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PSU notebook: Lions' uniforms likely to change; Redd meets with USC

July 27, 2012
By Cory Giger, cgiger@altoonamirror.com , The Altoona Mirror

CHICAGO -- If Silas Redd is still with the Penn State football team this season, he and his teammates are expected to have different uniforms and maybe even names on the back of their jerseys.

Redd's recruitment by USC remains perhaps the biggest football issue, and while he still has yet to make a decision, there were reports Thursday that he has a visit planned to Southern California this weekend.

An issue that generated just as much buzz Thursday was the possibility that coach Bill O'Brien plans to change Penn State's traditional, basic blue and white uniforms. The coach mentioned that possibility during a conference call with players' parents Wednesday night, according to the Reading Eagle.

O'Brien has had discussions with Nike about changing the uniforms, which he has said repeatedly that he would not do since taking the PSU job in January.

"I reserve the right to change my mind," O'Brien said Thursday when asked what led to his decision.

Neither O'Brien nor the Penn State players would give any indication as to what the uniform changes might include, but there has been widespread speculation that it would be names on the jerseys.

Guard John Urschel said he has talked with O'Brien about the changes but wouldn't disclose any details.

"Things about the uniforms, that's between us and Coach O'Brien," he said. "Things are still in the process, and we aren't sure what exactly is going to be the outcome. But I suggest you guys watch out Sept. 1 [against Ohio]."

SUBHD: Redd update

Redd visited with USC coach Lane Kiffin on Thursday and, according to ESPN, was shown a PowerPoint presentation detailing how he would fit into the Trojans' offense.

O'Brien had no comment when asked about Redd.

"I definitely see that it's killing him because he wants to make the decision, and he just wants to make the best decision for himself and his family," said defensive tackle Jordan Hill, one of Redd's roommates. "I think the best thing for him was to get out of here and go home with his family and really talk this thing over."

Hill said Redd realizes how big his decision is for the team on the field and the signal that it could send to others on the squad who are considering transferring.

"He knows everything that's going on, and he knows what he is to the team and everything like that," Hill said. "You never want to put yourself above the team, but in certain cases, when it comes down to it, you've got to do what's best for yourself."

Hill, Urschel and linebacker Michael Mauti said they wouldn't begrudge any teammates who decide to transfer. Hill also said it wouldn't change his friendship with Redd.

"I told him it's as simple as this: No matter where you go, you're still going to be at my wedding, you're still going to be my boy, and I'm going to support you 100 percent," Hill said.

SUBHD: Fera on fence

The Lions also could be losing their best special teams player as place-kicker and punter Anthony Fera has contacted Texas about potentially transferring. The Cypress, Texas native made 14-of-17 field goals last season and averaged 42 yards per punt.

O'Brien said he had not spoken to Fera and didn't know anything about the situation.

O'Brien continued to maintain Thursday that he has not been notified by any players that they are transferring and noted he expects the core members of the team to remain.

SUBHD: Delany on sanctions

Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany said he doesn't care if the NCAA set a precedent with its sanctions against PSU.

"I don't really care about whether or not they had jurisdiction or whether or not there was an underlying NCAA violation," he said. "There's been a lot of debate by pundits one way or the other. The only thing that matters to me is I think the NCAA did have moral authority to act, and I think the Big Ten had moral authority to act."

Delany went on to add, "Clearly what happened at Penn State as outlined in the Freeh report challenges any organization to step up and do what's right. And I think because the Freeh report has been accepted by the institution, it allowed for the NCAA to take its next steps it felt were appropriate."

SUBHD: News and notes

* O'Brien, talking about the crowds at Beaver Stadium, said, "I can clearly remember when I got the job at Penn State, [Tom] Brady telling me that's the loudest place he's ever played."

* PSU doesn't have media guides yet. Spokesman Jeff Nelson said, "There's just so much that's not correct anymore" regarding information and records in light of the NCAA vacating all wins since 1998.

* O'Brien said he's tired of hearing how Penn State football is going to struggle because of the NCAA sanctions. He said several times he just doesn't see it that way. "We're alive and kicking," he said.

* O'Brien said, "You have to have a tremendous walk-on program" with 65 scholarships." He said that type of walk-on program "will become a big part of what we're doing" and noted his staff has received 150 emails & videos from potential players in recent days.

* Hill on the upcoming season: "We're going to kick people's butt. It's as easy as that."

* Mauti on Freeh report and Joe Paterno: "That's not really something I want to get into."

* Hill: "We won't have a bowl game, but we'll treat every game like one."

* O'Brien on how no one has ever had to deal with all this: "I don't care. We do."

* O'Brien plans to make developing players for the NFL a strong part of his recruiting strategy sand said he can help potential players with how the NFL draft process works, how to pick an agent what to expect in NFL team meetings.

 
 
 

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