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DOMINATE THE STATE



Updated: 2017-08-18T07:40:02-04:00

 



Success With Hyperlinking is Starting Autumn a Month Early

2017-08-18T07:40:02-04:00

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Get hyped for football and women’s soccer with some Friday links!

Football season is still two weeks away for Penn State, but the fall sports season kicks off today with the women’s soccer team taking on BYU at Jeffrey Field. The Lions are expected to compete for a national title this year, so jump on the bandwagon while there’s still room.

Although he’s not likely to open the football campaign as a starter, redshirt sophomore Ayron Monore is someone to watch at the safety position, according to PennLive. Monroe is already one of the most athletic players on the roster, so look for him to fill in when extra defensive backs are needed this year before taking over one of the starting safety roles in 2018.

The Collegian spoke with defensive line coach Sean Spencer about how his unit’s rotation could feature as many as 10 players. Coaches usually exaggerate their depth at this stage of the preseason, but it’s good to know that Spencer is feeling confident. He should feel pretty good with a talent such as Kevin Givens sitting on his second string.

It shouldn’t be too much of a problem for Damion Barber to get used to campus life, according to the Centre Daily Times. The freshman defensive end is a late arrival to Penn State’s preseason practices, and everyone is excited for him to finally be an official member of the team.

Beaver Stadium is mostly known for cold, snowy weather, but fans who attend early-season contests know how hot the venue can get in early September. That’s why it’s a relief that Berkey Creamery ice cream will now be available for purchase inside Beaver Stadium. Of course, the Creamery’s biggest fans will grab a treat even in blizzard conditions.

Redshirt sophomore Jarvis Miller talked to Onward State about how his karate background is helping him transition from safety to linebacker.

The Penn State Board of Trustees is set to meet today to discuss a possible contract extension for James Franklin. The head football coach’s current deal expires in 2019, but Penn State will want to keep him around longer than that if this season is anything like last year’s.




Only Grant Haley Until Penn State Football

2017-08-18T07:18:15-04:00

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15 Days! Excitement for the 2017 season is harder to contain each day.

Haley became a household name last year, but his rise to a prominent role in Penn State’s defense was inevitable. Since he arrived on campus, Grant Haley has shown a much-needed ability to step up and deliver when his team needs him to.

As a freshman on a team with a depleted roster, Haley saw the field in all 13 games. While most of that time was spent on special teams, injuries in the secondary forced the coaches to play him some on defense as well. His lone interception from his freshman year? A pick-six to seal the win over Temple in 2014. It’s safe to say he has a penchant for big plays.

Now as a senior, Haley will be called upon once again. This time as a leader of the defense and mentor to a deep but inexperienced group of corners. With John Reid’s injury, Haley’s veteran presence will be even more important. If his abilities as a shutdown corner improve, you may not hear too much about Haley as opposing teams will be encouraged to try and attack Penn State’s other corners rather than trying to beat Haley.

In addition to his achievements on the field, Haley has received Academic All Big Ten honors and will graduate with a degree in Advertising and Public Relations.




Penn State Women’s Volleyball Picked to Win the B1G

2017-08-17T19:00:29-04:00

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BACK. ON. TOP. SOON.

As many of you know, Penn State’s women’s volleyball program is something of a machine.

With head coach Russ Rose running the show, the Nittany Lions have been a force nationally for the better part of the last decade, including six national championships.

While last year didn’t go as planned, with an early tournament exit, this year the Nittany Lions netters are looking to get back on track and start the season ranked sixth in the country.




James Franklin is Taking Penn State Nationwide

2017-08-17T07:30:01-04:00

How Penn State is working to grow its recruiting footprint In James Franklin’s opening press conference as the head coach of the Penn State Nittany Lion football team, he uttered a phrase that left many fans excited. Franklin said he wanted to “dominate the state.” His plan was to do this both on the field and in recruiting. And while it is still open to debate as to whether he’s seen through that promise of dominance with regards to in-state recruiting, one thing is certain; Franklin has improved the brand strength of Penn State football immeasurably across the country. Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images Starting cornerback Grant Haley was Franklin’s first foray into talent-rich Georgia On-field results play a role in his ability to garner attention from a nationwide audience, but the smooth-talking Langhorne, Pennsylvania native has found additional ways to do so as well. Franklin basks in the limelight in a way that varies from previous Penn State coaches. His impressive persona on the football field is topped only by that which he displays when placed in front a microphone. Franklin has done more television appearances and interviews in a span of three years than I can remember Bill O’Brien and Joe Paterno doing in decades. While that’s not a knock on either of his predecessors, Franklin’s approach to branding the program is a welcome change. While the approach was subject to criticism over the first two years of Franklin’s tenure — which is understandable when you consider the results — it has without a doubt paid dividends with regards to media coverage of the program and perception among perhaps his most important audience; high school prospects. Penn State currently sits fourth in 247Sports.com’s 2018 Team Recruiting Rankings, and while that success is partially a product of the staff’s ability to recruit the traditional strongholds of Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey, they’ve also succeeded in areas that are uncommon ground for the Nittany Lions. Take a look at the 2018 class and you’ll see names like Jordan Miner and Judge Culpepper from the Tampa, Florida area. You see Isaiah Humphries (who is admittedly a legacy player) and Trent Gordon from Texas. Uncommitted prospects like JaKorey Hawkins from Alabama and Solomon Enis from Arizona have also shown interest in the Nittany Lions. Recruiting successes such as these not only lead to success on the field, but they also create pipelines and avenues in fertile recruiting ground. Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images Amani Oruwariye, like Judge Culpepper and Jordan Miner, hails from Tampa, where high school football is king. If Penn State and James Franklin want to make the next step and compete regularly with current powerhouses like Ohio State, Alabama and Clemson, they’ll need to be able to recruit nationally. The class of 2019 247Sports Composite Top 247 lists just two players from the state of Pennsylvania and two from Maryland. Pennsylvania has no players rated as a five-star prospects, none in the top 100 and just three rated with four stars. Another strong season and a trip to a New Year’s Six bowl game would work wonders in helping Franklin and his staff continue to branch out in the recruiting world. As the saying goes, perception is reality. The stronger that Penn State is received nationwide, the better the reality of its future will be. As Penn State continues its ascent back toward the top of the college football landscape, it’s James Franklin’s ability to spread the program’s reach that makes that future so bright. [...]



8 Fearless Predictions for Penn State Football in 2017

2017-08-17T06:44:01-04:00

Let’s look into our crystal ball to see what’s in store for the Nittany Lions in 2017. Well, we’re down to just 16 more days until the start of a new season of Penn State Football. As we anxiously await the afternoon of September 2, let’s take a look at what we’re expecting in 2017 for the Nittany Lions. Shareef Miller will lead the team in sacks Miller made a splash as a redshirt freshman, and regularly found ways to wreak havoc as part of the rotation at defensive end. With both starters at the position moving on to the NFL, Miller will now have the opportunity to make a much bigger impact as a full-time starter. Miller has exceptional explosiveness and should exceed the productivity of the 2016 starters, Garrett Sickels and Evan Schwan. I’ll predict 9.5 sacks for Miller, closely followed by 7.5 from redshirt freshman Shane Simmons and 6.5 from redshirt junior Torrence Brown. Needless to say, it should be a very productive year for Penn State’s defensive ends despite the need to replace both starters- especially when you consider the collection of talent at defensive tackle that will also demand attention. Penn State will have four players named as first or second-team All-Americans The Nittany Lions may have four players who are the best in the nation at their position in 2017. Running back Saquon Barkley enters the season high on most Heisman lists. Tight end Mike Gesicki looks to be the nation’s top pass catching tight end, and his numbers should increase as his incredible size and athleticism help to create regular mismatches in Joe Moorhead’s offense. Marcus Allen is the most intimidating safety in some time at Penn State, and with further improvement in coverage could be the nation’s top safety and first round draft pick in 2018. Finally, Tyler Davis surprised everyone with a near perfect season in 2016- connecting on all 62 extra point attempts and 22 of 24 field goals- with both unsuccessful attempts being the result of blocked kicks. Furthermore... Saquon Barkley becomes a consensus All-American Barkley enters the season as college football’s most exciting playmaker, and quite possibly, the best player in the nation. As a running back, it’s next to impossible to find a weakness in his game. Barkley has the vision and breakaway speed to reach the end zone any time he touches the ball, possesses undeniable strength to be effective between the tackles, is a match-up nightmare out of the backfield (just ask this poor Iowa defender) and knows a thing or two about picking up a defender when called upon. Barkley made the most of his offseason in the weight room once again, expanding upon his records once held by interior linemen. Barkley will enter the season with a massive amount of hype, and he will not disappoint in 2017. The winner of the Penn State-Ohio State game will earn a playoff berth Both programs return a tremendous amount of talent in 2017, and their showdown on Oct. 28 looks like it could decide Big Ten supremacy. After pulling off a stunning upset in 2016, Penn State must now find a way to top the Buckeyes in Columbus, which is never an easy task. The winner will have the inside track to come out on top of the nation’s toughest division, with the opportunity to play in the Big Ten Championship where a spot in the playoffs will more than likely be on the line. Penn State will field its best offensive line since 2008 It’s been a long time coming, but the offensive line at Penn State is poised to finally become a team strength. The 2008 unit was outstanding, opening up massive lanes for Evan Royster and giving Daryl Clark all day to stand in the pocket and pick apart a defense. However, the success of that line was more of a flash in the pan. At long last, the depth chart is littered with promising prospects in the trenches, and many young players such as Ryan Bates and Connor McGovern who have already proved their mettle. With a step forward in 2017[...]