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Late Nite Nitt Picks

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Sorry for the lack of posting lately. It's been a crazy week. Let's mix things up a bit from the recruiting series, shall we?

What ever happened to Austin Scott anyway?

Austin Scott is still facing the rape charges that were brought against him. He didn't get invited to the NFL combine. He probably isn't welcome to take part in the PSU pro day on campus. But that isn't stopping him from pursuing the NFL. He's apparently signed on with an agent who is optimistic he'll land somewhere.

SKI & Company President & CEO Chris Lencheski stated, "With respect and sensitivity to the circumstances facing Austin off the field, we have accepted the opportunity to represent his interests in preparing for the upcoming NFL draft. It was only after considerable due diligence did we agree to place Mr. Scott into the SKI & Company family of quality companies, clients and programs. We are fully expecting Mr. Scott to be available to the NFL teams selecting for new professional talent at the NFL Draft in April. He is currently preparing by training 3-plus times a day with both current and former NFL players. More importantly, he is finishing his college degree on schedule while maintaining a demanding personal externship required for graduation at Penn State."

The Penn State Pro Day is fast approaching on March 18, and Scott is eager to participate. The fact that Scott is graduating from PSU on time significantly impressed the mind of another key component in the SKI & Company family, Dr. Al Leonzi.

The article suggests he'll participate in the Pro Day, but given the fact Ed Johnson wasn't allowed to participate after getting the boot right before the 2007 Outback Bowl, me don't think so. (HT: Penn State OTR)

David Jones is the Straw That Mixes the Drink

It's time for your weekly dose of "Can you believe what David Jones said today?"

I recently was e-mailed by a key PSU donor and friend of Paterno. He wrote: "Joe is working on security for his assistants. It is one of the sticking points with Dr. S. Especially [linebacker coach Ron] Vanderlinden, [defensive line coach Larry] Johnson and Bradley."

I can understand how the president might not be nuts about guaranteeing the future to anyone on the current staff. He'd like the freedom to make his own call on Paterno's successor and the ability to go outside.

But this is where Spanier can give some ground, not only because it's prudent but because it's the right thing to do. The defensive staff is the guts of the team, the one oiled assembly of what has otherwise often been a creaky and balky machine. It has supported the dead weight of this program.

Where can Paterno give ground? It's clear. Name your retirement date now, Joe.

At first I didn't believe all the doom and gloom about Paterno and Spanier not seeing eye to eye. But with each passing day and each passing week I think it's inevitable this thing is going to turn ugly. We were supposed to hear something about Joe's future the week after signing day. Then it was mid February. Now we're a few days from March and as far as anyone can tell Joe and Graham haven't even sat down at the table yet.

I think Jones has laid out the scenario pretty accurately. Graham Spanier understands he is about to be faced with a decision that no Penn State president has faced in over 40 years: hiring a head football coach. He wants to make the right decision for his cash cow and get the right person. He doesn't want to have his options limited by picking someone off the current staff, i.e. Bradley. But at the same time he doesn't want to be known as the guy who evicted Joe Paterno out of State College.

From Joe's standpoint I think the major hang up for him is the security of his assistants. People say he's being stubborn and wants the record or doesn't want to give up control. I don't think that's the case. I think he's tired. It's obvious to me he's really aged the past few years. He can't travel anymore. He admits that his leg hurts after standing through a two hour practice. He can't stand the media and his manditory press conferences. Did anyone else notice he hasn't given a signing day press conference the past two years? I think in his heart he knows it's time to go, but he wants to have a say in who the next head coach will be. I.e. - He wants his coaching staff to remain in tact. I.e. - He doesn't want Jay to get fired.

I haven't heard anything about these two men sitting down yet. If they don't do something soon to lay out a plan past 2008 this recruiting season is going to be a complete bust. And then we may see Joe's contract unceremoniously run out after the season and Spanier will get his national search he craves.

Good God Justin King is Fast

And that ain't no joke. Just check out his 4.31 40 time at the NFL combine. Here is what the NFL scouts have to say.

Draft Scout 02/20/08 Riser: Penn State cornerback Justin King elected to enter the draft after his junior season despite struggling, at times, in high profile conference match-ups this year. If he is able to work out as well as some project, the decision may end up being a good one. King, who reportedly has 4.3 speed and a vertical jump of over 40 inches, could be among the draft's most impressive overall athletes.

The consensus is he's a third or fourth round pick. I still don't know why he came out after getting toasted by Robiskie and Hardy this year. But hey, I guess making the NFL league minimum still beats being a poor ass college kid.