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Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Top Penn State recruiting misses

By Josh Moyer

Obviously, coaches hope every elite recruit they reel in becomes a star player and household name. But recruiting doesn't work like that.

For every hit, there's a miss. So, NittanyNation decided to take a look at five big-name recruits -- from the 2006 class and on -- that never were. Here they are:

Dakota Royer
Dakota Royer was highly touted coming out of high school, but the Class of 2010 recruit never played a snap at Penn State.
1. DE Dakota Royer, Class of 2010, Four stars (Grade: 81), No. 70 in ESPN 150

Synopsis: He was supposed to be the future of this defense. He earned offers from the likes of Notre Dame, Michigan, Oregon and Stanford -- but he never saw a single snap at Penn State. He was moved to linebacker, and Bill O'Brien then moved him to tight end. He still couldn't even crack into the second-string, however, and he left the team for "personal reasons" before the 2012 season.

2. OG J.B. Walton, Class of 2006, Four stars (Grade: 86), No. 33 in ESPN 150

Synopsis: He was the nation's top-ranked offensive guard, but academic troubles prevented him from seeing the field. He went to a postgraduate school for one year, returned to Penn State in 2007, redshirted and saw minimal action in 2008. He left the team in 2009, before Joe Paterno told the media Walton had a learning disability. He then transferred to West Virginia Wesleyan.

3. OT Eric Shrive, Class of 2009, Four stars (Grade: 82), No. 74 in ESPN 150

Synopsis: Coaches filed through Shrive's high school nearly every other day when he was a senior. Rutgers coach Greg Schiano even flew a helicopter to one of his games. The top teams in the country wanted Shrive, but Penn State ended up grabbing him -- only to see him fall short of expectations. He played in every game last season as a backup, but he was expected to anchor the line -- not give the starters an occassional breather. He hasn't yet started a game.

4. QB Kevin Newsome, Class of 2009, Four stars (Grade: 80)

Synopsis: He was expected to back up Daryll Clark as a freshman and then take over the starting job the next year. But that never materialized. Newsome received more than 15 scholarship offers (and initially committed to Michigan), but he struggled in the classroom and soon found himself as the No. 3 QB in 2010 -- behind a true freshman and a walk-on. He left the team before the 2011 season and later transferred to Temple.

5. QB Rob Bolden, Class of 2010, Four stars (Grade: 81), No. 112 in ESPN 150

Synopsis: Bolden's short-lived PSU career is well-documented. He was the first freshman QB under Paterno to start on opening day, and his future appeared to be bright. He seemed to regress, however, and he battled with Matt McGloin his first two seasons. As a sophomore, he tossed two TDs to seven interceptions -- and it was pretty puzzling why he wasn't benched sooner in favor of McGloin. He transferred to LSU before the 2012 season when it was clear he wouldn't start.