Nitt Picks Has a Little Everything Today



Nothing really ground breaking in the news today, but there is a lot of interesting reading.

The first thing that caught my eye was an editorial piece Rivals did on Technology Changing the Face of Recruiting.

"For years coaches complained about having text messaging taken away from them," Tudor says. "[Twitter] looks and feels and acts like a text message, but it's by phone that's tied to a Twitter account."

But Tudor, who works with coaches in all sports in Division I, II and III, cautions against using Facebook or MySpace, even though it is within the rules. During interviews with Tudor, he says athletes have said they felt coaches using Facebook was "kind of creepy."

"One student said it's the equivalent of being on the phone in your room with a parent with their ear on the door trying to listen," Tudor says. "It's not so much a legality thing; it's a best-practices issue. It's too much of an intrusion into their world."

For Clemson, at least, that's not such a bad thing. Even though Scott said he heard some recruits say they'd prefer coaches stay away from their Facebook pages, it may be a tool that's too irresistible to give up. In the recruiting cycle that ended in February, Scott says the Tigers backed off recruiting at least one prospect when they took a closer look at his Facebook page and saw the photographs he posted and the people in his friends list.

I was glad when the NCAA banned text messages in 2007. High school kids don't have a steady income (unless they're being recruited by Ohio State. ZING!) so having twenty college coaches send you 10 text messages a day can add up quickly toward your monthly bill. But I think the NCAA should allow contact through sites Facebook and twitter. The sites are free, the kid won't get bothered in the middle of class, and he always has the option to unfollow or de-friend someone who becomes too intrusive. So I say go for it.

***

Next up, our good friends at The Rivalry, Esq. call Penn State "The New Clemson". Essentially, they are saying Penn State is overrated and will be a major bust in 2009.

So what do I see for Penn State? I envision Evan Royster swallowed up before he gets a chance to move out of the backfield. I picture Daryll Clark constantly throwing on the run to new receivers. I see a new secondary picked apart after the front seven fails to get pressure. But, I still see Penn State picking up 7 or 8 wins because of the schedule. They'll breeze through their four non-con games (Akron, Temple, Syracuse, Eastern Illinois...seriously?). But, I see the Lions losing at least four of their conference games. I think that they'll split with Iowa and Minnesota in Happy Valley. They'll blow out Indiana, but they'll lose to the OSU. On the road, they could lose each one. They won't, but it's in the realm of possibility.  I'll take losses at the Big House and East Lansing and wins in Evanston and Madison. (BSD - PSU doesn't play Wisconsin this year. Instead, they travel to Illinois.) That equals 8-4, with two losses in their last three weeks (in what will still be considered a weak Big Ten). I bet that ends up outside of the Top 25.

He makes some good points. Penn State has a lot of talent to replace this season. But then so does everyone every year. A poor offensive line can be masked with a mobile quarterback. And I think it's funny that everyone is saying we'll miss Butler, Williams, and Norwood after telling us the past three years how small and overrated they were.

The consistently good teams are the teams that recruit well and can fill in the gaps. I'm confident that Penn State has been recruiting well enough in recent years that they will find decent talent to fill those gaps. I can't really speak too much to the situation at Clemson, but I do know they were coached by a guy named Tommy Bowden who rode his daddy's national championship trophies to a head coaching job. I'm pretty sure Joe Paterno knows how to get it done and Penn State will be fine. An 8-4 year should be considered a failure in 2009. I think 10-2 or 11-1 is more realistic given the schedule and the overall talent level in the Big Ten.

***

Long before Matt Hahn, Aaron Harris, and Brian Milne were the premier fullbacks blocking for Tony Hunt, Curtis Enis, and Ki-Jana Carter, there was Tim Manoa leading the way for D.J. Dozier. Manoa was the starting fullback for Penn State back in '85 and '86 when Penn State went to two consecutive national championship games. Dozier was always fun to watch, but as a kid I always wanted to see #44 get the ball to watch him run over people. The Cleveland Leader has a nice interview with Manoa that you should check out.

***

Finally, the hiring of Cael Sanderson as wrestling coach has Nittany Lion wrestling fans giddy with excitement, and today they are all walking around with smiles on their faces as Penn State has landed the commitment of one of the top high school wrestlers in the country, David Taylor.

Taylor announced Monday, June 8, that he has accepted a full-ride scholarship to wrestle for Penn State University and its new head coach, Cael Sanderson.

The four-time state champion and two-time national champ has originally committed to Iowa State University because of Sanderson. But Sanderson announced in April that he was leaving his alma mater to take over the Nittany Lions program. That left Taylor in limbo for a time, until Iowa State released him from his commitment. Then the entire recruiting process Taylor thought was finished started back up again.

Taylor finished his Falcons career with a 180-2 record, becoming just the 17th wrestler to win four state titles. He's also the only four-time winner at the prestigious Ironman Tournament.

 Etcetera

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