Penn State Adds Late 2012 Commitment From Linebacker Recruit

You won't find much press on Peoria (Az.) Centennial High linebacker recruit Brennan Franklin. He didn't have a single BCS offer. Heck, some recruiting sites don't even list him as having an FBS offer (though some say he does have one from Toledo). He is a zero-star recruit.

But that didn't stop Penn State, which needs to pack its roster as full as possible given the sanctions taking effect in 2013, from accepting his commitment. Franklin was preparing to attend a junior college until Penn State came through with an offer.

"I know there's a mess out there, but it's one of the best schools to go to," said Franklin, who was a week away from packing his bags for Eastern Arizona College. "If I went to New Mexico or New Mexico State or Indiana, they wouldn't be going to a bowl game anyway.

That attitude is evidence that some players will still relish the chance to play at Penn State, though it is still yet to be seen if good players will want to come to Penn State. Franklin is the first commitment since the massive NCAA sanctions were announced.

Franklin is big (6'3, 234 pounds is the smallest listing on the four major recruiting sites), and did make the all-state team last season.

Normally, I'd criticize Penn State for this move. Franklin is not a Penn State quality player under normal circumstances.

But these aren't normal circumstances. Penn State will only be able to sign 60 players over the next four years, as opposed to the normal 100. There's little to no downside in taking Franklin because, frankly, the Nittany Lions need warm bodies willing to stick with the program. With a hard cap of 65 total scholarships starting in 2014 and a limit of 15 new players annually beginning in 2013, depth is going to be a huge issue in Happy Valley.

Franklin is a 2012 recruit, so he does not count against the limit of 15 for the 2013 class. And he is probably on par with the quality of player Penn State will be bringing in over the next four to six years.

The move is similar to what Miami did last season, when it took several questionable talents in anticipation of looming NCAA sanctions. It would not be a surprise to see Penn State pick up an additional player or two as late additions to the 2012 class.

For more on Nittany Lions football, visit Penn State blog Black Shoe Diaries, plus Big Ten blog Off Tackle Empire, SB Nation Pittsburgh and SB Nation Philly.

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