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NCAA Football: Rose Bowl Game-Penn State vs Southern California Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Winter workouts started this morning for the 2017 Penn State football squad, and the coaching staff took to twitter; each positional coach shouted out a different leader of their group and their workout ethic (Joe Moorhead praised Trace McSorley, Brent Pry honored Jason Cabinda, etc). Franklin has all of the tweets reposted on his feed, and it’s worth a look.

New Penn State football signee Mac Hippenhammer will also look to play baseball for the Nittany Lions - and head coach Rob Cooper had a hand in him coming here.

“In that small period of time, it was just like when we recruit any other baseball player in our program,” Cooper said. “We didn’t just meet with him to help football out. We met with him because he can help baseball out. He can be an impact player for us down the road.”

Football will be emphasized for Hippenhammer, but one of the reasons why the player with the great name chose the Nittany Lions was because they offered him the opportunity to play on the baseball diamond as well.

This week, Penn State wrestling hosts Illinois and while the outcome of the dual meet won’t really be in doubt - there’s one matchup that will draw eyes from around the wrestling world. PSU’s redshirt freshman Vincenzo Joseph (#4) will take on Illinois’ Isaiah Martinez, who’s #1 and undefeated after bumping up to 165 pounds this season following his defeat of Nittany Lion Jason Nolf in the 157 finals of the NCAA tournament last season.

Last season, IMar had one loss on the year - to Nolf, in Champaign, when the freshman was able to pin him in a gloriously funky move. IMar learned from that loss and beat Nolf in their next two matchups, in the finals at the Big Ten tournament and the NCAAs.

Despite Nolf’s experience, Joseph is focused on what he needs to do this Friday, instead of what has taken place in the past.

“Maybe [Nolf] will give me a few pointers,” Joseph said. “But wrestling is wrestling. I’ve seen him wrestle before.”

Cenzo has two losses on the year; early on, he had a somewhat fluky loss to Stanford’s Keaton Subjeck, when he gave up a six point move off his own offensive strike. More recently, Joseph lost in sudden victory to Wisconsin’s #3 Isaac Jordan in a match he had all but won, when Jordan reversed Cenzo’s rideout in the final seconds of the third period.

Penn State hockey fans should temper their expectations - despite being #1 for part of the year (and dropping the last four games), it’s still been a great season.

Any season that extends past the Big Ten tournament will be considered a success for the five-year-old program...

Penn State isn’t far off from getting back on track — tighten up defensively in front of Peyton Jones, stop taking ill-advised penalties like too many men on the ice and find a way to spark Denis Smirnov’s offense and watch the wins flow in

There’s a counterpoint (“Time to panic!”) in that link as well. But I’m only quoting the one I agree with, and implore all hockey fans not to send angry, attacking, nonsensical letters in response.

Not Penn State-related, but here’s a great, in-depth story about an underrecruited quarterback from Georgia. It puts a lot of the recruiting buzz around players in perspective - and makes you wonder how many great players go without offers from even mid-major schools.

Quick Hits: Ohio State is number one in ESPN’s 2017 football power rankings because of course they are (but the Lions lead in their running back and quarterback rankings) ...Class of 2018 commits Zach Kuntz and Charlie Katshir are great friends off the field—and grew up coming to Penn State games together...Wait, the Washington Post covered Ricky Slade committing to the Nittany Lions!...Penn State basketball has a toughness problem...Even unabashed homers of Ohio State wrestling weren’t happy with BoJo being sat against Penn State (and one on that podcast was convinced it was to protect his seed)...Some Penn Staters (and members of the NLWC) are on FloWrestling’s list of the most dramatic meltdowns in wrestling.

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