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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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KSN Podcast: Breaking down the 4 teams in the College Football Playoff field

The inaugural College Football Playoff field was set as the committee announced semifinalists in No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Oregon, No. 3 Florida State and No. 4 Ohio State. The Buckeyes snuck in on the strength of a 59-0 blowout win over Wisconsin, edging Big 12 co-champions Baylor and TCU, both of whom played one less game and were docked style points by not winning their conference outright. Four of…

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KSN Podcast: Talking Pinstripe Bowl, Penn State season-in-review with StateCollege.com’s Ben Jones

Penn State started the 2014 season overseas in Dublin, Ireland, where the Nittany Lions played at Gaelic football stadium in the Croke Park Classic. Now they’ll finish it on a baseball field at Yankee Stadium, a bizarre start and finish that brought a bit of symmetry to James Franklin’s first season. That fact wasn’t lost on StateCollege.com beat writer Ben Jones, who said he saw potential in the Pinstripe Bowl…

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KSN Podcast: An interview with 2016 Penn State QB recruit Jake Zembiec

On the same day its 2014 regular season ended, Penn State got a big boost to its recruiting efforts when 2016 quarterback Jake Zembiec gave his verbal commitment to the program. Zembiec, a four-star prospect from Aquinas Institute in Rochester, N.Y., became the third verbal pledge in the Nittany Lions’ class and represented a key cog in the future competition for Christian Hackenberg’ successor. Zembiec checks in at 6-2 and…

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KSN Podcast: Interview with 4-star Penn State OL recruit Steven Gonzalez

Penn State has just one interior lineman in its lauded 2015 recruiting class in Steven Gonzalez, a four-star guard from Union City (N.J.) High School. The 6-3, 305-pound prospect said he is 100 percent committed to the Nittany Lions and doing his part to lure other big-time offensive linemen from both the 2015 and 2016 recruiting classes. Gonzalez said James Franklin made all the difference when he gave his verbal…

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KSN Podcast: Recruiting breakdown: How Garrett Taylor can impact the cornerback depth chart

Penn State landed four-star cornerback Garrett Taylor over the weekend, as he committed the day after taking an official visit for the Michigan State game. While still considering LSU, Ohio State and Virginia Tech, Taylor swiftly pledged to James Franklin and gave him a big, versatile cornerback who is both talented and aggressive. Taylor’s winding recruitment ended in Happy Valley after first beginning with a commitment to Brady Hoke and…

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KSN Podcast: Penn State recruiting update: Garrett Taylor and Jake Zembiec commitments

Penn State’s recruiting efforts are picking up this week after the team wrapped up its 2014 season with a 34-10 loss to Michigan State. Scholarship offers are being extended, and commits are entering the fold, most recently from four-star cornerback Garrett Taylor and four-star 2016 quarterback Jake Zembiec. Commitments from both players carry extra significance for James Franklin, who got the big cornerback he desires in Taylor and a potential…

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KSN Podcast: Penn State-Michigan State review: Spartans set early tone, dominate Nittany Lions

Penn State got off to an ominous start in its regular season finale against Michigan State and trailed throughout in a 34-10 setback at Beaver Stadium. The Nittany Lions surrendered a 90-yard return touchdown to. R.J. Shelton on the opening kickoff and did little to reverse the early momentum before eventually being worn down by the 10th-ranked Spartans. Given its offensive struggles and the inevitability of Michigan State’s high-powered offense…

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KSN Podcast: Uplifting Athletes Chapter Highlights – Week 14

Scott Shirley and Andy Shay Discuss the end of the college football regular season, the upcoming College Football Playoff, the rivalry Touchdown Pledge Drive between Clemson and South Carolina in their Palmetto Bowl matchup, and the fundraising done throughout the season by the Uplifting Athletes chapter network. Visit upliftingathletes.org for more coverage of the nonprofit organization that aligns college football with rare diseases.

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KSN Podcast: Penn State-Michigan State preview: Can the Nittany Lions make season-ending statement?

Penn State wraps up its regular season and gets its last shot at a signature win when Michigan State comes to Beaver Stadium on Saturday. The Nittany Lions (6-5, 2-5) are 11.5-point underdogs for a Senior Day clash against a Spartans team that had national title aspirations shot down by Ohio State three weeks ago. Penn State has trudged through the middle part of the season with losses in five…

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