Obviously, this post is no disrespect to the victims of the terrible tragedies that occurred at Penn State. It’s my, and everyone’s, hope that some part of these sanctions and fines levied against the university and its football program manage to begin the healing process — both for the victims and for the obviously out-of-touch Nittany Lions football culture.
One of the biggest parts of the sanctions were the ruling that any player currently with the program can enroll in a new institution immediately, and be able to play right away. We’ve seen this happen before, but with a four-year postseason ban and numerous additional factors preventing competitiveness in the near future, Penn State’s situation appears more dire. In a worst-case scenario world, the team loses every football player currently enrolled. In a best-case, I still believe they lose a quarter of their players. But who are those players, and where might they go? Being the major college football conference in PSU’s footprint (the northeast and mid-Atlantic regions), it only makes sense that the ACC would be an understandable landing spot.
For kids looking to remain close to the State College, Pa. area, longtime rivals Pittsburgh and Syracuse are actually the perfect fit, each within three hours of the university. Additionally, potential transfers are likely looking at fellow ACC landing spots Maryland, Boston College, Virginia and Virginia Tech, all of which are fairly close by as well. Before the expected flurry of movement (or lack thereof) though, we tried to break things down for the most relevant classes — 2010 through 2013. Looking at all recruits grading four stars or higher on ESPN.com, we list out ACC offers received before ultimately deciding on Penn State. Since these were the schools that had the closest ties to them during the original recruiting process, it’s a fair assumption they’ll have the quickest road back to their ears. Continue reading