Going all in is a dangerous strategy, as any poker player will tell you. It is high-risk, high-reward. One minute you're Chris Moneymaker raking in chips like it's 2003, the next you're Gabe from Intervention, physically assaulting your mother for gambling money. In the high stakes world of college football recruiting, its a similar gamble to put all of your eggs in one recruit's basket, so to speak.
Savon Huggins (St. Peter's Prep/New Jersey) remains the ONLY running back on Penn State's big board for 2011. The squad will likely only take one (or two) running backs this year, so the strategy is an interesting one. More after the jump, although you will not find anymore of this after the jump...
Like the LB-U article above, Scout.com lists Huggins as the only RB with a PSU offer. Also on the prospect list, though, are talented RB prospects in Jameel Poteat, Allan Wasonga, and Montay Green. Further, if the staff had spread their proverbial eggs around, there might be more names on the PSU radar. Instead, Penn State is all in with Huggins, at the risk of losing out on in-state backs like Poteat. This scenario plays out one of three ways:
1) Huggins, loving all of the attention by Big Red, is so enamored with Penn State that he signs, following a likely lengthy recruiting dance. With Marcus Lattimore committed elsewhere in 2010, Huggins sees an opening in the depth chart (after a likely redshirt). Either way, Penn State lands one of the top running backs in the country, and the rich get richer, as our already-loaded stable of running backs gets a little deeper. This is the "high reward" scenario.
2) One of Huggins' other suitors woos him more, and he signs with a competitor. A list that includes Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Miami, Oregon (cause why not) et al., is difficult to compete with, so its not unlikely that this scenario becomes reality. The staff then scrambles and is forced to take a "Plan B" kid. However, having cooled on Penn State who didn't want his services initially, Poteat also commits elsewhere, leaving the cupboard more bare. The staff signs a two- or three-star kid out of somewhere just to fill a spot on the board. This is the "settle" scenario.
3) Huggins commits elsewhere, and the staff decides not to take a running back in 2011. With Green gone after the '11 season, the 2012 running backs will likely be a healthy dose of Dukes and Redd. Scrambling, the staff must now place a heavy emphasis on running backs in 2012. This is the high risk scenario.
Now I'm not in a position to question the staff, nor am I in a position to say what is going on between Savon Huggins' ears. I know if I had an offer sheet like Huggins I would be in no hurry to pull the trigger, and this does not bode well for Penn State. However, by all accounts, Huggins is high on PSU (being from Jersey, Penn State is the closest thing to a successful program...TAKE THAT RUTGERS AL). I probably would have liked to see the staff go after some more backs up to this point, but I'll keep my hopes up, like you should.
The high risk, high reward approach to recruits has burned some programs in the past, though I can't recall a time when Penn State was uber-scorned by a kid that was supposed to be our next big thing. Newsome decommitting from Michigan and signing with us was probably the reverse of that, but the staff generally recruits evenly, so they likely know something we don't. Either way, don't expect Huggins' siren to ring anytime soon, but then again, don't be surprised if his bell tolls for Penn State.
1) Penn State is also looking to recruit Sheldon Royster, a defensive back from Huggins' school. Read into that what you will, but Royster is talented and the secondary is a positional target in this class.
2) Penn State has offered Indiana based Remound Wright, who plays running back and linebacker in high school. He will likely see action as a linebacker if he commits to Penn State, but never discount converted linebackers.