Kansas City, and several others are doing well in markets and at positions that don’t necessarily get a lot of the limelight.
But the top high schoolers, who believe they can play in the NFL, like to see players from the school to which they are going moving on to the top ranks. It helps validate their choices. They may even get to mingle with NFL players on a gameday visit on the sidelines. It says this coaching staff can develop pro players.
While the players likely to be drafted this week–Allen Robinson, DaQuann Jones, John Urschel–are products of Joe Paterno and Bill O’Brien, their selections will still help cement in potential recruits’ minds that Penn State is among the top schools in the college football world, and take their minds off the scandal issues that have dominated the news for the past two and a half years.
So, the guys who will trade Nittany Lion blue and white for new NFL colors this week aren’t James Franklin’s guys, but they will still be helping him keep the tradition going in future years.