Monthly Archives: January 2008

Midweek Recruiting Notebook

Today in the people’s republic of Jeanette, Joe Paterno, Mike McQueary and Jay Paterno met with the nations top player in Jayhawks quarterback Terrelle Pryor.

The meeting, by all accounts went well, but Pryor told the Pittsburgh Post Gazette that he isn’t sure if State College is the place for him.  

“I just don’t know about the area up there. I don’t know if I’d like being in that kind of area,” Pryor told reporter Mike White.

The other big news out of Pryor’s meet and greet with Paterno and company is that he may push his announcement back a day or two. Pryor had been scheduled to announce his college choice on ESPN next Tuesday (aka, *the* day, aka National Letter of Intent Day), but things could be changing.

“I’d say it’s about 50-50 that I’ll push things back,” Pryor said.

One of the main reasons Pryor might not sign next Wednesday is because he is thinking about making an official visit to the University of Oregon some time next week.

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Kerr stays close to home

Per the Rivals.com ticker Maryland defensive tackle Zach Kerr has given his committment to Mayrland, meaning PSU is out of the mix.

Kerr was picking between the Terps, Nittany Lions, Rutgars, and Illinois.

“Actually I made my decision on Monday night,” Kerr told Mike Farrell. “Then I told Coach Friedgen and Coach Sollazzo.

“It’s my hometown school and they stuck with me, other schools didn’t through the whole process,” he said. “I made my decision not thinking about football. I took it out of the equation and this was more about my life and education. I’m not saying other schools don’t have a good education, but I saw what was best for me.”

Tate no longer looking at Lions

BWI is also reporting that DeMatha wide receiver Kenny Tate will choose between Illinois and Maryland and it appears PSU is out of that picture as well.

Tate could have likely redshirted this season and wants to play immediately.

It’s a blow to the Nits recruiting simply because they need receivers in the incoming class. Receivers and quarterback will be a focal point next season, specifically receiver. That and they will need to develop all of the above between Chris Bell, Derek Moye, Brett Brackett and maybe even throw some playing time towards A.J. Price right off the bat too.

PSU is very thin at receiver after this season.

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Lynn stays committed, Ware to Lions

Texas defensive back D’Anton has informed Texas Tech’s coaching staff that he will stay committed to Penn State ended months of speculation that he would de-commit and go elsewhere for school, according to Blue White Illustrated.

The other big news of the day, Harrisburg High defensive tackle Brandon Ware was offered and accepted a scholarship to play for the Nittany Lions, also according to BWI. We’ll have more on Ware tomorrow.

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Player suspensions coming?

Two newspaper reports, coming out on Friday, will both report that members of the Penn State football could be off the team at least for the near future.

Speculation has been running rampant on boards and all over the place as to who they may be and it’s pretty obvious given some of the things that have transpired over the last several months.

One of the reports comes by way of the Penn State student newspaper, the Daily Collegian, saying that upwards of four players could face some type of suspension from head coach Joe Paterno.

We’re working with some of our people to try and nail down something about the validity of the report.

It’s widely speculated that the players facing punishment were involved in the HUB fight in October of last season. If you recall that incident, Navarro Bowman, Chris Baker and Knowledge Timmons were all named in the police report, and another defensive tackle was also named as well.

More as it develops.

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Lions land No. 14

Shady Side Academy lineman Mike Farrell is the 14th verbal in Penn State’s recruiting class.

Farrell told Bob Lichtenfels of Scout.com that he asked PSU coaches if they mind that he takes an official visit to Miami (Oh.), they said no, he went, then decided PSU was the place for him.

Farrell told Lichtenfels that he will “definitely redshirt this year,” given how loaded PSU is along the offensive front.

Blue White Illustrated is reporting that DeMatha wide receiver Kenny Tate could very well be the next to commit to PSU, and that a decision is due any day now.

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Monday Recruiting Notebook

While sitting here this morning, trying to figure out why in the world Green Bay did little to adjust in the second half last night against the Giants….I bring you these recruiting tidbits making the rounds this awfully depressing Monday morning.

* PSU landed their first big wideout prospect of the recruiting season as Virginia wide receiver A.J. Price verbally committed to the Nittany Lions after his official visit this past weekend.

Evidently Nittany Lions head coach Joe Paterno made him an offer he couldn’t refuse.

“I actually committed to Penn State this morning,” Price said. “It was one of those things were you meet Joe Paterno and he tells you that he wants you on his team, you can’t say no,” Price told FightOnState’s Cory James.

You can read more about James’ trip and verbal to PSU here and here.
*Altoona’s A.J. Alexander  has reneged on his verbal to Pitt. It’s the second time he’s done so on the recruiting trail. You’ll recall he also did the same thing to Florida State. Wonder if those bodes well for PSU, or if they even want him after the merry-go-round that’s been the A.J. Alexander tour.

Alexander’s hometown paper, the Mirror, reported that FightOnState Magazine spoke with Alexander on Sunday and the reason for the decommit was because Pitt’s receivers coach Aubrey Hill left the program.

* BWI is also reporting that South Carolina tight end Andrew Power is expecting to hear from someone on the PSU coaching staff later this week.

* In a related tidbit from the same BWI notes, Tampa lineman  Phil Smith accepted an offer from Georgia over the Nittany Lions.

As the Pryor Turns

Jeanette star quarterback Terrelle Pryor, (from now on we’re just going to call him No. 1), spoke at length with Rivals.com about his visit to Michigan over the weekend. No. 1 said that RichRod showed him a ton of Pat White tape and that he’s confident he fits in well to the zone-read option offense that RichRod will attempt to install with the Wolverines.

I’m not 100-percent sold that offense will work, but hey, why not? Big Ten football needs a shot in the arm like that, does it not?

“I don’t want to sound cocky or anything,” Pryor told Rivals’ Mike Ferrell, “but I think I could play in any offense,” he said. “But this is a good mix of pass and run and I liked it at West Virginia. I saw a whole lot of Pat White plays this weekend, probably every one.”

The full story, via Rivals, is available on just about every site, but you can find it here.  Pryor went on to say that PSU is still in his top five and that he will take one more official visit. In other words, nothing’s changed, it’s still between Michigan and Ohio State.

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Sunday recruiting update

There isn’t a ton to discuss on the recruiting block, but Blue White Illustrated has some interesting tidbits in their latest update.

* Defensive tackle Zach Kerr is now considering Nebraska, but lists Maryland, PSU, Rutgers and Virginia Tech as his other four. Apparently Nebraska is making some headway with him in a late push.  Kerr is listed as the 12th best prospect according to the Washington Post, coming out of the D.C. area, and we’ll have a little bit more on No.1 on that list in a second.

Interestingly enough, here’s the straight dope on Kerr, per the Post.

Academically ineligible as a sophomore, Kerr burst onto the scene this past fall. He has an offer in writing from Rutgers while Maryland, Virginia Tech and Penn State have said they also will offer, Cougars Coach Dave Mencarini said. Colleges like Kerr on either side of the ball “because he’s so big and he can move,” Mencarini said.

* We know there is a push for PSU to get some wide receivers in this incoming class, as the Nits are losing Butler, Williams and Norwood after this season. Virginia WR A.J. Price is visiting Penn State this weekend.  PSU does not have a commitment from a wide receiver just yet.

Price told BWI that his host on the trip is fellow Va. native Deon Butler. Larry Johnson is recruiting Price, who at 6’4, along with the likes of Chris Bell is further proving that PSU needs to get with the signs of the times and recruit bigger wideouts ala Michigan and Ohio State.

*  Kenny Tate, another 6’4 receiver, the most highly recruited receiver ever out of DeMatha HS, will choose between Maryland, Illinois and Penn State perhaps as early as this coming week.

Kenny Tate’s father told MDVarsity.com that his son, who is one of the most heavily recruited football players in the country, would be selecting a college within a week.

Tate will choose between Illinois, Maryland and Penn State. Tate will take his final official football recruiting visit to Penn State this weekend.

* The biggest new is the run around that Jeanette quarterback Terrelle Pryor keeps giving Penn State and their fans.

Beat colleague Bob Flounders has a good take on the situation in this morning’s Patriot-News out of Harrisburg, stating simply that Pryor needs to tell PSU if he’s serious about accepting a scholarship from the Nittany Lions and if not, then quit the games.

He’s right.

Pryor apparently sent a text message to the Associated Press in which he told them about his experience with the crowd at the Michigan basketball game last night.

“It’s cool,” Pryor responded to The Associated Press via text message during the first half of the basketball game.

A reporter replied, asking what schools he was considering other than Michigan and Ohio State.

“LSU and Oregon,” Pryor typed in a text message to the AP.

Take it for what it’s worth, next week Pryor could have an entirely different list of teams, but it doesn’t appear that PSU is in the running anymore.

* The wild card in recruiting for PSU could be Harrisburg defensive tackle Brandon Ware, who told BWI that he expects to get an offer from PSU when he visits next month.

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Pryor scratches visit, other recruiting news

According to Rivals.com, the nations No. 1 quarterback, Jeanette’s Terrelle Pryor, will scratch his official visit to Penn State.

Pryor tells Mike Farrell of Rivals that he “isn’t sure where PSU stands.”

But before you, the PSU consumer get all worked up, Pryor is cancelling his visit simply because he has been to State College so many times. 

Does that mean PSU is out of the mix? I mean honestly, I am not sure how much he was going to go there anyway. It does mean that he will still consider it, but call PSU his fourth or fifth best team.

LSU is now also in the mix and Pryor’s recruiting advisor, Steelers quarterback Charlie Batch, is saying that Pryor will listen to what LSU has to say.

LSU is new,” he said. “Charlie spoke to them and then I spoke to coach Gary Crowton and I liked a lot of what he was saying. I wouldn’t say they’re as high up as the others because I am just learning about them, but I like what they’re talking about in changing the offense for me.”

Yeah, Pryor is ALL LSU needs and all the SEC needs…..why not mail them another title?

Alexander disses local paper

Altoona’s A.J. Alexander was thought to be among cheif recruits for Penn State, but now he is heading to Pitt, according to PantherLiar.com. Alexander told Pitt’s scout.com site in a chat….. (A CHAT!) that he was going to Pitt and that was the official announcement.

Altoona Mirror Penn State beat writer Cory Giger did a story on Alexander’s committment and because the Blair Co. star didn’t call the paper back for the story. Neither did Mountain Lions coach Phil Riccio.

So Cory did what we all would have done in that situation, he read the chat, confirmed with scout.com that it was A.J. in there and wrote a story based on the somewhat colorful chat Alexander had.

Among the highlights: The Mirror asked Alexander on the chat if he’s certain about his choice or if there’s a chance he may decommit again.

‘‘Nah, I’m solid,’’ he wrote. ‘‘I ain’t taking no other visits.’’

  • ‘‘I’m not good enough for PSU,’’ Alexander wrote in the chat. ‘‘At least that’s what I hear.’’
  • ‘‘The hardest part is that, in the end, you gotta tell all the coaches you have had a relationship with ’no,’’’ Alexander wrote.
    Alexander ended his chat by writing, ‘‘Hail to Pitt!’’

In need of….

Penn State should land a quarterback in this class and with Terrelle Pryor on the apparent outside looking elsewhere, could this kid be the one PSU ends up with? Just food for thought.

Sean Fitz of Blue White Illustrated talked to Conn. running back Jordan Todman about a possibility that he man de-verbal from his committment to play for the Huskies.

Purdue, Boise State and Boston College are also among the teams that are/were in the running for his services. According to BWI, Todman has not received a official offer from PSU.

Fitz also, on the site’s Lions Den message board reported that offensive line coach Dick Anderson was up in West Scranton to visit with offensive tackle Eric Shrive.

Per Fitz’s post on the board, Shrive was OK with PSU’s policy of not offering a written offer until after signing day and told Shrive that Jeanette’s Jordan Hall, offensive tackle Brennan Williams and quarterback Tom Savage will all be offered by PSU.

By the way, check out Williams’ do…..

WHOA!

 

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