Recruiting snapshot: Penn State

February, 6, 2009
2/06/09
1:15
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

Despite being fairly quiet on signing day, Penn State inked a quality class ranked No. 16 nationally by ESPN's Scouts Inc.

Number of recruits: 27

Key needs: Wide receiver, quarterback, offensive line, defensive line, defensive back

Highest-rated player (Scouts Inc.): Darrell Givens (No. 6 nationally among cornerbacks)

The quote: "That was important so that the [assistant] coaches could go out there and feel comfortable that they could look a kid in the eye and say, 'Look, we're all going to be around. We think we can do some things here and that there are opportunities for you, that you're going to be around the people talking to you.'" -- Head coach Joe Paterno, on the three-year contract he received after the 2008 regular season.

Quick take: Some Lions fans might be disappointed that their team didn't sign more marquee names -- the class featured two ESPNU 150 prospects in Givens and tackle Eric Shrive -- but Penn State filled the holes it needed to following the departure of a sizable senior class and two underclassmen defensive ends (Aaron Maybin, Maurice Evans). Sure, linebacker Jelani Jenkins would have taken Penn State's class to another level, but the Lions stocked up on offensive linemen and defensive backs, including Givens and Gerald Hodges. They added Justin Brown on signing day to round out a solid crop of incoming wide receivers. And perhaps most important, Penn State found a backup quarterback and possible successor to Daryll Clark in Kevin Newsome. The class might not have made a huge splash, but it should produce more than enough contributors for a program that has won two Big Ten titles in the last four seasons.

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