Rating Success – Class of 2003

This is Part 2 of an ongoing series taking an in-depth look at past Penn State recruiting classes (2002-present) and whether ‘ratings’ really predict success.

Today, we’re taking a look at the 2003 recruiting class at PSU, certainly the smallest in recent years with only 11 players listed.   In fact, the recruiting class didn’t even make the top 50 in team ranking, the only unranked recruiting class during the ‘rating’ era.  Even the most recent post-scandal 2013 class broke the top 50 in team rankings.

Keep in the mind the Nittany Lions sucked on the field too during this time.  Despite winning 9 games in the 2002  season, PSU went 3-9 in 2003 (only wins came at home against Temple, Kent State, and Indiana).  Definitely a down time for PSU football.

So did the 2003 recruiting class pretty much blow as predicted?  Not entirely…but close.

Player Rating Status
Joel Holler 4 ~360lb, couldn’t cut weight; Transferred
Dan Mazan 4 Transferred
Austin Scott 4 Kicked off team (rape allegations)
John Shaw 4
Terrell Golden 3 Former free agent, graduate assistant for PSU
Tony Hunt 3 Originally signed by Eagles; now in Austria
Jon Jackson 3
Rodney Kinlaw 3 Originally signed with Jets; now in Germany
Paul Posluszny 3 NFL; plays for Bills
Amani Purcell 3 Transferred
Brent Wise 3

The 2003 class has 1 player in the NFL (Posluszny) with a Rivals rating of 3.

Paul Posluszny

Best in Class
Paul Posluszny
Brent Wise – only because he saved the life of his then-girlfriend and World Cup gold medalist Ali Krieger (http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/ali-krieger-overcomes-some-bumps-on-the-road-to-the-womens-world-cup/2011/06/13/AG3JBlTH_story.html).  He is now an MD…naturally.

Over-performers
Paul Posluszny

Under-performers
Joel Holler
Austin Scott
Dan Mazan
John Shaw

Summary:
Overall, 2003 was a pretty weak class.  The highest rated recruit was the massive highly-recruited OT Joel Holler, who failed to drop weight, never made it higher than third on the depth chart, and eventually transferred to Univ. of Delaware.  Never made it beyond that.  Austin Scott was a stud RB, but rape allegations led to his removal from the team (although he was later cleared of the charge).  Then there was Paul Posluszny, one of the most dominant LBs in the country and remains a force in the NFL.  So with the exception of Posluszny, this is definitely one of the weakest recruiting classes, if not the weakest, in terms of production and success on the field.

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