UNIVERSITY PARK - Penn State has assembled a recruiting class up to this point ranked as one of the country's best, with the Nittany Lions assembling top three players at four different positions according to Scout.com's rankings coupled with commitments from several other highly regarded prospects.
It is a class that, considering the Lions' favorable standing with uncommitted prospects, will be seen as elite with commitments from nearly all of the Lions' primary targets.
It is also a class to which members of the current team, while intending no slights, also aren't paying much attention.
"I couldn't tell you one person," safety Drew Astorino said. "I'm just meeting the recruits that came in now. I pay no attention to it. I know nothing. Don't know who, don't know when, don't know where."
The interest in recruiting has exploded in recent years with Web sites like scout.com and rivals.com providing a majority of recruiting coverage. But Astorino, like other teammates, said during Friday's Lift for Life at Holuba Hall that he almost never gets caught up in where Penn State's class ranks or the buzz surrounding commitments.
Astorino provides a case study in why he disregards recruiting until players arrive on campus. Coming out of General McLane High School, Astorino was offered a scholarship by just Kent State, Iowa and Penn State.
Head of the class?
A look at how Scout.com ranks Penn State's recruiting class:
RankSchoolCommitmentsTop 1005 stars4 stars3 stars
But after playing extensively last season as the team's nickel back, the redshirt sophomore is almost certain to start at safety this season.
With co-captain Daryll Clark about to become a two-year starter at quarterback despite being lightly recruited, Astorino hardly qualifies as the exception.
"We definitely laugh about it once in awhile," Stefen Wisniewski said of the attention recruiting receives. "Oh, this kid's a five-star. Wooooo. Stuff like that. Yeah, it's something not to take too seriously."
It's a topic tight end Andrew Quarless doesn't take seriously, either, minus one exception: a recruit visiting campus.
"When the guys come in, that's when I pay attention to it," Quarless said. "When the recruits come in, I try to talk to everybody. I give them a sense of what we do, what we like to do here and how they're gonna be involved."
That approach may help explain how Penn State has developed the No. 5 class in the country according to Scout.com with potential cornerstones like quarterbacks Paul Jones (five stars) and Robert Bolden (four stars), wide receiver Adrian Coxson (five stars) and middle linebacker Mike Hull (four stars), who Scout.com ranks as the No. 2 linebacker in the country.
Other talent like four-star running back Silas Redd (four stars), four-star defensive tackles Evan Hailes and DaQuan Jones and four-star offensive linemen Miles Dieffenbach and Tom Ricketts round out the current commitments.
For perspective, USC signed 13 players in last year's class ranked as four stars or better by Scout.com. Penn State currently has nine and could match the Trojans' baker's dozen this season with other commitments or revisions to rankings.
But none of the commitments may fully capture the team's attention until results on the field are shown.
"You hear a lot of things," Wisniewski said. "This guy's great, this guy's this and that. It doesn't mean much until they come up here."