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Penn State received a verbal commitment from four-star 2017 Derrek Pitts.

"I've seen a lot of what's going on in their recruiting right now and that influenced me a lot," Pitts said. "They're putting together a great class right now and I feel like I fit right in with that." The 6-foot-1, 180-pound safety prospect -- No. 19 at the position by Rivals metrics -- was also considering Maryland and West Virginia. Scout.com's Brian Dohn notes that Pitts "has plus length and athleticism, and can chase a play to the sideline." He speculates that it isn't out of the question that Pitts might shift to outside linebacker at some point in his collegiate career.
Source: Rivals
Jul 28 - 12:40 PM

Michigan State LB Riley Bullough told media members Penn State sophomore Saquon Barkley was the best RB he faced in 2015.

Bullough and Michigan State faced Ezekiel Elliott last season, and limited the future top five pick to 33 yards on 12 carries, which ended in Elliott expressing his frustration to the media. "I think they bring different things to the table. Barkley was a great back, he was hard to tackle," Bullough said. Barkley produced over 100 yards against the Spartans. Northwestern linebacker Anthony Walker, who we absolutely love, also praised Barkley's game. Expectations are high for Barkley this year.
Source: Penn Live
Jul 28 - 8:06 AM

Penn State HC James Franklin is not yet ready to name a starting quarterback between redshirt sophomore Trace McSorley and redshirt freshman Tommy Stevens.

McSorley continues to hold the same edge he held following the close of spring practice. Said Franklin, "We want to give Tommy the chance to close that gap. We want to give Trace the opportunity to keep that gap and just see how it plays out." He explained that while both McSorley and Stevens share similarities in terms of athleticism, McSorley is "ahead experience-wise and knowledge-wise."
Source: Rivals
Jul 26 - 3:24 PM

Penn State received a verbal commitment from four-star 2017 LB Brelin Faison-Walden.

"The way they are going to use me and how much I could excel after football helped me decided to commit," Faison-Walden said. He believes that, depending on the work he puts in, he "could get on the field pretty much as a true freshman" with the Nittany Lions. Rivals recruiting analyst Adam Friedman notes that the 6-foot-1, 190-pounder "will bring a physical presence to Penn State’s secondary" and "has a knack for being around the football and seems to be in the right place at the right time." The outlet ranks Faison-Walden as the No. 23 outside linebacker for the 2017 cycle.
Source: Rivals
Jul 21 - 12:42 PM

Four-star 2017 S Derrek Pitts will announce his five planned official visits on August 8.

Most recently, Pitts took unofficial visits to Tennessee and Florida. In addition to those two programs, the 6-foot-1, 180-pounder is interested in Penn State and West Virginia. He is currently training in Arizona with Cardinals star Tyrann Mathieu. " It's a good experience and I'm learning a lot," Pitts said. "He's out here working hard and pushing us to the best of our ability. He's teaching us how to be an individual person." He ranks as Rivals No. 19 safety prospect for the 2017 cycle.
Source: Rivals
Jul 6 - 1:16 PM

Penn State head coach James Franklin said Big Ten teams are using the school's infractions against them when recruiting.

Franklin was asked about Ohio State, Michigan and Michigan State, specifically. He included those teams along with "others" as examples. "We have that conversation with every single prospect. We don't usually initiate it, but it's coming from somewhere," Franklin told beat writer Rich Scarcella. Infractions are certainly difficult to overcome, but those are coming to an end soon. Losing more often than the other programs listed likely impact recruiting at a higher rate. Routine assistant coaching changes impact recruiting, too.
Jun 29 - 11:38 AM

Penn State head coach James Franklin believes "all the things are in place for us to make a significant jump offensively" this season.

This statement is delivered on the heels of Christian Hackenberg departing for the NFL. Offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead is in his first year with the team, so there is likely optimism he can work with a young star in running back Saquon Barkley, and elevate the other talents at other positions. Trace McSorley is the odds on favorite to be the school's starting quarterback, but is in a competition with Tommy Stevens.
Jun 27 - 10:06 AM

Penn State awarded new two-year contracts to the assistant coaching staff.

"All of the assistants, their first contracts just ran out. And they all just signed multiple-year, guaranteed contracts," said HC James Franklin. "All the strength coaches did. All the administrators. Everybody." The hope is that these contracts help to foster something vaguely resembling continuity. Since the close of the season, the team has lost OC John Donovan (fired), DC Bob Shoop (left for Tennessee) and OL coach Herb Hand (left for Auburn). The Nittany Lions have finished 7-6 in each of Franklin's two years as head coach.
Jun 25 - 12:47 PM

Penn State junior WR Saeed Blacknall "has ideal size for a prospect and tantalizing upside," writes Bleacher Report's David Kenyan.

This offseason, Penn State HC Franklin fired offensive coordinator John Donovan and hired Joe Moorhead, who brought with him an up-tempo spread offense. Now that the Nitts have joined modern offensive football, Blacknall is one of several poised to break out if everything goes according to plan. The 6-foot-3, 212-pound burner was a four-star recruit and is a big-play threat. He's posted only 18 catches for 343 yards and two touchdowns the past two seasons, otherwise known as the Dark Ages in Penn State circles, but is an ace breakout candidate this fall.
Jun 17 - 8:27 PM

Penn State sophomore RB Saquon Barkley ranked No. 1 in Pro Football Focus' elusive rating last season.

Elusive rating is one of the neater proprietary stats PFF produces, as it attempts to isolate a runner's effectiveness independent of his blocking. You knew that Barkley's blocking was crap in 2015, and you knew Barkley was tremendous; this stat should give you some context for how Barkley may have performed behind LSU or Stanford's offensive lines. PFF also charted Barkley as finishing with the ninth-most missed tackles as a runner and the sixth-best yards after contact per rush average.
Jun 10 - 1:13 PM

Penn State redshirt freshman DT Kevin Givens had six tackles, 3.5 TFL and two sacks in the spring game, displaying "strength, quickness and low pad level," per 247 Sports' Jeff Rice.

"I think Kevin’s been a little bit of a surprise for all of us," defensive coordinator Brent Pry said. "We were certainly excited about him. He was a very raw player coming out of high school." Indeed, the 6-foot-1, 267-pound Givens played linebacker and running back in the prep ranks. Givens was moved to defensive end as a freshman, then converted to DT this offseason. He may have found a home and is adding weight to try to stay there long term. "He gets it," Pry said. "He reminds me of the style of player of (senior linebacker) Brandon Bell, a guy who’s quiet but understands the game and makes plays because he sees it quicker than other guys. Kevin’s got a great feel inside."
Source: 247 Sports
Jun 9 - 6:59 PM

Penn State junior T Paris Palmer has been displaced at left tackle and is not assured of a starting position.

Palmer replaced Donovan Smith last year. His effectiveness can in part be judged by how many times you saw cleanup crews shoveling Christian Hackenberg off the turf. Andrew Nelson, considered the team's best lineman, has been moved to left tackle. Noah Beh and Palmer will duke it out for the right tackle job this summer.
Source: ESPN.com
Jun 9 - 5:32 PM

Penn State four-star 2017 commit QB Sean Clifford is headed to Elite 11.

Clifford is one of 12 picked to compete at the showcase, which goes down at the Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton, Ore. between July 5-10. He's the third Nittany Lions quarterback to make the cut, following freshman Jake Zembiec's appointment last year and Christian Hackenberg's appearance in 2012. ESPN ranks Clifford No. 97 overall.
Source: Penn Live
Jun 8 - 7:32 PM

Penn State redshirt freshman QB Tommy Stevens isn't sure if he closed the gap on redshirt sophomore QB Trace McSorley during spring practice.

"I'm not sure," Stevens said. "I've just been working as hard as I could with Trace. ... And whatever happens, happens." Perhaps he's being too hard on himself, because Stevens did enough for HC James Franklin to refuse to close the quarterback competition prior to the summer. "I don't think it's fair to our football team or to Tommy right now to name a starter when I think Tommy can really close the gap between now and [camp]," Franklin said following the spring game. Franklin says Stevens is a high-percentage passer who needs to refine his technique.
Source: ESPN.com
Jun 8 - 6:52 PM

Penn State coach James Franklin says redshirt sophomore QB Trace McSorley has a slight edge over redshirt freshman Tommy Stevens heading into summer camp.

"I don't think it's fair to our football team or to Tommy right now to name a starter when I think Tommy can really close the gap between now and [camp]," Franklin said after the spring game. "That's also going to keep a competitive edge in our locker room and keep Trace working, because he's got a lot of areas to improve in as well." McSorley outplayed Stevens in the scrimmage, going 23-of-27 for 281 yards, four touchdowns and one interception.
Source: ESPN.com
Jun 7 - 5:58 PM


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