KSN podcast: Breaking down Penn State’s 2016 early recruiting strategy

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February 11, 2015

The recruiting calendar has officially turned to 2016, and Penn State’s coaching staff is pouring all its resources into adding to a class of four commitments in cornerback Lavert Hill, running back Miles Sanders, defensive end Shane Simmons and quarterback Jake Zembiec. Coach James Franklin will take a big step in those efforts later this month when Penn State hosts top recruits for Junior Day. The same event helped to…

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KSN Podcast: Penn State’s redshirt freshmen and how they’ll fare in 2015

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February 6, 2015

Penn State got contributions from eight true freshmen in James Franklin’s first season and managed to redshirt 16 others from a 2014 recruiting class that ranked No. 25 nationally, according to Rivals.com. While Grant Haley, Marcus Allen and others made an impact right away, twice as many will enter the mix in 2015 and add valuable reinforcements to the roster. Among the names to watch are wide receiver DeAndre Thompkins;…

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KSN Podcast: Turning the page to Penn State’s 2016 recruiting with Greg Pickel

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February 5, 2015

Penn State put the finishing touches on its 2015 recruiting class yesterday, a 25-member haul that positions the Nittany Lions one step closer to a full, balanced roster. Coach James Franklin got the class off to a hot start with seven verbal commitments by the end of February and three more in March. The same formula with a Junior Day this month and more aggressive strategy. Coach James Franklin had…

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KSN Podcast: Handing out superlatives in Penn State’s 2015 recruiting class

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February 4, 2015

Penn State today puts the finishing touches on its 2015 recruiting class, inking its full 25-member class to financial aid agreements on National Signing Day. The class is strong from top to bottom and enters the day ranked among the top 15 in the country by 247 Sports, ESPN, Rivals and Scout. The science of recruiting is inexact and star ratings are often proven laughably wrong. Dustin Hockensmith and Andrew…

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KSN Podcast: An interview with Penn State recruit Kamonte Carter

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January 28, 2015

Penn State is getting a strong, versatile athlete in Kamonte Carter, a four-star defensive end from Gaithersburg (Md.) High School who checks in at a stout 6-4 and 250 pounds. Carter has played virtually all over the field during a standout prep career, but has settled at defensive end, where he can add depth to a position in need. Carter has had a unique high school career as a do-it-all…

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KSN Podcast: An interview with Penn State recruit Ryan Buchholz

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January 28, 2015

Penn State recruit Ryan Buchholz is a long, powerful defensive end who could be ready to hit the ground running as soon as he arrives on campus this summer. He stands at 6-6 and 240 pounds and has a potent combination of power and speed, a set of skills that could put him in the mix for early playing time at a position that is suddenly shallow after the departures…

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KSN Podcast: Looking ahead to Penn State’s 2016 recruiting class with Sean Fitz

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January 27, 2015

Penn State is putting the finishing touches on its 2015 recruiting class and turning more of its attention to the 2016 cycle, which will officially begin following National Signing Day on Wednesday, Feb. 4. After getting off to a scorching start last February, coach James Franklin could again surge when the recruiting calendar flips. The Nittany Lions already have commitments from three top prospects in quarterback Jake Zembiec, defensive end…

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KSN Podcast: Impact of Nick Bowers to Penn State, plus Pitt-PSU rivalry notes with Sean Fitz

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January 27, 2015

Penn State picked up its third verbal commitment two days when three-star tight end Nick Bowers flipped his pledge from Pittsburgh in favor of the Nittany Lions. James Franklin, Bob Shoop and Terry Smith visited Bowers at his Kittanning home to seal the deal after the 6-4, 250-pounder was on campus for an official visit last weekend. Bowers represented the 23rd commitment in Penn State’s 2015 recruiting class, and his…

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KSN Podcast: Penn State, the NCAA and what’s next in fight over sanctions

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January 20, 2015

The NCAA last week reached a settlement agreement with state senator Jake Corman and state treasurer Robert McCord that brought an end to a lawsuit challenging the validity of the consent decree Penn State signed in July 2012. As a result, 112 wins were restored, and there was resolution on how Penn State’s $60 million fine would be distributed. The settlement brought finality to the crippling sanctions the NCAA levied…

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KSN Podcast: An interview with Penn State WR recruit Juwan Johnson

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January 14, 2015

Penn State coach James Franklin has attracted scores of talent to Happy Valley in his first full year on the job, including a 2015 recruiting class that ranks among the top 10 nationally on Rivals and 247 Sports. The class is full of gifted football players, but perhaps none with the raw talent four-star wide receiver Juwan Johnson brings to the table. Johnson stands at 6-4 and 210 pounds, with…

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KSN Podcast: Latest Penn State recruiting news on Robert Windsor, Kamaal Seymour, more

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January 13, 2015

Penn State’s push toward National Signing Day will include long looks at defensive tackle targets Robert Windsor and Kamaal Seymour, either (or both) of whom could add a crucial big body to the Nittany Lions’ 2015 recruiting class. In the absence of Christian Wilkins, who gave a verbal commitment to Clemson, coach James Franklin is still in search of his first defensive tackle in the 2015 class. The Nittany Lions…

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KSN podcast: An interview with Penn State 2016 recruiting target Michal Menet

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January 7, 2015

Penn State is pushing forward in its 2016 recruiting class with three high-profile commitments already in place in five-star defensive end Shane Simmons, four-star running back Miles Sanders and four-star quarterback Jake Zembiec. That trio has laid the foundation for another nationally elite class if coach James Franklin can continue to build momentum after National Signing Day next month. One of the Nittany Lions’ top remaining targets is Exeter Township…

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KSN podcast: Penn State football news and notes on Deion Barnes, Jesse James, Christian Wilkins

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January 6, 2015

The Penn State football program withstood its third early defection of the offseason this week when defensive end Deion Barnes and tight end Jesse James both announced their intention to declare for the 2015 NFL draft. Add Barnes and James to Donovan Smith, and James Franklin has seen three players leave eligibility on the table and bolt early. In addition to the NFL draft candidates, Penn State is also in…

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KSN Podcast: Rose Bowl news and notes with ‘correspondent’ Andrew P. Shay

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December 31, 2014

Oregon and defending national champion Florida State clash in the Rose Bowl this New Year’s Day with a berth in the College Football Playoff championship on the line. The Ducks enter the Rose Bowl as a nine-point favorite behind quarterback Marcus Mariota, while the Seminoles survived a number of close calls in posting a perfect 13-0 record behind the strong arm of reigning Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston. The matchup…

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KSN Podcast: Breaking down the latest on Donovan Smith, Tommy Stevens and more

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December 30, 2014

Penn State was dealt a blow Monday when redshirt junior Donovan Smith announced he would forgo his final season of eligibility and declare for the 2015 NFL draft, a move that strips an already-young offensive line of its most veteran member. Smith started 31 games in his three-year career, earning a prominent role on the Nittany Lions’ line as a redshirt freshman in 2012. On the same day, Penn State…

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KSN Podcast: Penn State-Boston College Pinstripe Bowl review

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December 30, 2014

Penn State wrapped up its 2014 season in dramatic fashion with a 31-30 victory over Boston College in the Pinstripe Bowl. The Nittany Lions capitalized on a Golden Eagles missed extra point in the first overtime period, when Christian Hackenberg connected with tight end Kyle Carter for the game-winning score. After nailing the tying field goal, Sam Ficken drilled the extra point to deliver a walk-off win. The victory delivered…

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