KSN Podcast: Latest Penn State recruiting news with PennLive’s Greg Pickel

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April 3, 2015

Penn State hasn’t churned out verbal commitments at the same rate in the 2016 recruiting cycle as it did in 2015, but James Franklin and staff are making headway with a number of blue-chip prospects. Visit weekends yielded valuable trips to campus for the likes of offensive tackles Michal Menet and Jauan Williams, defensive back Damar Hamlin and linebacker Brendan Ferns, all good signs despite them leaving without commitments. Another…

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KSN Podcast: Looking at key spots on Penn State’s depth chart, plus more news and notes

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April 3, 2015

Penn State and James Franklin offered a closer look at the spring depth chart this week with a handful of intriguing tweaks that might suggest bright futures for at least two young players. Cornerback Daquan Worley and tackle Chance Sorrell were both spotted with the second units at their respective positions, while mammoth redshirt freshman Chasz Wright appeared to make the move from tackle to guard. The NIttany Lions’ young…

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KSN Podcast: The Penn State ‘Blue-White Draft Extravaganza’

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March 27, 2015

The University of Michigan recently announced a new twist to its spring game, where the coaches will use a draft to select the rosters on both sides. Bob Flounders and Dustin Hockensmith took that idea and applied it at Penn State, assembling their own respective “fantasy” rosters designed to be as competitive as possible. On one side, Hockensmith went strong on offense. And on the other, Flounders loaded up on…

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KSN Podcast: An interview with future Penn State walk-on Jan Johnson

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March 27, 2015

Penn State got a boost to its 2015 recruiting efforts from an unlikely place when Jan Johnson turned away scholarship offers to accept a position as a preferred walk-on. Johnson is a quarterback and linebacker, wrestler, lacrosse player and track and field standout at Governor Mifflin. He arrives at Penn State as a linebacker with his sights set on playing on special teams from the outset. Johnson joined Ross Tucker…

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KSN Podcast: Ross Tucker breaks down Penn State’s 2015 wide receiver recruits

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March 25, 2015

Penn State is adding a talented trio to its depth chart at wide receiver this summer, when Irvin Charles, Juwan Johnson and Brandon Polk are set to arrive for their freshman seasons. They enter the fray at wide receiver, where the competition for playing time is wide open. Charles and Johnson are big, rangy wideouts, while Polk is a crafty route-runner with big-time explosiveness and speed. Ross Tucker, a former…

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KSN Podcast: Breaking down Connor McGovern’s commitment and other Penn State news

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March 25, 2015

Penn State took a big step forward in its 2016 recruiting class with the addition of four-star offensive lineman Connor McGovern, the nation’s No. 1 center. McGovern gave a verbal commitment Friday to kick off a big weekend that also included a return visit from four-star wide receiver Trevon Diggs, his sixth trip to Happy Valley in the last 10 months. The Nittany Lions also kicked off spring practice as…

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KSN Podcast: Breaking down Penn State’s wide receivers going into spring practice

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March 19, 2015

Penn State’s offense struggled to find a rhythm last season for all kinds of reasons, from a young offensive line that surrendered to 44 sacks to a spotty rushing attack and a young wide receiver corps. The receivers, behind freshmen Saeed Blacknall, Chris Godwin and DaeSean Hamilton (redshirt) offered hope by season’s end that quarterback Christian Hackenberg would get more support in 2015. Bob Flounders and Dustin Hockensmith reviewed the…

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KSN Podcast: An interview with Penn State director of player personnel Andy Frank

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March 18, 2015

Penn State is making huge waves on the recruiting trail and second-year coach James Franklin with a tireless approach that includes every member of the coaching staff. The Nittany Lions netted a top-15 class in 2015 and got off to a hot start in the 2016 cycle with a quartet of four-star recruits in cornerback Lavert Hill, running back Miles Sanders, defensive end Shane Simmons and quarterback Jake Zembiec. Penn…

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KSN Podcast: Five questions going into Penn State’s spring football practice

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March 18, 2015

Penn State’s football program remains in a state of flux as coach James Franklin continues to make gains in an effort to recover from heavy scholarship reductions. The Nittany Lions are pushing forward in overall numbers, but inexperience in several key areas has led to questions going into spring practice. Can Penn State’s offensive line take a step forward? Can position coach Sean Spencer replace veteran defensive ends Deion Barnes…

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KSN Podcast: Breaking down Penn State’s 2015 linebacker recruits with Ross Tucker

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March 17, 2015

Penn State has improving depth up and down its roster going into the 2015 season, a product of dogged recruiting and crucial experience for young players working through the system. Looking ahead, the linebacker position has an intriguing blend of experience, talent and upside that could yield big results for defensive coordinator Bob Shoop and position coach Brent Pry. A trio of incoming freshmen in Manny Bowen, Jake Cooper and…

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KSN Podcast: Ross Tucker breaks down Penn State recruits Saquon Barkley, Andre Robinson

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March 13, 2015

Penn State added two talented running backs to its roster at an opportune time in 2015 recruits Saquon Barkley and Andre Robinson. Veterans Bill Belton and Zach Zwinak both graduated and moved on, leaving Akeel Lynch as the projected starter and a wide-open competition between Mark Allen, Nick Scott and Johnathan Thomas and incoming freshmen Barkley and Robinson. Ross Tucker joined Dustin Hockensmith on the Keystone Sports Network to break…

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KSN Podcast: Looking closer at Penn State’s Big Ten-leading cost-of-attendance figure

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March 13, 2015

If preliminary figures hold true, Penn State stands to offer student-athletes the largest cost-of-attendance stipend in the Big Ten at $4,788 per academic year. Perhaps more surprisingly, Ohio State ($2,454), Michigan ($2,054) and Michigan State ($1,872) all lag significantly behind, but with plenty of time to alter their respective stipend figures between now and July. The stipend has potential to become a tremendous recruiting tool for the programs that can…

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KSN Podcast: Assessing Penn State’s linebacker group in 2015 and beyond

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March 13, 2015

Penn State has quickly built terrific depth at the linebacker position, even as the program seeks a replacement for All-Big Ten pick and defensive captain Mike Hull in 2015. Young players are scattered throughout the depth chart, offering versatility, range and upside that could benefit the Nittany Lions for years to come. Among that group are promising redshirt freshmen Troy Reeder and Koa Farmer and incoming recruits Manny Bowen, Jake…

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KSN Podcast: Looking at the state of Penn State’s quarterback position

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March 5, 2015

Penn State’s hand could be forced at the quarterback position as early as the 2016 season. Soon-to-be junior Christian Hackenberg has elite physical tools but comes off a sophomore season that featured bumps in the road. But a bounceback junior season could have Hackenberg thinking NFL draft, leaving Trace McSorley, Tommy Stevens and ’16 commitment Jake Zembiec to compete for the starting job. Ross Tucker, Bob Flounders and Dustin Hockensmith…

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KSN Podcast: Recapping Penn State’s Junior Day and more with Greg Pickel

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March 4, 2015

Penn State comes off a weekend in which nearly 100 talented recruits were on campus to learn about the program, meet the coaches and get an introduction to academics and more. It was a big event that led to at least six new scholarship offers but, unlike last February’s Junior Day, yielded no new commitments to the Nittany Lions’ 2016 recruiting class. PennLive recruiting reporter Greg Pickel joined Dustin Hockensmith…

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KSN Podcast: Breaking down Penn State’s 2015 defensive line recruits with Ross Tucker

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March 3, 2015

Penn State welcomes four new players to its defensive line rotation in the 2015 recruiting class, a group of big, talented athletes who are reinforcements at key positions. Defensive ends Ryan Buchholz, Kamonte Carter and Shareef Miller and defensive tackle Robert Windsor are all set to arrive in June with opportunities to compete for playing time. Former NFL offensive lineman and founder of Go Big Recruiting Ross Tucker broke down all four…

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