Neil Rudel

Hack back and on (NFL) track

UNIVERSITY PARK - The NFL Draft is right around the corner (April 30-May 2), and Christian Hackenberg won't be in it.But a year from now, he very well may be, as NFL draft analysts continue to slot him on top of a short list of the best quarterbacks available beginning in 2016.He's already been ...

Rudel: PSU’s Chambers deserves more time

Some random thoughts stored up over a long, cold winter:n Until Penn State's respectable showing in the Big Ten Tournament, speculation existed over the status of Patrick Chambers and whether he would be cut loose with time remaining on his contract.Though Chambers' body of work has been less ...

Coaches named for annual Mirror Classic

The coaches are set for the 10th annual Altoona Mirror Basketball Classic, which will match the top seniors from Blair County against the best of Central Pennsylvania on Friday, March 27 at Mount Aloysius College.Bellwood-Antis' Jim Swaney and Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic's Chris Drenning will ...

Both hope rivalry game can provide momentum

As a player at Bishop Guilfoyle High School 40 years ago, Paul Hasson wasn't fortunate enough to beat Altoona.But that doesn't mean the crosstown rivalry isn't significant to him.In fact, Hasson's memories of Altoona-BG may have been the best of anyone in the large crowd that attended Tuesday ...

PSU recruiting has changed with the times

UNIVERSITY PARK - Joe Paterno used to joke that one of his first press conferences, to preview spring practice, "was probably at the Rathskeller with about three people."Suffice to say had he walked into festivities Wednesday morning on National Letter-of-Intent Day at the Lasch Football ...

NCAA rights its wrong with Penn State

The NCAA fell further on its sword Friday with the announcement that it was restoring to Penn State the 112 victories it took away in July 2012 as part of a package of over-the-top sanctions for the school's incompetence in managing Jerry Sandusky.Maybe it will bleed to death.Of all the ...

Rudel: PSU departures underscore transition

The number of college football underclassmen bypassing a final season of eligibility to take their chances in the NFL Draft is down considerably since last year.A record 98 players jumped early in 2014, but as of Friday that number has been cut by nearly 30 percent as 63 were rolling the ...

Rudel: Crystal ball takes peek at PSU in ’15

In the spirit of tradition, we now take a long gaze into our blue and white crystal ball to see what's in store for Penn State's year ahead. Here goes:n After beating Alabama, Ohio State also stuns Florida State to capture the national championship, thanks to a pair of controversial calls ...

Offense helps year end on right note

NEW YORK - Penn State picked the perfect way and the perfect place to get back in the postseason bowl business.At hallowed Yankee Stadium, the most famous venue in sports, the Nittany Lions rallied from four deficits to defeat Boston College, 31-30, in overtime, before a Pinstripe Bowl record ...

Bowl gives Lions chance to start 2015

NEW?YORK - Is a bowl game the end of one season or the beginning of another?It depends on the season.Penn State's storied history includes a number of years - nine to be exact, including the 1948 Cotton Bowl - in which the Nittany Lions arrived at a bowl site intent on clinching a perfect ...

Altoona native’s work ethic pays off

When the University of Albany basketball team visits Saint Francis on Saturday, it will mark a homecoming for the Great Danes' radio broadcaster.Rodger Wyland grew up in Altoona, got his feet wet in radio and TV here, and, feeling he needed a stepping stone, moved to Albany in 1986.Though his ...

Rudel: PSU’s Ficken has seen it all

UNIVERSITY PARK - Sam Ficken settled onto a blue couch in the Nittany Lions' players' lounge at the Lasch Building earlier this week and couldn't help but shake his head when it was suggested that he's been in more do-or-die situations than any kicker in Penn State history."Obviously," he said ...

Lions’ low point ‘tough to swallow’

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - We've now reached the low point of the sanctions era.Since the NCAA punishments took hold in July of 2012, the Nittany Lions have suffered whippings (Ohio State last year), inexplicable performances (Indiana last year) and stunners at home (Maryland this year), but Penn ...

Illini series produces (few) moments

Some nitpicking as the curtain begins to fall on another regular season:When Penn State joined the Big Ten 21 years ago, it didn't do so with the idea that the Nittany Nation would forge a memorable rivalry with Illinois.And yet, there have been a few games or at least moments that have stood ...

Hackenberg struggling to match his shadow

UNIVERSITY PARK - A not-so-funny thing is happening to the greatest young quarterback in Penn State history.He's starting to look his age (19).Christian Hackenberg's tremendous freshman season and penchant for late-game comebacks have declined steadily this year due to a myriad of ...

Defense equal to Shoop’s challenge

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Penn State's defense arrived here with a pair of specific marching orders.Defensive coordinator Bob Shoop told his unit not to allow a single point and to limit Indiana's Tevin Coleman, the nation's leading rusher, to fewer than 100 yards.The Nittany Lions batted 2-for-2 in ...

Pre-game act taints Terps’ win

UNIVERSITY PARK - Maybe in the history of football, not just Penn State football, this has happened before.But I doubt it.Maryland's captains - its designated leaders - reported to midfield for the pre-game coin flip Saturday afternoon, and when Penn State's captains extended their hands for ...

Great effort could be Lions’ springboard

UNIVERSITY PARK - Penn State football was not built on moral victories.But with most forecasting the Nittany Lions' young and depleted squad to suffer a blowout by an Ohio State team that won by 50 points a year ago, Penn State far exceeded expectations before ultimately surrendering a 31-24 ...

O’Brien living his dream

PITTSBURGH - Nearly 10 years ago, when he was an assistant coach at New England under Bill Belichick, Bill O'Brien used to appreciate the respect his mentor showed for the game in general and the league's flagship franchises in particular.Tonight, in the center of the NFL universe - Monday ...

Hack takes step back, and he’s getting no help

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Christian Hackenberg didn't come out to meet the media following the Nittany Lions' loss to Michigan on Saturday night, and it's tough to blame him.He's suffered enough.Penn State's decorated sophomore quarterback is bruised and beaten - "frustrated," James Franklin admitted ...