Penn State football chat, 8 p.m., Tuesday, July 15

We’re chatting Penn State football on a new night this week, and it’s the perfect time to catch up on all of the happenings from last weekend’s Lift for Life event.

Tight end Jesse James was one of the standouts at Penn State's Lift for Life event.

Tight end Jesse James was one of the standouts at Penn State’s Lift for Life event.

Who looked the strongest and most impressive in the team competitions?

Who gave the best interview?

And what do you think about offensive lineman Miles Dieffenbach and Dallastown linebacker Ben Kline having a shot to return this fall from significant injuries?

Talk to me tonight from 8 to 9 or drop in a question or comment any time until then.

We also will update any recruiting happenings and rumors and also look ahead to the Croke Park Classic in Ireland.

In the meantime, check out my Lift for Life stories and my column on one of the main men behind Penn State’s season-opener in Ireland.

Posted in Ben Kline, Charities, Chat, Football, Frank Bodani, Jesse James, Penn State, Recruiting | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Penn State gearing up for Ireland, recruiting

After several takes and much coaxing, Frank Bodani finally talked in his Irish accent in this week’s PSU football podcast. (Spoiler alert: It’s not a good Irish accent, but he’s working on it.) We also get caught up on Ben Kline, Lift for Life and recruiting.

Posted in Adam Breneman, Big Ten, Jim Seip, Joe Paterno, Penn State, Podcast | Leave a comment

A Penn State surprise in the preseason hype machine

The preseason award and “Watch Lists” have begun rolling out, and there’s a big emphasis on Penn State’s quarterback-to-tight end combination.

Along with one pretty big surprise.

Jesse James, all 6-foot-7 and 260 pounds of him, is getting plenty of preseason hype.

Jesse James, all 6-foot-7 and 260 pounds of him, is getting plenty of preseason hype.

As expected, sophomore quarterback star Christian Hackenberg is getting plenty of early hype leading up to the season, such as making the initial list of candidates for the Maxwell Award, presented to college football’s top player. The award will be given for the 78th time and the Nittany Lions are tied for the national lead with seven previous winners, the most recent being Larry Johnson in 2002.

Hackenberg also was named the Big Ten’s best passing quarterback by the Sporting News. He threw for 2,955 yards and 20 touchdowns with 11 interceptions last season, breaking a dozen school freshman passing records.

And two of his top targets for the upcoming season? Penn State’s tight end position is loaded, headlined by 6-foot-7 junior Jesse James, who is the Lions’ leading returner in receptions (25) and receiving yards (333).

Continue reading “A Penn State surprise in the preseason hype machine” »

Posted in Awards/honors, Big Ten, Christian Hackenberg, Deion Barnes, Football, Injuries, Jesse James, Jordan Lucas, Penn State | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lions prepare for camp without Ben Kline

Jim Seip and Frank Bodani discuss the latest news involving Penn State football.

Posted in Ben Kline, Big Ten, Christian Hackenberg, Depth chart, Frank Bodani, Jim Seip, Maryland, Podcast, Randy Edsall, Rutgers | Leave a comment

Penn State football chat, June 30, 8 p.m.

The games begin again in less than two months.

How much will Penn State miss longtime equipment manager Brad "Spider" Caldwell?

How much will Penn State miss longtime equipment manager Brad “Spider” Caldwell?

Actually, Penn State football camp is only five weeks away. What’s on your mind with the Nittany Lions as we head toward the holiday weekend?

Join me tonight at 8 to chat about the team’s prospects behind new coach James Franklin and star quarterback Christian Hackenberg. We’ll also hit on recruiting and anything concerning Jerry Sandusky, Joe Paterno, the NCAA and Gov. Tom Corbett.

Also, we will make time to honor retiring equipment manager Brad “Spider” Caldwell. Bring your best memories and stories.

If you can’t join tonight, remember to leave a question or comment throughout the day.

Posted in Christian Hackenberg, coaching staff, Fans, Football, Frank Bodani, James Franklin, Jerry Sandusky, Joe Paterno, NCAA, Penn State, Recruiting | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Penn State eyes big summer recruiting weekend

Penn State could be getting some of its recruiting buzz back this weekend.

James Franklin’s staff will be overseeing summer football camp activity in State College and also hosting a recruiting meet-and-great barbecue function on Saturday.

Offensive tackle commitment Sterling Jenkins (center) is returning to Penn State for a big recruiting weekend.

Offensive tackle commitment Sterling Jenkins (center) is returning to Penn State for a big recruiting weekend.

The weekend highlights include several verbally committed members of Penn State’s 2015 recruiting class to be joined by some top undecided prospects going into their junior and senior years of high school. While Franklin and his assistants already are working hard on the 2016 class, the more immediate focus is finishing out this current class, which doesn’t become official until national signing day in February.

So far, the Nittany Lions have 16 verbal commits and figure to be able to take at least four to seven more, at this point.

And so some of the biggest interest this weekend will revolve around on New Jersey linebacker Manny Bowen and Virginia linemen Matthew Burrell and Tim Settle.

Look at this way: The team’s most pressing needs now, and moving forward, are at offensive tackle and linebacker — especially after high-profile linebacker Josh Barajas recently switched his pledge from Penn State to Notre Dame and offensive tackle stud Grant Newsome picked Michigan over the Lions.

Continue reading “Penn State eyes big summer recruiting weekend” »

Posted in Football, James Franklin, Penn State, Recruiting, Sterling Jenkins | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Penn State football chat, 8 p.m., June 16

We’re closing in on the two-month mark until Penn State’s season-opener in Ireland. And, finally, we got news of some of that roster-clearing head coach James Franklin had been hinting at.

Could we see more of Bill Belton as a slot receiver this season with Richy Anderson's departure?

Could we see more of Bill Belton as a slot receiver this season with Richy Anderson’s departure?

What do you think of those four Nittany Lions who are leaving the team? How much will they miss receiver Richy Anderson and offensive lineman Anthony Alosi?

Let’s chat about that, recruiting and more Monday night at 8.

Posted in Bill Belton, Chat, Fans, Football, Frank Bodani, James Franklin, Penn State, Recruiting | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Is Penn State about to raid New Jersey yet again?

Penn State’s recruiting run on New Jersey continued over the weekend – and there’s still another big possibility around the corner.

James Franklin’s Nittany Lion staff received a verbal commitment over the weekend from speedy cornerback Myles Hartsfield. He’s 5-foot-10, 180 pounds and is from Sayreville War Memorial High in Parlin, N.J. He is considered a three-star prospect out of five.

James Franklin just landed two defensive back recruits. Are his two top cornerback prospects still in play?

James Franklin just landed two defensive back recruits. Are his two top cornerback prospects still in play?

His biggest attribute may be his speed, timed at 4.4 seconds time over 40 yards.

Hartsfield also claimed scholarship offers from Georgia Tech, Pitt, Cincinnati, Syracuse, Virginia, Wake Forest and, of course, home-state Rutgers.

He is the fourth New Jersey native so far in Penn State’s 16-member class of 2015. (The Lions were down to 15 after Indiana star linebacker Josh Barajas de-committed two weeks ago and chose Notre Dame instead).

Could that Jersey connection grow even stronger?

Continue reading “Is Penn State about to raid New Jersey yet again?” »

Posted in coaching staff, Football, James Franklin, Maryland, Penn State, Recruiting, Rutgers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Penn State football chat, 8 p.m., June 9

The Nittany Lions picked up another verbal commitment and James Franklin ran his first summer camp. Let’s chat about that and more tonight at 8.

James Franklin is stirring some controversy by taking his staff on the road this week to work football camps.

James Franklin is stirring some controversy by taking his staff on the road this week to work football camps.

The Lions received a verbal pledge from another New Jersey prospect in speedy cornerback Myles Hartsfield. Could they be in line for a much bigger commitment in the coming days?

While Penn State held its first summer came this past weekend, Franklin and his staff are now off to work a few out-of-state camps that have gotten the attention of SEC coaches. And they’re not too happy about it. What’s your take on the matter?

And if you don’t have time to join me tonight, drop a question or comment into the chat at any time and I’ll make sure to answer it first.

In the meantime, check out my piece today on a future Penn State varsity athlete you probably don’t know about … but should.

Posted in Chat, coaching staff, Fans, Football, Frank Bodani, James Franklin, Penn State, Recruiting | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Penn State football chat, 8 p.m., June 2

We’re back talking Penn State football tonight after a week off. What’s on your mind when it comes to recruiting, James Franklin and his coaching staff, the NCAA and the summer ahead?

Will James Franklin be able to run down a  top linebacker recruit after just losing one?

Will James Franklin be able to run down a top linebacker recruit after just losing one?

The Nittany Lions did lose a top-flight linebacker recruit Josh Barajas to Notre Dame last week. We will get into that tonight as well as who you think on the 2014 team is ready for a breakout season.

In the meantime, check out my column on Brad “Spider” Caldwell leaving and why he will be missed so much.

Plus, remember that Penn State will be renewing its rivalry this fall with Maryland, which is led by head coach Randy Edsall, a York County native. Here is my piece on Edsall as he prepares the Terps for the Big Ten.

Maryland expects to have a potent offense this season, and one of the reasons is the experienced blocking of guard Andrew Zeller, a Red Lion grad. The thing is, Zeller might be even better off the field. Here’s why

Posted in Big Ten, Chat, coaching staff, Fans, Football, Frank Bodani, James Franklin, Maryland, NCAA, Penn State, Randy Edsall, Recruiting | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments