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

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

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: Assessing Penn State’s future in the loaded Big Ten East division

Penn State has its hands full competing in a Big Ten East division that is loaded with potential and features coaching heavyweights Urban Meyer, Mark Dantonio, Jim Harbaugh and James Franklin. Ohio State is coming off a national championship run and has a tremendous base of talent to remain a national factor in 2015 and beyond. The Nittany Lions are re-establishing themselves as a force on the recruiting trail, adding…

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KSN Podcast: An interview with Penn State grad and Seattle Seahawk Garry Gilliam

Garry Gilliam helped swing momentum back into the Seattle Seahawks’ favor when they needed it most in the NFC championship. The offensive tackle hauled in an improbable 19-yard touchdown on a fake field goal to help cut into a 16-0 deficit in an eventual 28-22 overtime Seahawks win over the Green Bay Packers. Gilliam plowed through all types of adversity to earn a spot on the Seahawks’ roster as an…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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KSN Podcast: Gauging the significance of Penn State-Boston College in the Pinstripe Bowl

Penn State remains an underdog in its first bowl game since the 2011 season, as the Nittany Lions get set to clash with Boston College in the Pinstripe Bowl. James Franklin’s team enters the postseason with a struggling offense and losses in six of its last eight games and faces an Eagles team that plays the same brand of football with a stout defense and one-dimensional offense. Perhaps more importantly…

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KSN Podcast: Penn State recruits Paris Palmer, Sterling Jenkins make commitments official

Penn State has officially landed two talented offensive line recruits in four-star tackles Sterling Jenkins and Paris Palmer, who both signed paperwork to make their commitments official. Palmer, a four-star junior college recruit from Lackawanna College, signed his letter of intent on Dec. 17, while Jenkins, a four-star talent from Baldwin High School signed a financial aid agreement on Dec. 22. Jenkins and Palmer will enroll at Penn State in…

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KSN Podcast: An interview with Penn State linebacker recruit Jake Cooper

Penn State is getting a certified winner in its 2015 recruiting class in Archbishop Wood linebacker Jake Cooper, a three-star prospect who has won three Pennsylvania state football titles. Cooper toughed it out through a sprained MCL in last Friday’s championship game, estimating he was at “65 or 70 percent” for Wood’s 33-14 win over Central Valley. Cooper joined Ross Tucker and Dustin Hockensmith on the Keystone Sports Network this…

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KSN Podcast: Penn State recruiting updates with Paris Palmer, Michael O’Connor news

Penn State landed another top offensive line recruit last week in Lackawanna College tackle Paris Palmer. Coach James Franklin flipped Palmer from his previous commitment to South Carolina, in the process adding an experienced offensive lineman to a 2015 recruiting class that made the jump to No. 9 in the nation on 247sports.com. Franklin also lost freshman quarterback Michael O’Connor, who announced his intentions to transfer, which could impact the…

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KSN Podcast: Previewing Penn State-Boston College in the Pinstripe Bowl

For the first time in three seasons, Penn State is going bowling. The Nittany Lions are back in the postseason mix after two years of bowl sanctions and their destination comes as little surprise. James Franklin and his crew are headed to New York City for the Pinstripe Bowl and a date with Boston College. The Nittany Lions and Eagles will clash Dec. 27 at 4:30 p.m. as part of…

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