Nitt Picks Puts Honey Mustard on His Sandwich

 

Any time Penn State takes a kid from State College High School there is a small contingent of fans who think it was a token off of some sort. Kids that get plucked from the back yard always face that kind of scrutiny, but as the York Daily Record points out in an interview with Cory James of Fight On State, Alex Kenney is anything but a token offer.

"Being in the backyard might make people second-guess" the pickup, said Cory James of Scout.com, a national recruiting service. "But you can tell by the offers that he's a legit prospect, not just a token offer. He's real fast but also has some (bulk) to him. He can kind of muscle through some things.

"He can do reverses and pitches in the backfield. ... He definitely could fit the Derrick Williams' role."

 I seem to recall a few State High kids named Larry Johnson and Jordan Norwood working out okay in the past. The offer list James mentions included Boston College, Virginia, Illinois, Pitt, Stanford, NC State, North Carolina, Purdue, Syracuse, Michigan State, Minnesota, and Northwestern. So it's not like Penn State was the only BCS school to offer him.

The Centre Daily Times also got an interview with Kenney that's worth reading.

Moving on, the Philly Inquirer has an interesting article on Daryll Clark. In it, Clark details what he's working on this summer.

With that said, Clark is focused only on contending for a national championship and winning another conference title.

That's why he's leading his teammates on 6 a.m. runs each Tuesday and Thursday this summer. That's why he follows that up by dissecting last season's game film.

Afterward, he's either participating in offense-vs.-defense drills or playing catch with the wideouts.

Not satisfied, Clark works on his footwork and regularly throws on his own on Wednesdays at Haluba Hall, Penn State's main indoor practice facility.

"This period right now is a time for me to get myself fundamentally sound with all my mechanics," he said. "Some plays, I get lazy with my play-action, my follow-throughs, things like that. I want to be so crisp, I will be able to complete passes in my sleep."

Does anyone else get the impression Clark is going to be an absolute stud this year?

Another stud in the making is Jack Crawford, who Bruce Feldman listed as one of his top ten players to watch this season.

Jack Crawford, DE, Penn State: Even though Penn State made its bones as Linebacker U., the program really has done an excellent job of developing standout defensive ends of late. (Courtney Brown, Michael Haynes, Tamba Hali and Aaron Maybin come immediately to mind.) Next in D-line coach Larry Johnson's pipeline is Crawford, a British-born pass-rushing force who has generated quite a buzz during the past few months in Happy Valley. The 6-5, 265-pound Crawford, one of just three true freshmen to play in every game for PSU last season, grew up boxing and playing cricket. He also has some PSU insiders believing that he has more potential than any of the ends Johnson has coached.

Crawford was No. 7 on his list. Terrelle Pryor came in at No. 2, and coming in at No. 9 is some guy named Phil Taylor, a defensive tackle at Baylor. Anybody ever heard of him?

Let It Go Bobby

The daily saga of Bobby Bowden and the struggle to hang on to his 14 illegal wins just won't go away.

 

Bobby throws out the hypothetical example of a kid at Notre Dame or Penn State getting caught cheating on a test and suggests the NCAA is opening a can of worms in that they will have to vacate wins everywhere to be consistent. But we're not talking about one or two kids cheating here. This was widespread almost institutionalized cheating that showed a lack of control by the coaches and athletic department. In the past the NCAA has been known to make teams forfeit for using a single ineligible player, so I think this is consistent with NCAA policy.

But it's getting really sad in the Bowden camp when he starts having his kids lobby for him.

Terry Bowden, who returned to coaching for the first time since he was fired as Auburn's coach in 1998, said he hopes FSU wins its appeal.

"I think it's important to everybody who played for Joe Paterno or Bobby Bowden," Terry Bowden said. "They can tell their kids they played for the all-time winningest coach in college football history. I want to bounce my grandkids on my knee and tell them about Bobby Bowden as the all-time winningest coach and not Joe Paterno."

This past weekend Joe Paterno weighed in on Bowden's scandal in his interview with the Reading Eagle.

The NCAA is going to do what it's going to do, but I would hope they would not take away 10 or 12 wins away from him. I don't think that's fair. He coached the team he had; they played against people, and they won. They ought to be wins for them.

Frankly, I'm surprised that Joe Paterno would say something like this. In my opinion he's damaging his legacy as the architect of the Grand Experiment. Paterno has championed himself as the king of academic integrity for the student athlete over his career, but in this case he blows it off when dozens of students get caught in a widespread cheating scandal. I know Bowden and Paterno are friends, but Joe would be better served to just answer "No comment" next time.

Basketball News

New Nittany Lion Bill Edwards is on campus working out with the team now, and early indications are he looks like he could suit up and give us 20 solid minutes tomorrow if he had to. The Centre Daily Times got an interview with him, and I especially like this quote.

"I love the game of basketball. I hate when people disrespect it, and when I say that I mean as far as ball-hogging or something like that," Edwards said. "If a guy’s open, I’m going to find a way to get him the ball. If he has the hot hand, try to get him the ball. Growing up, that was just something I always wanted to have in my game."

Unselfish players traditionally do quite well at Penn State. You have a fine career ahead of you, Mr. Edwards.

In Scores of Other Games

  • Our friends at Maize n Brew have your Guide to Pissing off SEC fans. My one caveat is the knock on Chic-fil-a. That Chic-fil-a sandwich rocks. I like mine with a little honey mustard sauce on it.
  • Blog, Sweat & Tears has an audio interview with Navorro Bowman
  • We Will Always Have Tempe is starting to grasp at straws
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