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Stability not an issue

May 11, 2008
By Philip Cmor,
UNIVERSITY PARK — One of the issues that has been haunting Penn State’s football recruiting efforts this spring has been the questions surrounding Nittany Lion head coach Joe Paterno’s future.

Several prospects that have spurned the Lions have cited it as at least part of the reason for choosing another college.

However, on Saturday at the Nike Training Camp at Penn State’s Holuba Hall, Maryland cornerback Darrell Givens said stability was a big reason why he picked the Lions instead of Miami, his favorite college team growing up. The Hurricanes were one of more than 15 colleges to offer Givens a scholarship.

‘‘I wasn’t sure how much longer the [Miami] coaching staff would be there. I feel, if they have another bad season, that might be the end of the coaching staff,’’ Givens said.

That begged the question: What did Givens make of the media hoopla surrounding Paterno’s well-documented year-to-year coaching situation?

‘‘The last time I talked to Coach Paterno, he told me, as long as I’m here, he’s most likely going to be my coach,’’ Givens said. ‘‘I don’t worry about Coach JoePa leaving. I have faith and confidence that he’s going to be around.’’

New QB on the block

A potential new quarterback prospect for the Lions emerged at the camp. Myles Gibbon, a previously unheralded 6-3, 190-pound signal-caller from Laval, Canada north of Quebec put on a show with his rifle arm, agility and 4.52 speed.

Gibbon was previously being looked at by Stanford and several MAC colleges but has expressed interest in Penn State.

Gibbon’s father and coaches directed camp organizers to view his YouTube video. He received an invitation to the camp four hours later and quickly moved up into group one during the drill session of the camp.

Local talent

Altoona rising senior Nick Soto was one of approximately 270 prospects that attended the camp despite the new NCAA rule prohibiting college coaches from watching.

Soto, who is 6-foot-2 and 292 pounds, is drawing interest from Ohio and several other MAC schools, according to Mountain Lion coach Phil Riccio.

Where to play

Both Travis Hawkins of Gaithersburg, Md. and C.J. Crawford of Huntingdon, W.Va. worked as wide receivers although they are seen as a defensive back and an quarterback/defensive back in some recruiting circles.

Hawkins is reportedly now being recruited by Penn State for offense. Crawford has yet to be offered by the Lions, but is considered a strong possibility to commit if/when he is.

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