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KSN Podcast: Interview with 2016 Penn State QB recruit Jake Zembiec

Penn State is getting a talented quarterback in its 2016 recruiting class in four-star pro-style passer Jake Zembiec, a 6-2, 205-pound prospect from Aquinas Institute in Rochester, N.Y. Zembiec is pushing forward through spring workouts in advance of a busy summer and a senior season that could help elevate his national recruiting profile. He missed much of his junior season with a broken wrist. Zembiec said he is “110 percent”…

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KSN Podcast: Last-minute preview of Penn State’s Blue-White game

Penn State’s Blue-White spring football scrimmage kicks off at 4 p.m. EST today, bringing an official end to the Nittany Lions’ spring practice session. Coach James Franklin has a deeper, more talented roster this time around and gets one more look at key position battles, including defensive end, offensive line, wide receiver and running back. Bob Flounders, Andrew P. Shay and Dustin Hockensmith took a look at key players to…

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KSN Podcast: Penn State football news and notes on Michal Menet, Trace McSorley, more

Penn State coach James Franklin is speaking this spring with exponentially more optimism than he did at the same last season, and why not? His team is deeper and more experienced, with bona-fide strengths on both sides of the ball. Franklin spoke this week about his talented secondary and the head-turning play of backup quarterback Trace McSorley in his last public comments before Saturday’s Blue-White scrimmage. The Nittany Lions also got…

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KSN Podcast: Assessing Penn State’s tight ends in 2015 and beyond

Penn State has a blend of experience and youth at the tight end position, led by redshirt senior Kyle Carter and redshirt sophomore Adam Breneman. The group also features breakout candidate Mike Gesicki and incoming freshmen Nick Bowers and Jonathan Holland. Even in the absence of Jesse James, coach James Franklin has all the ingredients for a productive unit with significant upside. Franklin has been clear about at least one…

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KSN Podcast: Ross Tucker breaks down Tommy Stevens, Penn State’s future QB competition

Penn State has at least one more season with talented junior Christian Hackenberg under center. Coach James Franklin is adding talented signal-callers to the mix with Trace McSorley in the 2014 recruiting class, Tommy Stevens in ’15 and Jake Zembiec currently committed in ’16, but the overlying question remains: will Penn State have a legitimate starter in place when Hackenberg does elect to jump to the NFL, either in 2016…

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KSN Podcast: Latest Penn State football news and notes, plus key position battles

Penn State heads into the final week of spring practice with known issues, particularly along its offensive and defensive lines, and key position battles that will linger into summer camp. A handful of Nittany Lions recently shed light on those battles and predicted a breakout season for defensive end Carl Nassib, a possibility that would go a long way toward easing concerns about depth on the D-line. Bob Flounders and…

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KSN Podcast: Breaking down Penn State’s recruiting efforts with Scout.com’s Brian Dohn

Penn State has five verbal commitments in its 2016 recruiting class but potential to add pledges from a handful of the region’s top prospects. The Nittany Lions have mutual interest with Pennsylvania products such as Cary Angeline, Damar Hamlin, Khaleke Hudson and Michal Menet and could be considered the favorites for all four. Scout.com national recruiting analyst Brian Dohn joined Dustin Hockensmith and Andrew P. Shay on the Keystone Sports…

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KSN Podcast: Breaking down Penn State’s defensive line entering the 2015 season

Penn State has at least one huge advantage as the coaching staff searches for two new starting defensive ends. Defensive tackles Austin Johnson and Anthony Zettel are so disruptive inside, the ends are free to attack with a huge majority of one-on-one situations. The same support helped Deion Barnes and C.J. Olaniyan combine for 18 tackles for loss and nine sacks last season. A handful of Nittany Lions are competing…

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

Penn State is adding five talented bodies from the 2015 recruiting class to an already-loaded defensive backfield. Three safeties will join the fold in Jarvis Miller, Ayron Monroe and Johnny Petrishen, while cover corners John Reid and Garrett Taylor both vie for time on the outside. It’s a talented group that can reinforce a blossoming strength for defensive coordinator Bob Shoop. Which of those players stands the best chance of…

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

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

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’

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

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

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

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

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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