Say hello to your 2017 captains!
While it’s only the second day of spring camp, Penn State has already named its captains for the 2017 season. Quarterback Trace McSorley, middle linebacker Jason Cabinda and strong safety/special teams ace Nick Scott will each be counted on to serve as the leaders of a team that enters the upcoming season with high expectations.
Ever since he stepped foot on campus, McSorley has been praised for his leadership abilities. While he may lack the ideal size for a quarterback, McSorley is known for possessing all the intangibles needed to be a successful leader of the offense. Before his first start, it was common knowledge that he led his high school team to four state championship games, including three state titles. It didn’t take long for McSorley to make a name for himself nationally in his first year as a starter in 2016, and enters the upcoming season as a Heisman hopeful along with running back Saquon Barkley.
Cabinda seemed to be an obvious choice to become a captain heading into his senior season. As the starting middle linebacker during the majority of the past two seasons, Cabinda has been a standout as the quarterback of the defense, and helped guide a young unit that took a huge leap during the course of the 2016 season. He is constantly surrounding teammates and offering encouragement in any footage of offseason workouts as well.
Nick Scott became one of the Nittany Lion’s top special teams performers in 2016 thanks to his speed and aggressive play. He is also a contender for the starting strong safety position left vacant by departing senior Malik Golden.
“These three young men have been leaders in our program, on and off the field,” James Franklin said in a press release. “They live our four core values and act with the program’s best interest in mind. Our team is in good hands with these guys!”
Congratulations Trace, Mike and Nick!
Booooooooooooooooooooom! PA native Gavin Teasdale flips from Iowa to Penn State
And that train keep on rollin...
Coming off a dominant performance in the NCAA Wrestling Tournament, Cael Sanderson and the Penn State wrestling team kept up the momentum as they picked up a commitment today from class of 2018 stud and long-time Iowa Hawkeyes commit Gavin Teasdale.
Teasdale, a 120-pound wrestler from Jefferson-Morgan high school in Pennsylvania, is one of the most sought-after recruits in the country. The junior is ranked No. 2 in the country by FloWrestling in the Class of 2018, giving Penn State commitments from the second (Teasdale), third (Travis Wittlake Jr.), and fourth-ranked (Roman Bravo-Young) wrestlers in the country for that class. Teasdale is also ranked No. 1 by Flo at 126 pounds and No. 10 in their pound-for-pound rankings.
Teasdale’s accomplishments include three state championships, three Powerade championship and a Cadet national freestyle championship. Most importantly, Teasdale’s commitment to PSU means he will not be following fellow PA stud Spencer Lee to Carver Hawkeye Arena.
Teasdale, similarly to Bravo-Young, projects to 133/141 weight classes in college. It will be interesting to watch how the Nittany Lions’ 2018 class fills out now with commitments from Teasdale and RBY commited, following class of 2017 commit Nick Lee who projects to 141/149. For now, we celebrate.
Welcome to Penn State, Gavin.
Video via YouTube.com
Two offensive linemen are no longer on the roster, with one retiring for medical reasons and another looking to transfer out of the program.
It has been reported that Penn State offensive lineman Noah Beh will opt to transfer, with sources confirming he will opt to finish his college career at Delaware.
Beh played 13 games as a Nittany Lion, and spent most of his playing time in special teams. He was also suspended for most of last season while still being allowed to practice. He spent the season with the scout team.
Noah was a Bill O’Brien commit that spent his first season redshirting. James Franklin spoke highly of Beh during the spring, but by the time the fall arrived, Beh was deep in the depth chart. Due to his indefinite suspension last season, all of his playing time came in 2015.
Additionally, tackle Brendan Brosnan has decided to leave the team and retire from football for medical reasons. Brosnan, who was among the first commitments under James Franklin, was expected to compete for a backup role this upcoming season. After redshirting in 2014, he played in eight games as a redshirt freshman in 2015 and saw a total of 13 plays this past fall as a redshirt sophomore.
We wish Noah and Brendan the best of luck in all their future endeavors!
This week’s links are all about past, current, and perhaps future champions!
PennLive has a recruiting round-up of five-star DE Micah Parsons’ visit to State College (You should really re-think the name of that dog, Micah... ), and also a look-ahead to who will visit next weekend.
The Allentown Morning Call is impressed with blue-chipper Lamont Wade early in his Penn State career. Wade is putting up Barkley-like numbers in the weight room and under a stopwatch. The Morning-Call also looks at the draft stock of recent graduates like Nyeem Wartman-White.
ABC News takes a look at the Penn State hockey team’s matchup with mainstay Union College. A win against the Dutchmen could pit the Nittany Lions against No. 1 overall seed Denver.
Speaking of hockey, the New York Times has a mini-retrospective on the program’s journey from the Ice Pavilion to Pegula and a Big Ten Championship(!!!!!!!). As someone who appreciates and enjoy watching, but does not always understand both hockey and wrestling, it’s great to see the hockey team getting the coverage they deserve, despite the Big Ten bias.
Mike Poorman and StateCollege.com give a look at James Franklin’s philosophy of anticipation versus expectation.
Finally, ESPN provides another reminder of the dominance of the wrestling program.
This guy also has posted all of the finals for your perusal.
2017-03-21T07:01:01-04:00Let’s break down Cenzo’s incredible inside trip It blew the lid off of the Scottrade Center. Freshman Cenzo Joseph shocked nearly all of the 18,000 in attendance - and a whole bunch more at home - as he not only traded blows with the nearly untouchable Isaiah Martinez, but gave everyone a memory we won’t soon forget. Let’s break down Cenzo’s gutsy inside trip. KILL THE LIGHTS Cenzo escaped approximately 8 seconds ago (from the screen capture below), and leads 6-5 in the 3rd. Incredibly, Cenzo has 1:00 riding time on the guy no one can ride. But as Kevin Dresser noted in the excellent “Off The Mat” segment from ESPN, “we’re not going a minute 47 without a takedown”. Indeed, we weren’t going 10 seconds without another takedown. But for the moment, Cenzo and IMar are locked up, in collar ties (1) and hand fighting (2). IMar - an excellent hand fighter - works into two collar ties, both with inside position. That’s not where Cenzo wants to be. Why? Because from here, IMar is clear of Cenzo’s head and hands to hit his patented (1) lefty high crotch, to Cenzo’s left (leading) leg. IMar’s lefty high c is exceptional, and he’s killed just about everyone in college wrestling with it. Except - my goodness - the quick-twitch from Cenzo is absolutely disgusting. The grey blur in the shot below is the bottom of Cenzo’s shoe, eluding the grasp of IMar. Unbelievably, IMar whiffs (1) on his lefty high C. That, again, is stunning, because IMar isn’t exactly a slow, plodding guy. But this being IMar, it’s not just, “oh shucks, I missed on my one shot, guess I’ll go home now.” Rather, his initial shot leads into his second shot. You’ll notice (2) that he’s already transitioning into double underhooks. And what does IMar try off of the double unders? An (1) outside trip. Check IMar’s feet, as he’s driving into Cenzo. But you’ll notice Cenzo’s also transitioned into double overhooks - a comfortable position for him, and that left leg he twitched out of IMar’s grasp is now firmly planted, heel up, driving back into Martinez. Cenzo stones the outside trip (1). Too quick again. IMar’s momentum is now stopped cold (2), and he’s exactly where he does NOT want to be - standing up straight, chest to chest with Cenzo, having given up double overhooks. This is (3) big trouble. You know what’s coming next. Cenzo frees his right leg, readjusts his overhooks (1). IMar’s no dummy. He knows he’s in danger, and looks to sink his hips and bail out. Because of that backward (bail out) movement from IMar, when Cenzo hits his kick, it’s nuclear-blast deadly. Cenzo kicks like a mule, and really drives forward off his (left) plant foot, showing total commitment to the move. This takes extraordinary guts. As Quentin Wright once famously said, “we’re going over, and one of us is getting pinned. I just hope it’s him.” Cenzo hits the move so hard that IMar is literally airborne before Cenzo’s finished his trip. Great technique, total commitment, to be sure - but also incredible wrestling timing on Cenzo’s part. IMar goes over so fast and so hard that Cenzo releases his right overhook and hand plants to slow his momentum. IMar tries to hit an elevator, kicking Cenzo over in a somersault. Too late thanks to the hand plant, and because Cenzo’s maintained his left overhook. This is some ninja type stuff (below). Cenzo kicks his left leg back and to his right, in mid air and mid trip, in order to put himself in the pinning position, on IMar’s left side. Another shot of the mid-air ballet, using his own head as a fulcrum / pivot. Seriously - watch the leg kick on the video. It’s incredible. Cenzo still has his left overhook, and sticks the[...]
2017-03-20T10:11:44-04:00Kill some time off the workday with Monday Morning Penalty Kill The Penn State hockey team has put together a historic season seemingly out of nowhere. Head coach Guy Gadowsky admitted that he and his staff were not sure if this season would be a rebuilding year or one that the team would struggle to match the success of the previous season. The Lions won a program-record 21 games in 2015-16, and late in the season tempted the possibility of squeezing into the NCAA tournament field. In the last couple of weeks it lost three games in a row, including the two final games of the season to a loaded Michigan squad. Following the season the team lost a great deal of leadership, talent, and two goalies that logged a lot of ice time. It was uncertain if the team could regroup with just the off-season to fit in the new players that joined the team. In 2014-15 Penn State finished with a winning record for the first time in program history, finishing 18-15-4. While that record does not appear miraculous looking back from our current No. 9 seed in the NCAA tournament, it was more than any player, coach or fan could have imagined at the start of the season. Again the team was led by a group of seniors who left after the season, in addition to junior Casey Bailey who left for the NHL after setting a new program goal-scoring record. This year was a wildcard, even for head coach Guy Gadowsky. Following the Big Ten Championship, this is what he had to say about his team’s effort. I’m incredibly proud and grateful to be a part of this university, to be part of this team. To play so many periods in three days and to pull it out was-I know that they are really good players-but I had no idea that they had that much grit. I’m just really proud to be a part of it. It seems universally shared among the hockey team and its supporters that they are happy for one another, but also for the university. The school and its culture of support for its own makes all of its members eager to achieve greatness that will reflect back on the Penn State family. The hockey team is inspired by the Nittany Lion community, and hopefully this weekend that love will be sent back its way in the form of support for their first trip to the NCAA college hockey tournament. Everyone Hates Us For those people who are familiar with the landscape of college football it is known that there is a media bias, although waning in recent years, in favor of the Southeast Conference. There is an entire television network dedicated to pumping up SEC football; the Entertainment and Sports Programming Networks. There is another, the SEC Network, that broadcasts its sporting events nationally. The pro-SEC bias has drawn ire from those teams and fans outside of the SEC, as it is disgustingly obvious that the conference is over-hyped by the media. The exact opposite is true of B1G hockey. Many college hockey fans outside of the B1G have a negative opinion of the conference and its members. The media shares this viewpoint, and at times this season has spoken openly about the lack of interest in Penn State due to their affiliation with the Big Ten. Had any other team, from another conference, accomplished what the Lions have this season, it would have been showered with media praise and adoration. Instead we had to hear, all season long, that the Lions were not as swell as we in Hockey Valley feel that they are. The reoccurring mantra for devaluing the Penn State team was that their schedule strength was weak. PSU finished the year with the No. 9 RPI position, and in that statistical format, had the 17th-toughest schedule. That negative spot on the Lion’s record was a fictional narrative created by the media. Those of us following the team posited that were Penn State from another conference, and wore another uniform, say that of the Lions’ first-round opponent Union, it would be the poster-child for all that is good in college hockey[...]
2017-03-20T09:21:02-04:00The freshman netminder saved his best games for the biggest stage of the year, and may have more to come. It’s often said that goaltender in ice hockey is simultaneously the most difficult and most important position in sports. Over the course of three days last weekend, Peyton Jones reinforced the latter belief, but did so in seemingly effortless fashion. In guiding Penn State to its first Big Ten Tournament Championship in program history, the freshman netminder put on a show for those in attendance at Joe Louis Arena. Jones stopped 118 of 123 shots, including 51 of 52 in the Championship game, as the Nittany Lions became the first team to win three tournament games en route to the conference title. Each of the prior three champions had the benefit of a first-round bye, only having to win twice to clinch the title. Jones and the Nittany Lions had to go the extra mile, playing 240 minutes and 16 seconds — equivalent to just over four games — over a 52-hour period. By the waning moments of the third game, the Lions appeared to be running on fumes, exhausted by back-to-back double overtime contests. Jones admitted he and his teammates were tired following their 2-1 win over Wisconsin in the championship game. “Guys were tired. As much as were gonna say we weren't tired, we were tired,” he said after the game. The Lions remained positive, however, as they faced the same situation not even 24 hours prior, when Erik Autio scored the winner to knock off top-seeded Minnesota. “That was definitely a little more comforting for us,” Jones said. While the Lions could have thrown in the towel, having already secured an at-large berth in the NCAA Tournament with their first double-overtime win over Minnesota in the semifinals, Jones made sure his team didn’t settle for runner-up in its first appearance in the conference championship. Through the third period and overtime against the Badgers, Jones stopped 36 of 37 shots, allowing only the tying goal to Matt Ustaski midway through the third period. His counterpart, fellow freshman Jack Berry, faced just 18 shots over the same stretch. They weren’t just routine saves for Jones, either. With the Badgers needing a win to secure a spot in the National Tournament, they poured it on in the final 46-plus minutes of the game. During the first overtime, Jones made his most remarkable stop of the night. As the puck was floating over him, he swung his glove hand up to knock it back into the slot, allowing his teammates to clear the puck out of harm’s way. Early in the second overtime, Jones was forced to test his athletic limits once again. On an odd-man rush for the Badgers, Jones sprawled across the crease and stretched his leg out just enough to get a toe on a one-time chance. src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/btW8PH8nxUw?wmode=transparent&rel=0&autohide=1&showinfo=0&enablejsapi=1" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="" style="top: 0px; left: 0px; width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;"> Four minutes later, Liam Folkes etched his name into blue and white lore with his game-winning breakaway goal. Unsurprisingly, Jones, who stood on his head for many of those 240 minutes, was named the Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player. His stat line was more than enough to earn him the honor. #MrJones this was something beautiful!240:16 Minutes118 Saves1.25 GAA.959 Sv %3 wins1 B1G Championship & your Most Outstanding Player! pic.twitter.com/wJXxImgNRc— Penn State Hockey (@PennStateMHKY) March 19, 2017 This was Smith’s third visit to Penn State since the fall, so it’s clear he has quite a bit of interest in the Nittany Lions. Like most Ohio products though, the Buckeyes will be tough to beat here, but James Franklin and Sean Spencer have done a great job forging a strong relationship with Smith. If for whatever reason Ohio State passes on the 6-foot-4, 260-pound big man, the N[...]