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Updated: 2017-07-23T06:20:01-04:00


Only Parker Cothren Until Penn State Football



Just 41 more days to kickoff!

Parker Cothren came to Penn State by way of Hunstville, Alabama. He took a redshirt in 2013 and then began to make his presence known in 2014. Cothren was an honorable mention for the All-Freshmen team by voters and also picked up an Academic All-Big Ten nod following his first season on the field for the Lions.

In 2015 the 6’4”, 295-pounder became a regular presence for the interior Penn State line. As a member of the defensive tackle rotation he saw time in every game. Last season Cothren became a regular starter for defensive coordinator Brent Pry and was rewarded with an All-Big Ten honorable mention by the Big Ten coaches. His numbers, like many interior lineman, are not gaudy, but his play is notable.

Cothren looks to be a leader on the defensive line this season, as he is one of the most experienced players returning.

Only Ellison Jordan Until Penn State Football 2017



42 days!

Exactly six weeks from today, we will be enjoying the return of Penn State football when the Nittany Lions take on Akron. For now though, let’s give a shout-out to Ellison Jordan, who currently rocks the #42 jersey (which similar to the #11 jersey, is now a sacred one on the Penn State roster). As a former 4-star recruit out of Upper Marlboro, MD, PSU won out over Maryland for his services. After redshirting last season, the 6-foot 285-pound defensive tackle will have an opportunity to try and crack the rotation on the defensive line.

Given Sean Spencer’s propensity to rotate quite a bit on the D-line in order to keep his players fresh, and to give the younger talent a chance to earn some quality playing experience, don’t be surprised to see that #42 jersey play some non-trivial snaps this season.

Barkley, McSorley Named To Walter Camp Watch List



Surprise! Penn State’s dynamic duo is earning more recognition.

As watch list season rolls on, Saquon Barkley and Trace McSorley find themselves becoming highly recognized.

Well, they’re at it again.

On Thursday, the tandem were named to the Walter Camp Award watch list. This is the fifth list McSorley has landed on and third for Barkley.

According to a press release by Penn State athletics, The Walter Camp Trophy is awarded to the outstanding player of the year who has exemplified the qualities of self-discipline, unselfish team play, desire to excel, mature judgement and respect for leadership. He must be a dedicated competitor who has made effective use of his athletic talent to enhance the great American game of college football. His standout performance on the playing field must be accompanied by an equally strong effort to contribute to the betterment of the life of all his fellow human beings. He must exhibit an awareness of the need to fulfill his role as a leader. He must espouse the ideals adhered to by Walter Camp, the “Father of American Football.”

The full text of the release can be found here.

Only Manny Bowen Until Penn State Football



43 days to go and this true junior is ready for a breakout year

Manny Bowen’s recruitment to Penn State came with a lot of fanfare.

The Barnergat, New Jersey native chose Penn State over Alabama, Ohio State and Florida among a host of other traditional powers.

His first two seasons at linebacker for the Nittany Lions have been solid, but his junior year could be an opportunity to make a jump and become of the conference’s best linebackers.

Despite missing the Rose Bowl due a suspension for a violation of team rules, Bowen was fifth on the team with 65 tackles. He also proved adept at tracking down ball carriers behind the line, finishing the season with 8.5 tackles for loss, second-best on the team.

Bowen’s quickness for size is what makes him such a force at the outside linebacker position. If things start to click for him in the second season under defense coordinator Brent Pry and he’s able to play fast, expect Bowen to take a major step up in 2017.

Success With Hyperlinking Can Tell Football Season Is Coming



Links and miscellany for your pleasure.

No matter how many articles are written about him, and there have been so many, Saquon Barkley never fails to impress. Pete Thamel and Sports Illustrated are the latest to profile the prodigious running back. There are all the tried and true details about his humbleness and his the freakishness of his physical abilities, that’s well known, however, there are also a lot of other great nuggets in there like when he returned to Whitehall this past winter, his high school was going to honor him at halftime of a basketball game for his Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year award. He got so nervous, he sweated through his shirt. Hopefully, he’s gotten that out of his system as he’s been named to another preseason watch list, this time for the Doak Walker Award.

Not one to be left out of the party James Franklin added his to a preseason watch list, getting a Dodd Trophy nod.

Odds at Making the Playoff: John McGonigal and Josh Moyer both gave their views at The Centre Daily Times on Penn State’s chances to make the College Football Playoff this season. Meanwhile, leaders on the team have higher aspirations heading into the season. Mike Gesicki and Ryan Bates both spoke of the disappointment in how last year ended and carrying a chip on their shoulder entering this year.

Freshman Gains: Dwight Galt, the assistant athletics director of performance enhancement, spoke at the Lift for Life this weekend, discussing the new freshman that just arrived on campus a few weeks ago and continuing to tout Lamont Wade following his productive spring.

In Scores of Other Games: Ole Miss continues to do Ole Miss things and now find themselves in the market for a new coach with the resignation of Hugh Freeze. This went from a Pat Forde tweet, who has been covering the Ole Miss story for years, to demise very quickly last night.

Penn State Preseason Top 10 Players for 2017: #1 Saquon Barkley


We continue our annual top ten preseason football players of 2017 list as voted on by the BSD staff. In creating this list, we considered players’ abilities, value to the team and past performance, among other factors. We conclude our countdown with number 1 on our list, running back Saquon Barkley. It’s time to unveil the top choice in our staff poll for Penn State Football’s 2017 Preseason Player of the Year, and it’s exactly who you think it is. Saquon Barkley has turned heads, broken ankles, and bruised egos of fans, players, and coaches since stepping onto the field as a freshman in 2015. Since that time, he has climbed up the ranks of Penn State’s greatest running backs, and etched himself firmly in the hearts of every Nittany Lions fan. He is without question the most important part of the Blue and White’s offensive success in 2017 (though as this list has shown, he is not without help). How He Got Here Barkley was almost an immediate factor, seeing playing time in Week two of his first season against Buffalo. He quickly established himself as a highlight package with electrifying plays against San Diego State, Rutgers, Illinois, and of course, his 196-yard performance against Ohio State. Despite missing two games with an injury, Barkley still finished the year with 1,076 yards and seven touchdowns. He was even better as a sophomore, rushing for just under 1,500 yards and scoring 18 touchdowns on the ground, while adding 402 yards and four touchdowns receiving-a skill he had been working on during the offseason. Again, a plethora of highlights were produced, capped by “The Run” against USC in the Rose Bowl. Here that is again, by the way. src="" style="border: 0; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;" allowfullscreen="" scrolling="no"> What To Expect in 2017 Barkley has continued with his off-season tradition of working out like Ivan Drago (with no unfair enhancements, of course), and his numbers in the weight room show that he is always committed to bettering himself as a football player. That by itself should make Penn State fans giddy. Barkley will most certainly get his touches, whether they’re carries as a running back, or passes as a receiver either out of the backfield or split out wide. However, don’t be surprised to see him spelled by Miles Sanders, Andre Robinson, or Mark Allen as the season goes on-especially Robinson on third down. However, even more than last season, he is priority number one for every defense when he is on the field, so don’t expect him to reproduce his numbers from 2016. (Of course, he was priority number one for most teams last year, and he pretty much just hurdled or stiff-armed everyone, so there’s that.) Given the amount of offensive weapons on the Nittany Lions, expect Barkley to top 1,000 yards (barring the i-word) rushing and catch at least 20-30 passes. Beyond that, we’ll have to watch and see what our favorite Whitehall Zephyr does in 2017. ------------------------------------------------------—-------------------—-------——-------------—— For those interested, below are the results from the BSD staff's top 10 players vote. Each #1 vote received 10 points, a number two vote was other nine points, and so on. 1. Saquon Barkley (12)- 128 2. Trace McSorley (1) - 115 3. Mike Gesicki - 90 4. Marcus Allen - 89 5. Jason Cabinda - 73 6. Ryan Bates - 58 7. DaeSean Hamilton - 29 8. Connor McGovern - 26 9. Grant Haley - 24 10. Saeed Blacknall - 18 11. Shareef Miller - 16 12. Bendan Mahon - 12 13. Kevin Givens - 11 14. Curtis Cothran - 8 14. Blake Gillikin - 8 16. Manny Bowen - 5 17. Koa Farmer - 3 18. Lamont Wade - 2 [...]

Penn State Preseason Top 10 Players for 2017: #2 Trace McSorley


We continue our annual top ten preseason football players of 2017 list as voted on by the BSD staff. In creating this list, we considered players’ abilities, value to the team and past performance, among other factors. We continue our countdown with number 2 on our list, QB Trace McSorley. Moxie. Penn State’s offenses exploded in 2016 for a myriad of reasons — Joe Moorhead revamped the offensive philosophy, the offensive line was competent, and No. 26 was still No. 26. But perhaps most importantly, the Nittany Lions found themselves a quarterback. How He Got Here Trace McSorley was a part of the group of Vanderbilt commitments who followed James Franklin to Happy Valley, and boy oh boy, am I thankful for that everyday. McSorley was tabbed as an athlete who would certainly get a shot at quarterback, but if his arm didn’t prove to be good enough, was athletic enough to switch over to safety in a pinch. It took about 2 seconds for the staff to realize that quarterback would be McSorley’s home, as McSorley beat out fellow freshman QB Michael O’Connor for the backup spot in 2014. McSorley took over as the starter last season, and through his first four games, his performance ran hot and cold. If there was a two-play series that highlighted McSorley best, it was his final two throws against Pittsburgh — the first, converting on a 4th and long, and then the next play, bombing one into double coverage in the end zone for a game-ending interception. Jubilation and heartache just seconds apart. But McSorley would get it together. Why? Because he’s a winner, that’s why. Over the final nine games of the season, McSorley threw 20 touchdowns to just 2 interceptions, helping lead the Nittany Lions to a Big Ten Championship, and an appearance in the Rose Bowl. What To Expect In 2017 While there’s definitely more respect for McSorley heading into 2017, people continue to underestimate just how good this kid truly is. There’s a minority of the Penn State fan base who still thinks Tommy Stevens is the better quarterback — we call these people idiots. And although McSorley is getting the recognition he deserves, much of it is coming with backhanded compliments. For better or worse, there may be no bigger wild card in all of college football than McSorley. He seemed to be putting it all together as the back half of his sophomore season wound down, taking care of the football and making fearless throws as Penn State swiped a Big Ten championship...and then he tossed three backbreaking picks in a dramatic Rose Bowl loss to USC that showcased both the best and worst of his hyper-aggressive playing style. Thanks to Heisman candidate running back Saquon Barkley, the Nittany Lions have the College Football Playoff in their sights this year. McSorley is somehow both their best chance of breaking into the top four and the most likely reason their campaign implodes by November. — ES Reminder: Trace McSorley literally threw two interceptions during a nine-game stretch where he attempted 241 passes. Yet, the media wants you think that McSorley is a careless gunslinger. Fake news, people. Fake. News. There’s a lot of good quarterbacks around the country — Sam Darnold, Lamar Jackson, Baker Mayfield, Jake Browning, Josh Rosen, and the list goes on. It’s a ridiculously strong year for quarterbacks. But (and I fully admit I might be bias here) give me McSorley over all of them. There’s no one I’d rather have leading my team than No. 9. He was far from a finished product in 2016, and we’ll see that in 2017. [...]