Tag Archives: Devon Smith

Tuesday Cup of Joe: The Finale

Joe Paterno has wrapped up his weekly teleconfernece for the final time in 2009. Here’s the news you need to know headed into the finale against Michigan State where the Nittany Lions could cap a 10-2 season and possibly wrap up a BCS at-large berth.

THE BIG NEWS: Wide receiver Chaz Powell is unlikely to play this weekend with his sprained AC joint suffered against Indiana.

THE BIG NEWS II: DeOn’Tae Pannell will remain at guard for the finale and also the bowl game.

THE BIG NEWS III: Freshman wide receiver Devon Smith hasn’t been seen much because he’s been cutting classes. Paterno said “He’s decided he’s here to get an education,” and added that “He’s OK, he’s got a long way to go to grow up.”

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Joe is pleased with tight end Andrew Quarless and they should get him the ball more.
  • The staff has been trying to get Kevin Newsome in more during the season, but it just hasn’t worked out much. “You hate to get out of style, and the Wildcat is the style now,” per Joe. “I just want to be stylish and we stick the Wildcat in there once in a while.”
  • Opposing defenses vs. the PSU wideouts has been good, “it’s a question of what they’re doing and giving us more of a chance to run the football.”
  • Joe likes Cousins running the offense at Michigan State. Said he’s a good quarterback and it’s an interesting question stacking him up against the other QBs.
  • Joe thinks the kicking game will determine how this game shakes out. Says that Michigan State has “excellent” special teams.
  • Rivalry with MSU: “We got an hour and a half of this press conference to answer that,” Joe remarks. Joe says it depends on the year how the rivalry between the two of them is. Joe says that there are other rivalries in the Big Ten that are better, but he thinks this could turn into a good one in due time. He kind of hints here that PSU still isn’t welcome in the Big Ten
  • No changes to punt return team.
  • Joe isn’t sure who will replace Beachum on special teams.
  • Joe did not talk to the team about a possible BCS bowl berth.
  • There have been no discussions between Paterno and linebacker Navorro Bowman about Bowman possibly leaving for the NFL.
  • Royster is a good all around back according to Joe…says he was on Royster for not playing with as much fire as he had before earlier in the season.
  • Joe says now there are more responsibilities for the admin to consider, namely 29 teams they have to find money to take care of expenses for.  “I think the University is doing the best it can. What exactly are specifics, I don’t know. All I’ve ever said to Curley is  “you’re doing one heck of a job.”  Joe says compared to other schools PSU is probably charging less than some of the Big Ten schools ticket wise. He said: “They’ve got to do something, or we’ve got to cut back sports, and we don’t want to do that.”
  • Michigan State is better than its 6-5 record indicates according to Joe and they are on the verge of being a really good football team but he hopes they are 10 days away from becoming such.
  • Joe things the team is playing consistent football but adds he wishes they would have won another game or two.
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Live signing day blog

Welcome to the now annual live signing day blog for National Letter of Intent Day.

8 p.m. update: Just talked to both Eric Shrive and Curtis Drake.

Of note from the conversation, Shrive said he has been told to “be ready to play,” this season, though he isn’t sure what tackle spot he will be at yet.

Drake on the other hand has been told he will have to come in as almost like an emergency quarterback, and once he arrives on campus will begin working out with the quarterbacks, but expects to compete more for time with the wide receivers and cornerbacks.

Shrive said something interesting saying that had he given a verbal to Notre Dame he thinks that more teams would have tried to sway him away from the Irish than they did after he verballed to Penn State. “If I wasn’t going to my home school it would have been different,” Shrive said. “I really think they knew I was locked into Penn State.”

Shrive said he likes the relationship he has with Dick Anderson and Bill Kenney and Drake had high praise for his recruiter, Ron Vanderlinden.

By the way a quick note, thanks to all who logged on. As was the case last LOI day, I’ve had one of the busiest days on this blog. Close to 2,500 hits in about seven hours and in the last year the number is over 61K, that’s thanks to people who link like BSD and also colleagues and good friends Mike Gross,  Jeff Reinhart and Donnie Collins.  So thanks again.

2:54 update: That should do it for the signings for Penn State. Little, if any drama. I think most expected Jenkins to go to Florida and the Jim Noel decision wasn’t a make-or-break deal either.

Brown is a major addition to the class and could make an impact this season. At 6-3 he represents that shift we’ve seen in recent years to taller receivers recruited by Penn State.

I have interviews later in the day lined up with West Scranton’s Eric Shrive, colleague Donnie Collins is doing a live chat with Shrive on his blog later tonight, which you can follow along with right by clicking here.

Also I’ll be talking to West Catholic’s Curtis Drake tonight. I’ll have updates from those guys later on.

The gems in this class? Easily Newsome, who enrolled in January, Darrell Givens, Brown and Shrive. I think there is some potential for some underrated guys to make an impact too, but this recruiting process is such a crap shoot we will have to wait and see.

There are two things I point to when looking at this class and Penn State recruiting in general. First, they are recruiting bigger, “modern day” offensive linemen. Shrive is 6’7, Arcidiacono is 6’5, Cadogan is 6’7, <!– @page { size: 8.5in 11in; margin: 0.79in } P { margin-bottom: 0.08in } –>Gress is 6’7. Of those I’d peg Shrive the most ready based on what I’ve read and seen.

The other thing, Penn State is being rather aggressive heading toward the Class of 2010. They are already going after major in-state players and have eyes and ears on players in California and some of the bigger name prospects out there for ’10.

It’s a shift in recruiting philosophy….they aren’t hesitant to go after these other schools….now what does that mean long term? Who knows, but it can’t hurt, can it.

2:33 update: Delaware wide receiver Justin Brown has picked Penn State over Rutgers, the Nittany Lions get a receiver who may make an immediate impact with this 2009 football team.

1:31 update: ESPN U says PSU’s class is the 15th best in the country in their up to date rankings based on today’s signings.  Justin Brown is coming up in 29 minutes.

Check that Brown is at 2:30, my bad. all 25 players who previously committed to Penn State have faxed and signed LOIs to Penn State’s football office, per FOS and BWI.

12:55 update: ESPN U just dubbed Penn State “decommit-U, talking about Darrell Givens, Kevin Newsome and Anthony Fera opting to re-open the recruiting and choose PSU, saying Joe Paterno has done a great job in that respect.

Darrell Givens is getting some run on ESPN U right now, dubbed a “fluid and smooth athlete,” but Tom Luginbill’s question for the class was the quarterback…Luginbill said he wasn’t totally convinced that Newsome is the quarterback Galen Hall wants for the offense, but he’s the only one right now.

They are chatting up Paterno’s age and extension, with Tommy Tuberville saying Paterno has a great mind, and you do whatever you can to recruit against him.

Todd McShay (who?) says that there are too many spots to fill on this team with the departure of Maybin, Evans, the secondary, the offensive line. (side note: when did Todd McShay become a recruiting guru? Just asking)

Luginbill reminds McShay that they were one play away from playing for the BCS title, saying there is no need to worry.

12:33 update: Just checked in with FightOnState’s running blog and they are reporting that cornerback Jim Noel has yet to fax his LOI to Boston College. hmmm, might Penn State be back in play?

By the way, Kevin Newsome and Ty Howle, for enrolling early, do not sign LOIs today.

12:17 update: ESPN U has listed LSU as the No. 1 class, USC No. 2, Texas No. 3, Ohio State No. 4 and Florida No. 5 so far….no mention of Penn State as a possible break through in their top ten. Nor will their be, losing Jenkins was that big. Scout has PSU No. 12 right now.

Manti Te’o, the No. 1 linebacker in America (Hawaii) is up next. And he just picked Notre Dame….OVER USC….HUGE upset in the early afternoon signees.

Noon update: There’s going to be a small break here, Justin Brown doesn’t sign until 2:30 this afternoon, meanwhile I’ll keep filling in the pieces here as to what is going on with the signings.

ESPN U is killing CBS College Sports so far on the TV side of things….that’s because ESPN U has dedicated NINE hours of coverage to this, including putting the Jenkins announcement live on Sportscenter.

CBSC is doing live updates on the half hour to update viewers. Rivals radio had everything earlier this morning.

Garry Gilliam is in the fold at PSU.

By the way, props to colleague Sean Fitz at BWI who informed me moments ago he slept at the office last night. Well done. Mark Rypien would be proud.

11:25 a.m. update: Offensive lineman Eric Shrive has faxed his LOI to PSU. Nate Cadogan and Glenn Carson are in the fold as well.

11:10 a.m. update: Jenkins has officially chosen Florida over Penn State, USC and Notre Dame.

10:41 a.m. update: Jenkins announcement coming up on ESPN in 24 minutes. HS teammate Mike Wallace has faxed his letter into PSU already.

10:39 a.m. update: A few more letters are about to come into Penn State including Stephen Obeng-Agyapong, who per Nate Bauer of BWI will sign at 11 a.m.

Bauer also reports that Tariq Tounge will meet with Penn State coahces in the coming weeks to pitch coming in as a preferred walk-on.

10 a.m. update: There isn’t a ton of news on the Nittany Lions front just yet, however cornerback Jim Noel, who was thought to be waivering between his original commitment of Boston College and Penn State, stuck with his original commitment of the Eagles this morning.

I will be adding the updates as they become available. As of this writing at 10 a.m., ESPN U is coming on the air with it’s signing show.

You can keep up with the signings here, or here.

So far Penn State has eight letters in from Curtis Drake, Christian Kuntz, Mark Arcidicano, Devon Smith, Adam Gress, Jordan  Hill, John Urshel and Frank Figueroa.

The latest on linebacker Jelani Jenkins is this. The Washington Post reported this morning, through sources, that Jenkins will indeed sign with Florida.

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