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Committing to Pickin' Nits

We hope you all enjoyed one of the most mischievous days on the sports calendar. Here's a couple things that remind me why the blunders involving Signing Day still get to me.

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This year's recruiting festivities seemed to be at the pinnacle of an already growing popular event. There's a couple things that I didn't see a lot of on National Signing Day, but these still get to me on this day:

1) Let the coaches do the recruiting. These guys are paid millions of dollars to coach and develop young men. No one cares if you're a 'die hard fan' of a school and have nothing to do with your lives other than send sappy messages to 17 & 18 year old kids why they should come to your favorite school.

2) These are kids. So when 90 percent of the kids you spent the last year tweeting at to get their attention and they picked another school, don't tweet at them about how they'll rot in hell. These are teenagers and nobody should have to worry about being ridiculed for a decision like this.

3) To the recruits: be prepared. As previously stated, coaches spend weeks upon months upon years recruiting you. The least you can do is be ready and rehearse a little bit what you want to do or say. Carlton Bragg, you're up.

And say the school's name right. For crying out loud, it's three words maximum in most cases. Cliff Alexander and Jamal Adams you're up.

4) Also, don't be a jackass. These recruits have to break some hearts in the process. Don't do it in a negative way that will make people infer false traits about you because you're trying to be funny. Cliff Alexander, you're up again.

5) To the parents: This isn't your day so sit there and be happy with the decision. Landon Collins and Gerald Willis III's mom, you're up. TWICE! THAT'S THE SAME PERSON!!!

6) Have some fun! Kudos to the kids that enjoy this moment and don't take it too seriously. Solomon Thomas and Soso Jamabo, you're up!

I'm committed to the Nits though, so let's see what's going on!

Gymnastics

Losing in Champaign was the pattern this weekend. While D.J. Newbill was busy taking block charges against Nnanna Egwu that weren't being called, the ladies dropped their decision with the Illini 196.400-195.600.

Penn State did, however, break the school record for the team score on the vault. You win some you lose some, I guess.

This Week Ahead: The men come off a bye week to host Ohio State on Friday and the women host Michigan State on Saturday.

Swimming & Diving

The men divers swept the board clean at the Bison Invitational this past weekend. Senior T.J. Schenkel and freshman Travis Wright were able to capture four medals between total. Can we call them the Splash Brothers 2.0? Thought I'd ask.

The women essentially kicked ass and took names in the process as well at Bucknell. Even though it was not a scored event, we made sure to keep track to know that Penn State had winners in the 100 freestyle, 200-yard freestyle relay, 100 backstroke, 100 breaststroke and 200 individual medley.

This Week Ahead: The men and women will head down to Blacksburg for the Virginia Tech Invitational on Saturday and Sunday.

Track & Field

I'll take the blame on this one for taking so long to add the runners into the Pickin' Nits list. I ran hurdles and sprints in high school so I'm well submersed in all this mumbo jumbo.

I liked running indoor better than outdoor for some reason, and we're coming down the final stretch of indoor season until moving out to the blistering cold State College spring weather.

Senior Darrell Hill has already eclipsed the best mark this year in the entire country by throwing 67-3.50 and is now the Penn State record holder as well.

Senior Brian Leap and sophomore Dannielle Gibson are some monsters on the triple jump.

I'll do my best to make sure this team is getting its due the rest of the season!

This Week Ahead: The Sykes & Sabock Challenge Cup in State College will occupy the men and the women on Friday and Saturday.

Women's Ice Hockey

It wasn't the typical win/loss split this weekend against Syracuse for Penn State. It started out with a 2-2 tie on Friday with goal contributions from junior Emily Laurenzi and freshman Caitlin Reilly.

Saturday's 4-2 win was propelled by three goals in about three minutes during the second period. Juniors Hannah Hoenshell and Hannah Bramm and sophomore Laura Bowman all contributed in the surge that took the Orange to the juicer.

Junior goaltender Celine Whilinger was named this month's College Hockey Association goalie for January. Whitlinger also brought home the award for December. Keep holding the fort down, Celine!

This Week Ahead: The ladies are taking a trip out near my neck of the woods to Lindenwood this weekend.