Penn State news

Lions will have new look on the ends

UNIVERSITY PARK — While Penn State has most of its starters back from last year’s Big Ten Conference championship team, there are two glaring holes on the defensive line to fill. Defensive ends Garrett Sickels, a Big Ten second-team selection who led the Nittany Lions with 12.5 tackles ...

Mills, Palko talk rivalry

Zack Mills and Tyler Palko didn’t get to enjoy playing in a Penn State vs. Pitt matchup, but the record-setting quarterbacks understand very well how much the rivalry means to people on both sides. “The game should have never been taken off the calendar,” Palko said during the Curve’s ...

Secondary opportunity

UNIVERSITY PARK — The last time we saw Penn State on the field, the secondary and the rest of the defense was getting scorched by USC quarterback Sam Darnold, who threw for 453 yards and a Rose Bowl record five touchdowns and rallied the Trojans in the fourth quarter to a 52-49 ...

Barkley, Gesicki on 1st team

Southern California quarterback Sam Darnold and Penn State running back Saquon Barkley put on a show at the Rose Bowl last season and established themselves as two of the biggest stars in college football coming into 2017. The two Heisman Trophy contenders highlight the first preseason ...

Lions come in at No. 6 in preseason AP poll

Penn State is ranked No. 6 in the preseason Associated Press poll, the same ranking it received in the coaches poll and the program’s highest preseason ranking since 1999 (No. 3). The Nittany Lions return 18 starters from last year’s Big Ten championship team, which finished 11-3 and ...

Rudel: Franklin’s deal solidifies future, raises bar for Penn State

James Franklin’s contract status has been widely discussed for the past year. Franklin went from approaching the hot seat to landing in the catbird seat. On the heels of consecutive 7-6 seasons that were understandable in the wake of the sanctions yet still frustrating, Franklin opened ...

Raising his game: Gesicki emerges as all-around star TE

UNIVERSITY PARK — It’s easy to tell when a tight end is good at catching the ball, and after a tough 2015 season, Mike Gesicki rebounded with a stellar 2016 campaign by hauling in just about everything thrown near him. Those pass-catching abilities make the 6-foot-6, 257-pound Gesicki a ...

Franklin worth $34.7M to PSU

James Franklin is now the fourth-highest paid coach in college football after agreeing to a new six-year contract with Penn State that will guarantee him $34.7 million. A contract extension seemed to be a given after Franklin led the Nittany Lions to a Big Ten title, 11-3 record and top 10 ...

McSorley among Heisman longshots

Preseason longshots the past two years have ended up winning the Heisman Trophy. Last year, Louisville’s Lamar Jackson had 50-1 odds when practices started. Jackson quickly became the odds-on favorite though after his performance in the first three games where he accounted for 18 ...

Something special: Kicking game now a strength for Penn State

UNIVERSITY PARK — Special teams were a major obstacle for Penn State not that long ago, then it all changed last season when a special teams highlight turned into the program’s most important play in many years. Marcus Allen’s blocked field goal and Grant Haley’s touchdown return led ...

McSorley on Manning watch list

UNIVERSITY PARK — Penn State junior quarterback Trace McSorley claimed a spot on the Manning Award watch list. It is McSorley’s sixth watch list appearance (Maxwell Award, Wuerffel Trophy, O’Brien Award, Walter Camp Award and Unitas Golden Arm Award). Prior to the 2004 college ...

Lions hire rugby coach

UNIVERSITY PARK — Penn State has selected Justin Hundley as coach of the men’s rugby program. A Penn State graduate, he will begin his duties in late August. Hundley brings 10 years of high school and collegiate coaching and administrative experience to the Nittany Lions’ men’s rugby ...

Bigger, stronger Smith ready for senior campaign

UNIVERSITY PARK — Brandon Smith said he can’t run for miles and miles at a time like he could do back in the day before practice as an all-state wrestler at Lewisburg High School. But as a Big Ten linebacker Smith, now 23 and married, has traded that for added strength as he enters his ...

Some very big guys to block for Barkley & Co

By Neil Rudel nrudel@altoonamirror.com UNIVERSITY PARK — The top priority for Penn State opponents this year, of course, will be to stop or at least contain Saquon Barkley. First, though, they’ll have to find him. The Nittany Lions could well field the tallest offensive line in ...

A wealth of experience

UNIVERSITY PARK — First, starters Jason Cabinda, Nyeem Wartman-White, and Brandon Bell were all out with injuries. Then, reserve Brandon Smith was ejected for targeting in the second quarter before reserve Jan Johnson went down with a season-ending knee injury. It couldn’t get much worse ...

Reid and react

UNIVERSITY PARK — John Reid is injured and 2,700 miles away from the rest of Penn State’s players, but he’s still doing everything he can to be a great teammate. Reid has been a big part of the Nittany Lion program the past two years, and he would have been a very valuable component ...

Blair County Lions Club

UNIVERSITY PARK — Kevin Givens was asked a simple question about how he thought he played last season, and it became a funny moment when he turned the tables on the reporter. “Well, what did you think?” Givens asked his interviewer during Penn State’s media day Saturday. The Altoona ...

Barkley hopes to improve

UNIVERSITY PARK — Saquon Barkley can actually still improve his all-around game, which if you think about it, is a scary notion. No sooner than he sat down for his media day press conference Saturday afternoon did Barkley receive a question about the Heisman Trophy. “The Heisman award ...

Moorhead doesn’t miss deep shot at critics

UNIVERSITY PARK — Of all the great recruiting James Franklin has done since arriving here, a case can be made that no one has made a bigger one-year splash than Joe Moorhead. Never mind that he’s not a player but the Nittany Lions’ offensive coordinator. Moorhead took a dormant ...

Franklin preaching improvement for Lions

UNIVERSITY PARK — The old saying goes that “the difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra,” and that’s how Penn State coach James Franklin says this year’s team can improve on the 2016 Big Ten championship season. It comes down to the little things that ...