Where they ranked as recruits: Defense 

February, 5, 2013
2/05/13
12:00
PM ET
NittanyNation takes a look at returning defensive starters -- and other key players -- to see just how much attention was paid to them back on their respective signing days:

DE Deion Barnes, Grade: 78, three stars: He clearly came in underrated. He was the nation's No. 45 defensive end and was No. 12 in the state. He now has a future playing football on Sundays, and -- if ESPN could get a mulligan here -- Barnes would easily be a top-10 four-star defensive end. He's already the top pass-rusher on the team and finished with six sacks and 10 tackles for loss last year. He was ranked behind Anthony Zettel in this class.

DT DaQuan Jones, Grade: 77, three stars: The jury's still out on Jones, but his grade doesn't seem too far off from where he'll end up. He'll be a two-year starter and he did relatively well last season. ESPN thought he could play on the offensive line, too, but believed he "should become a solid starter at the BCS level of competition."

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Penn State 2015 Class Debuts At No. 3
Craig Haubert discusses recent additions to the Nittany Lions' 2015 class and first-year coach James Franklin's success on the recruiting trail.Tags: Adam McLean, Ryan Bates, Penn State Nittany Lions, James Franklin
VIDEO PLAYLIST video