Recruiting Expert Says Bill O’Brien Knew A Sanction Reduction Would Come
Just when you thought James Franklin couldn’t get any better at recruiting, he now has the promise of postseason play and a full deck of cards at his arsenal.
But according to 247Sports Recruiting Director Steve Wiltfong, Franklin might have had a good inkling of that all along. Wiltfong said Bill O’Brien and his staff had known there was a good chance of future sanction reductions happening and probably passed that information on to Franklin.
“If you go back to last year with [Coach O’Brien] and his staff, I think they thought there was a chance that this day would come,” Wiltfong said. “I know that to be true. I can’t say for sure that Franklin’s staff did, but I would think they knew they had a shot at this as well.”
With the reduction of scholarship limitations last year, it makes sense. Wiltfong noted that Penn State went about its business normally in light of that anticipation and didn’t opine on whether Franklin told recruits about a chance of sanction lessening.
“I don’t know if he can do much more, he’s already recruiting at such a high level,” Wiltfong said. “Most of the young guys he’s recruiting already knew they’d get to play in the postseason. I think it does more for guys currently on the roster… an opportunity to reap some more rewards for their hard work.”
In case you don’t know about his state-dominating tendencies, Franklin currently has 247Sports’ seventh-ranked recruiting class in the nation and has already pulled in a five- and four-star recruit for the Class of 2016.
Franklin’s success on the recruiting trail doesn’t come from a promise that his recruits would have a shot at a bowl game right away, Wiltfong surmises.
“What Franklin did in the SEC resonated with these kids,” he said. “His staff absolutely grinds on the recruiting trail, and they’re so passionate about it, going on and meeting people and their families and earning their trust at Penn State. The total package.”
Regardless, if Franklin can pull in a top seven class with those uncertainties hanging over his head, imagine what he”ll do on an even playing field. Sorry, Urban.