Freshmen: They freak out when they see their first syllabus They can't hold their liquor. They aren't good for much, but in a few years they will be the leaders of your football team. This is the final in a three part series to introduce you to the freshman class of 2008.
Position: Defensive Tackle/Offensive Guard
Hometown: Brandywine, DE
Weight: 310 lbs
Bio: James Terry was named the best football player in Delaware by Rivals, which admittedly is like saying Penn State is the best football team in Central Pennsylvania. It's not like there is a huge talent pool which probably explains why Terry didn't get much attention in the recruiting process. His only other Div I offer came from Temple. But Terry is undoubtedly an impressive specimen standing and definitely has the size to play defensive tackle in the Big Ten. As a sophomore he recorded 70 tackles and 10 sacks in earning third team All-State honors. He made the second team his junior year and first team his senior year.
Chances of Playing This Year: You would think with the dismissals of Chris Baker and Phil Taylor that would open the door for Terry to make a move as a defensive tackle. But actually the defection of Josh Marks has forced State to move Terry over to the offensive line where he is starting his career at guard. At this point I don't see any chance for Terry to see the field unless the entire defensive line goes down and they have to move him back to defense.
Position: Defensive Tackle
Hometown: Harrisburg, PA
Weight: 367 lbs
Bio: Brandon Ware is a very large man. Here he is standing next to the 310 lb James Terry.
I'm guessing that's the biggest jersey they could find not preceded by the word "New".
Ware was a standout player in Harrisburg on both the offensive and defensive line. As a defensive tackle he recorded 40 tackles and seven sacks in leading his team to the PIAA Class AAAA playoffs. He also was a member the annual Big 33 game.
A lot of schools were scared off by his grades and his weight and opted to pass on him. But Larry Johnson saw potential and offered him a scholarship which he quickly jumped on. He settled one concern by getting his grades in order and scoring a 1340 on the SAT. Now he just has to drop the weight.
Chances of Playing This Year: Unless we suffer more injuries, probably not pretty good. He tipped the scales at 367 lbs when he reported for camp this summer. He's going to have to drop at least 35 lbs before he'll see the field. He struggled mightily in the conditioning drills, but he has shown surprisingly good athletic ability and his teammates admit when he's fresh he's almost unblockable. If he has the focus and determination to drop the weight and stay in shape he has the potential to be a dominating star on the defensive line. If not he'll probably be another Logan-El.
Position: TIght End
Hometown: Springfield, PA
Weight: 335 lbs
Bio: There was never really any doubt where Mark was going to school. He has been a Penn State fan for years ever since his older brother Floyd was testing elevator weight capacities all over campus back in the 90's. But Mark isn't your run of the mill legacy recruit that gets a last minute offer as a favor to the family. He turned down other offers from Tennessee, Florida, Rutgers, Louisville, and Michigan to choose Penn State. He's a kid who has the talent to make it on his own.
Wedderburn was an older teammate of Rutgers commit Tom Savage at Cardinal O'Hare in Springfield, PA. Mark caught 26 balls for 386 yards and a touchdown as a senior and also played in the Big 33 game.
Now check out this video that features one minute of credits and captions and another full minute of Mark adjusting his crotch and undoing his pants string.
What? You would have looked even if I didn't point it out to you.
Chances of Playing This Year: He has the physical tools to play right away. The problem is we're so loaded at tight end with Shuler, Szczerba, and Quarless that there just isn't much room for him. I think a redshirt is probably in order unless he looks so damn good on the scout team the coaches feel like they don't have a choice but to play him.
Hometown: Springfield, PA
Weight: 216 lbs
Bio: Prior to the spring of 2007 Yancich was best known as just Andrew Sweat's teammate. A knee injury his junior year prevented him from getting the attention he deserved. But in the spring of 2007 was when Yancich started hitting the combine circuit and turning heads.
The recruitment of Trinity linebacker Mike Yancich has gone abit under the radar because of the attention Andrew Sweat is receiving. However, after his strong workout at the Scout.com camp in Pittsburgh two weeks ago and the Penn State Nike Camp this past weekend, alot more people know the ability of Yancich. The Trinity linebacker was awarded the linebacker MVP honor at the Penn State Nike Camp.
Yancich played on both sides of the ball last season. At running back he carried the ball 212 times for 1,616 yards and 21 touchdowns. And on defense he combined for 233 tackles and 17 sacks his junior and senior years. He has an amazing frame and boasts sub 4.5 speed. And he is nothing short of a workout warrior in the gym.
"I started in the seventh grade. He told me it would take a lot of commitment to get to the next level," the younger Yancich said.
So every week would begin with a Sunday workout at 5 a.m.
"There are no distractions at 5 a.m.," Tom Yancich said. "I used to tell him: 'Take a look at the clock. How many other kids are doing this?'"
A muscular, 6-foot-1, 216-pound frame was the end result. Mike Yancich can bench press 375 pounds and do 24 repetitions with 225 pounds. He has been timed in the 40-yard dash at less than 4.5 seconds.
Yancich was also selected to the Big 33 game, but suffered an elbow injury in practice that forced him to sit out.
Chances of Playing This Year: Yancich says he's fully recovered from his elbow injury, but he's still not going to see the field. One position we've had no problem recruiting the past few years is linebacker. We're absolutely stacked, and Yancich is going to have to wait his turn.
Hometown: Youngstown, OH
Weight: 320 lbs
Bio: You may have heard of his dad. He was pretty good. Mike Jr. is also pretty good.
Chances of Playing This Year: Looking good. This will probably anger a lot of you, but you can see from that video that Zordich played a lot of fullback for Cardinal Mooney. And that is where he's going to start out his Penn State playing career. Dan Lawlor has the job right now, but he graduates after this season and it doesn't look like we have a successor in place right now. Look for Zordich to get 25-30 carries this year and maybe catch a few passes as they groom him to take over the fullback duties next season.