Nitt Picks Is Fluffy

You can tell we're getting closer to the season when the fluff articles start coming out telling you all about players X, Y, and Z who have overcome insurmountable obstacles to get where they are today. They are interesting to read, but don't offer much fodder for blog discussions other than lumping them into a Nitt Picks.

Our first article comes from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review who had a discussion with Sean Lee about his rehab.

Sean Lee strode quickly across the field inside Penn State's Holuba Hall on Friday, seemingly ready to play football again, but knowing that the appearance was deceiving.

Crutches no longer are necessary, but Lee wore a brace under his jeans, protection for the right knee that he injured in spring practice April 11 and had repaired surgically later that month.

"I'd love to play," Upper St. Clair's Lee said. "If I could do a drill a million times a day that would make me play this year, I would. But this injury takes time."

Lee suffered a tear of his anterior cruciate ligament, and the customary rehabilitation period means he will red-shirt this year and return to his linebacker post in 2009 to finish his eligibility.

"I hear he's ahead of schedule," teammate A.Q. Shipley said yesterday as he prepared to participate in Lift For Life, a competition that raises money for the Kidney Cancer Association. "What a surprise."

"I don't know if I'm ahead. I'm right on schedule," the Lee said. "I know I'm not behind. Better not be behind."

You can't help but admire his determination. I can't wait to see him back on the field in 2009.

Our next article comes from the Associated Press featuring Stefen Wisniewski, the sophomore right guard that won the starting job away from incumbent senior Mike Lucian this spring.

Coach Joe Paterno doesn't like to play freshmen often, which makes the fact that Wisniewski and linebacker Chris Colasanti were the only true freshmen to see playing time last year even more impressive. Wisniewski was also the first true freshman to start on the offensive line since Joe Iorio in 1999.

All those tutoring sessions from his father and uncle and their teammates appear to be paying off. Now he's slated to start at guard on a unit considered to be one of the team's strengths.

The article also gives a little tidbit about our offense this fall.

The offensive linemen might have to be on their toes this offseason, with a new quarterback stepping into the starting lineup in the fall and, possibly, a return to a spread-like offensive attack that worked in 2005.

On Friday, though, most players said they either weren't privy to Paterno's plan yet, or didn't want to divulge much about any plans already in place. Pat Devlin, competing with Daryll Clark for the starting quarterback job, said the team has had a couple new plays installed since the start of summer workouts.

Please God, let it be a slant or crossing pattern.

The Hall Awaits Paterno

The Pittsburgh Post-Tribune has a nice article on Joe Paterno's induction into the College Football Hall Of Fame. Lots of interesting facts in the article about Joe's career.

Maryland Recruiting

I crossed the border into Maryland the other day and the sign read "Welcome to Penn State." No, not reall, but it does seem like we own Maryland with all of the recruiting success we've had lately. And according to the Baltimore Sun, the Terps are pretty sensitive about it.

These stories almost always involve Penn State, which, for whatever reason, is one of the biggest lightning rods for any Terrapins football fan. My colleague Stefen Lovelace met this buzz saw head-on last week when he had the gall to report that the Nittany Lions were doing their best to cherry-pick some of the best Maryland prep stars away from the Terrapins and in some instances were accomplishing that.

Because you can find anything on the Internet, and because Lovelace went to Penn State, this immediately set off all kinds of conspiracy alarm bells, with Maryland fans blasting him in the comment section of the article or flooding his inbox with hate mail.

 Geez. Maryland fans sound almost as crazy as us.

Cornley Leads

It's unusual to see a basketball story in mid July, but the CDT gives us a glimpse into how Penn State Basketball's summer is going.

During the intrasquad pickup games of the summer, the Nittany Lions are the property of Jamelle Cornley.

"I do everything," the 6-foot-4 senior forward said with a grin. "I got to figure out what time we’re playing, the matchups, the third team that comes on. That’s my job. I’ve got to figure out the tempo, making sure the freshmen are getting taped up right. ... I do all of that."

There is also a nice blurb in the article about incoming freshman Chris Babb.

Babb, a 6-foot-5 shooting specialist from Arlington, Texas, expects to play both wing positions (two guard and small forward) for Penn State this season. And he doesn’t think he will have trouble finding opportunities to score.

"We’ve talked about that. My main position is the two and three," Babb said. "When we have guards like Talor Battle and Stanley Pringle, it’s gonna be easy for me to get open shots that they create."

And speaking of Babb, a highlight video of his popped up on YouTube this week.


 

Looks good to me. Babb should give us some decent offense off the bench this year. Hopefully he can rebound and play some defense too.

Programming Note

I don't think I've made a public announcement yet, but I'm in the process of moving to Houston through the rest of the month, so there will be several days where I will be too busy to blog or I will be away from my lifeline the internet for a while. But Kevin will be minding the store and I'm working on bringing someone else on board soon too. So BSD will keep going and once I'm settled in to my new home I'll be back to full time status, which should be sometime in mid August.

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