Whoa, whoa, whoa. Whoa.
If I didn't like you, Jared, I'd ask kijana's acl to harass the shit out of you for the next four years by explaining to him that you think McGloin was Penn State's best QB ever.
Why? Jared, you've lost it, brother. Deion Barnes is a perfectly fine choice for the magazine cover, if you're into ancient Greek sculpture. Barnes could probably have been a Spartan extra for the movie 300. But writing that he's imitating or perhaps exceeding Courtney Brown? Sheer lunacy. At this stage, Barnes more closely resembles a 'look like Tarzan, play like Jane' workout wonder. He's still a young pup who hasn't learned to anticipate cadence, chop a tackle's arms, dip-and-drive, or set an edge and put it 5 yards into the backfield, with consistency. Sure, there have been flashes of some of those things. But flashes aren't enough for you to compare him to the best defensive end in Penn State history, who was a mountain of a man, and about whom no one ever questioned his ability to set the edge. Brown was strong enough to set the edge on a convoy of Mack trucks.
Now if you truly want to differentiate this magazine, then you slap left guard Miles Dieffenbach on the cover. That's right - you put a 300-lb bodyguard on the cover, sit back, and take in the heaps of praise. Football lovers will gaze at it fondly, thinking, 'wow.....these guys must know football because they picked someone I don't know, that's not a little fast guy, and will never get drafted in a fantasy league.' Differentiation, dude. It works.
While the rest of the football nation busies itself this summer fawning over Penn State's other guard because he can use a calculator, you pick Dieffenbach because he'll be the better player this year. You know that because you're smarter than other writers, bloggers, editors, and the nation's assembled media. Sure, you could argue that such a claim may be one year early. Whatever. You'll just look that much smarter when the 2015 NFL draft rolls around. Smarts sells, too.
Last, you pick Dieffenbach because he's sneaky mean, which is the best kind of mean. Jeff Hartings? Sneaky mean. Steve Wisniewski? Sneaky mean. Mean because they're chippy. Sneaky because they don't get flagged for the 'kinda late' shove on run plays, or the 'accidental' kidney punch in pass sets. Dieffenbach fits that mold. Do you remember QB Coach Chaz Fisher freaking out on the Purdue guy for running into him on the sideline? Rewind that tape 2 seconds, and you'll see that it's Dieffenbach launching the Purdue guy into Chaz. Miles plays through the faintest echo of the whistle, and that should be rewarded with a cover photo. And it doesn't hurt that any action photo will include some grass stains, blood stains, sweat, and other mucus drippings from the snot bubblers Miles administers. It's the very picture of football.
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