Penn State

Beat writer Donnie Collins keeps you posted with in-depth analysis and commentary

Make it two verbal commitments for PSU

Penn State is on a recruiting roll today, landing its second offensive lineman of the morning for the class of 2018.

This time, according to Blue-White Illustrated, it’s Michigan offensive lineman Antwan Reed.

Pretty much the same deal as earlier with Nana Asiedu. Reed is a Rivals250 and ESPN 300 prospect. He’s 6-foot-5, 335 pounds. Four-star prospect. Long arms I could see from the press box earlier that he had a terrific hair style. All things that will help him become a top tackle option for Penn State moving forward.

PSU adds new verbal commitment on Blue-White morning

Well, it didn’t take long for Penn State to replace Chris Bleich in its 2018 recruiting class.

The coaching staff got a verbal commitment this morning from Virginia tackle prospect Nana Asiedu, a four-star prospect who Rivals.com ranks among its top 250 prospects in the nation. ESPN Recruiting Nation rates him in its top 300.

Asiedu is 6-foot-6, 270 pounds and looks the part of offensive tackle with his long arms. The thing that stands out on film with him, though, is his feet. He actually plays some tight end, and he can move a little bit. He has a good first step on the defensive line and is athletic enough to let his footwork help him get around linemen. That sort of thing projects to offensive tackle, where you have to be able to be quick on the backpedal. He’s probably a true tackle, with some work.

All in all, it’s a promising start to the Blue-White Game, which is also the highlight of a big recruiting weekend for the Nittany Lions.

5 Nittany Lions to Watch Today: No. 1 Lamont Wade

5 Nittany Lions to Watch Today: No. 1 Lamont Wade

Penn State will host its annual spring scrimmage on Saturday, even if established stars like running back Saquon Barkley, tight end Mike Gesicki and linebacker Jason Cabinda are likely to be watching from the sidelines. However, that doesn’t mean there will be less for fans to see. A slew of players likely to be competing for and ultimately assuming important roles on the team this fall will see significant action, and this week on the Penn State Blog, we’ll be looking at the Top 5.

Today, we scout the last of the list and one of the newest Nittany Lions, true freshman Lamont Wade.

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Blue-White Game rosters released

Blue-White Game rosters released

If Vegas were involved here — and thank God it isn’t — it would be smiling on the Blue roster in Saturday’s annual Blue-White Game at Beaver Stadium.

It appears as if most of the first- and second-team players can be found on the Blue roster for tomorrow’s spring-practice-ending scrimmage. Most of the younger players and those fighting for playing time will be playing for the White.

Here’s how it will break down:

Position

Blue

White

QB

Fessler
McSorley
Stevens
Fessler
Shuster
Zembiec

RB

Mark Allen
Barkley
Robinson
Sanders
Eury
Josh McPhearson
Thomas

WR

Blacknall
Hamilton
Juwan Johnson
Lutz
Shoop
Thompkins
Charles
Darien
Hamler
Hodgens
Maxwell
Polk
Welde

TE

Gesicki
Holland
Arcangelo
Bowers
Dalton
Grampp
Pancoast

OL

Bates
Mahon
McGovern
Menet
Miranda
Nelson
Simpson
Wright
Fries
Gellerstedt
Gonzalez
Jenkins
Kelly
Shuman

DL

Buchholz – DE
Brown – DE
Castagna -DE
Cothran
Cothren
Givens
Miller – DE
Windsor
Chavis
Iyke
Jordan
Joseph – DE
Monk
Shelton
Simmons – DE
Toney – DE

LB

Bowen
Cabinda
DiLeo
DuMond
Farmer
Brandon Smith
Cam Brown
Cooper
Faison-Walden
Jan Johnson
Miller
Vranic

DB

Marcus Allen – SAF
Apke – SAF
Campbell
Haley
Oruwariye
Reid
Scott – SAF
Taylor – SAF
Wade
Blair – SAF
Butler
Davis
T.J. Johnson
Zech McPhearson
Monroe – SAF
Petrishen – SAF
Shorts – SAF
Vallone- SAF

SPECIAL

Davis – K
Gillikin – P
Vasey – LS
Barbir – K
Pasquariello – P
Wombacker – P/K

Clearly, a few players won’t be in the game, even though they appear on the roster.

WVW star Bleich decommits from Penn State

WVW star Bleich decommits from Penn State

What has long been speculated is now official: Wyoming Valley West offensive lineman Chris Bleich announced this morning that he’s no longer committed to Penn State’s football program.

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Bleich is a pretty solid prospect, a three-star recruit according to Rivals.com who likely would have fit in at tackle or guard. He verbally committed to Penn State a little more than a year ago, but since, he has been one of the most interesting recruits to follow because he clearly was not one of those prospects who committed somewhere to keep the attention away. Other programs were still beating down his door, and it wasn’t like he didn’t welcome their respective pitches.

More recently, Bleich took unofficial visits to Mississippi State, Pittsburgh and Nebraska, and it was after that visit to Lincoln that it really seemed as if a decommitment from Penn State was inevitable. In fact, he told Husker Online that the visit was so good, he’d have to strongly consider his future plans.

Best way for Penn State fans to look at this: A kid who liked their school enough to commit happened to get the itch to go through the full recruiting process. And that’s great for him. You only get to do that once, after all. Bleich will find the program that fits him best this way, and Penn State will be in great shape regardless.

Citizens Voice photo by Mark Moran.

5 Nittany Lions to Watch on Saturday: No. 2 Juwan Johnson

5 Nittany Lions to Watch on Saturday: No. 2 Juwan Johnson

Penn State will host its annual spring scrimmage on Saturday, even if established stars like running back Saquon Barkley, tight end Mike Gesicki and linebacker Jason Cabinda are likely to be watching from the sidelines. However, that doesn’t mean there will be less for fans to see. A slew of players likely to be competing for and ultimately assuming important roles on the team this fall will see significant action, and this week on the Penn State Blog, we’ll be looking at the Top 5.

Today, we scout emerging receiver Juwan Johnson, the talk of spring camp.

read more…

Penn State announces 2017 game themes

Penn State announces 2017 game themes

Penn State has turned pretty much every home game into a unique experience over the last few seasons thanks to a series of themes in which fans can participate. On Thursday, the program announced the 2017 list of themes.

The big ones:

Sept. 9 vs. Pitt: The 2016 Big Ten Championship team will be honored with the unveiling of a ‘2016’ on the Beaver Stadium suites before the game. The 35th anniversary of the 1982 National Championship season will also be celebrated.

Sept. 16 vs. Georgia State: All-University Day

Oct. 21 vs. Michigan: White-Out

Nov. 11 vs. Rutgers: Homecoming/Military Appreciation Day

Nov. 18 vs. Nebraska: Senior Day/Stripe-Out

For more info, read on…

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5 Nittany Lions to Watch on Saturday: No. 3 Ayron Monroe

5 Nittany Lions to Watch on Saturday: No. 3 Ayron Monroe

Penn State will host its annual spring scrimmage on Saturday, even if established stars like running back Saquon Barkley, tight end Mike Gesicki and linebacker Jason Cabinda are likely to be watching from the sidelines. However, that doesn’t mean there will be less for fans to see. A slew of players likely to be competing for and ultimately assuming important roles on the team this fall will see significant action, and this week on the Penn State Blog, we’ll be looking at the Top 5.

Today, we scout the highly regarded safety prospect who has finally gotten an opportunity, Ayron Monroe.

read more…

5 Nittany Lions to Watch on Saturday: No. 4 Shane Simmons

5 Nittany Lions to Watch on Saturday: No. 4 Shane Simmons

Penn State will host its annual spring scrimmage on Saturday, even if established stars like running back Saquon Barkley, tight end Mike Gesicki and linebacker Jason Cabinda are likely to be watching from the sidelines. However, that doesn’t mean there will be less for fans to see. A slew of players likely to be competing for and ultimately assuming important roles on the team this fall will see significant action, and this week on the Penn State Blog, we’ll be looking at the Top 5.

Today, we scout talented defensive end Shane Simmons.

read more…

Michigan evidently in for a White Out

Michigan evidently in for a White Out

It looks like the date has been set for the annual White Out game at Beaver Stadium, and according to the Penn State football program’s official Twitter feed, it’s going to be Oct. 21 against Michigan.

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I would say this is hardly surprising information, given the fact that Penn State has a fairly strange home schedule this season.

The Nittany Lions play Akron, Pittsburgh, Georgia State and Indiana at Beaver Stadium in September. They play Rutgers and Nebraska there in November. The only home game in October is against the Wolverines.

There have been eight “full stadium” White Outs, and while the first four were staged for September games, four of the last five were in October (the other, in November). Given that Penn State is likely trying to 1.) give fans a reason to look forward a mid-season home night game when the weather might not be so great and 2.) save the White Out for the most important conference games, Michigan really stood out as the only option. I mean, the probably weren’t going to give Pitt the dignity of experiencing the White Out (because that would be an admission from Penn State that Pitt somewhat matters to them), and I’m not certain Nebraska — as historic as that program is — generates the juice Michigan does,

So, there you go. White Out on Oct. 21. Homecoming on Nov. 11 against Rutgers. The Penn State schedule is starting to take a bit of shape, events-wise.

Associated Press photo