Randy Edsall: college football recruiting must slow down; more oversight needed

Randy Edsall wants to change the way college football recruiting is being handled because he worries the “game is getting away from us.”

Edsall, the Maryland head coach and Susquehannock grad, wants to slow down the recruiting process. He told ESPN.com that players are being offered scholarships so early — many times in eighth or ninth grade — that they make rash decisions and end up transferring.

Coaches often hand out verbal offers before a student-athlete’s true academic aptitude is attained, Edsall said.

Randy Edsall believes college football recruiting is speeding ahead too fast.

Randy Edsall believes college football recruiting is speeding ahead too fast.

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

Penn State spring football chat, 8 p.m., March 31

Spring practice is hitting the home stretch before the Blue-White Game on April 12.

Spring practice focus: Christian Hackenberg and Zach Zwinak (28).

Spring practice focus: Christian Hackenberg and Zach Zwinak (28).

Meanwhile, James Franklin and staff are killing it on the recruiting trail. At this rate, their class of 2015 will be nearly finished before the season even starts.

What do you think of the Nittany Lions’ two most recent verbal commitments, offensive lineman Steven Gonzalez and linebacker Josh Barajas?

Let’s chat about all of that and more tonight from 8 to 9.

Posted in Blue/White, Chat, coaching staff, Football, James Franklin, Penn State, Recruiting | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

Sold-out crowd to greet James Franklin at Penn State York

James Franklin is one of the toughest tickets in town before he ever coaches a game.

The opening event during the first full week of the Penn State Coaches Caravan — the May 6 lunch at Penn State York – already is sold out. A crowd of about 220 is expected, according to Jeff Nelson, Penn State’s sports information director.

James Franklin will be meeting and greeting Yorkers on May 6.

James Franklin will be meeting and greeting Yorkers on May 6.

That same evening, the caravan also will hold a reception at the Hershey Lodge.

Following the lead of Bill O’Brien the past two years, Franklin is scheduled to participate in all 17 Coaches Caravan stops and will be joined by other Penn State head coaches through May 22. Franklin and at least one other Penn State head coach will hold a meet-and-great with fans as well as formerly address the crowd and answer questions at each event.

Members of Franklin’s coaching staff also will attend selected events, with announcements in early April.

So far, the May 20 lunch at Williamsport’s Pennsylvania College of Technology also is approaching a sell out with 250 guests. Five of the Coaches Caravan events will be held on Penn State campuses, starting Thursday, May 1 with an evening reception at the new Pegula Ice Arena on main campus. The caravan also will stop at Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus (Uniontown)and Penn State Erie, The Behrend College.

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Posted in Bill O'Brien, coaching staff, Fans, Football, James Franklin, Penn State, PSU alumni | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The autographs are returning to the Blue-White Game

Head coach James Franklin is bringing the popular autograph session back to the Blue-White Game.

But could Beaver Stadium possibly be “sold-out” on April 12 (or even close to it), as Franklin has been urging?

James Franklin is bringing back a fan favorite ... the Blue-White Game autograph session.

James Franklin is bringing back a fan favorite … the Blue-White Game autograph session.

Nonetheless, fans will be able to meet their favorite Nittany Lions from 10:45-11:30 a.m. in the stadium that day, players signing one item per person.

Bill O’Brien canceled the autograph session for last year’s game.

The team will arrive at about 10:15 a.m. on April 12, with stadium gates A and B opening at 10:30. Gates C, D and F will open at noon for the game.

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Posted in Beaver Stadium, Big Ten Network, Bill O'Brien, Blue/White, Fans, Football, James Franklin, Penn State | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

‘Ridiculous’ Penn State podcast

YDR reporters Frank Bodani and Jim Seip power through another late-night conversation on the latest news involving Penn State and Big Ten football, including Bill O’Brien’s quote about what he thought about the Lions’ bowl ban.

Posted in Allen Robinson, Beaver Stadium, Big Ten, Big Ten Network, Bill O'Brien, Blue/White, bowl game, Chaz Powell, Frank Bodani, James Franklin, Jim Seip, Joe Paterno, Mike Mauti, Penn State, Podcast, PSU alumni | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Bill O’Brien speaks out: Calls Penn State bowl ban “ridiculous”

While discussing the NFL Draft and his early decision-making as a new head coach, Bill O’Brien also provided some of his most candid thoughts yet on his time at Penn State.

Bill O'Brien praised his former players and ripped the NCAA Tuesday.

Bill O’Brien praised his former players and ripped the NCAA Tuesday.

This came Tuesday during an interview at the NFL owners’ meetings that was posted on the Houston Texans’ web site.
In one segment, he called the NCAA sanctioned bowl ban “ridiculous” and explained not only his feelings for his former Penn State players but how he went about notifying them of his departure late on New Year’s Eve.

He said he called “every kid from like 11:30 at night until 4 in the morning” on New Year’s Day.

“It was tough. That was a tough deal because we were very attached for the reasons—everybody stuck together, it was a tough time, we won some games. We won some games that no one could believe we won, beating someone with 40 scholarship kids. So we owe a lot to those kids. But those kids, kids are resilient and they’ve got a good coach there now, James Franklin. I think they’ll be fine.”

As for those NCAA sanctions, O’Brien always did his best to give politically-correct answers during his two-year run with the Nittany Lions.

Not now.

When he left for the NFL, “It was during Christmas break and because of the bowl ban, which was ridiculous, the fact that there is a bowl ban at Penn State, is ridiculous …

“I wish I could have had a team meeting because what I would have done, I would have explained it to them face-to-face. But we couldn’t, so I called them. I didn’t ever want to be somebody that just rode off in the middle night and never said a word. I mean, I love those kids and had a great relationship with all those guys. I don’t know if I reached every one of them but I at least left a message for all of them.”

Here is the complete transcript of O’Brien’s interview, which includes a segment on Allen Robinson.

Posted in Allen Robinson, Bill O'Brien, bowl game, Football, James Franklin, NCAA, Penn State | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Penn State football live chat, 8 p.m. March 24

Frank Bodani will return for his weekly Penn State football chat tonight at 8.

Recruiting, spring practice, James Franklin — you name it, Frank will try to answer it. Maybe we’ll talk about Penn State’s national champion wrestling team, and All-American James English from Central York. Who knows? The choice is up to you.

Can’t make it at 8 p.m.? Post your question ahead of time, and Frank will answer it during the chat. Check back at your leisure to read his response.

Posted in Chat, Frank Bodani, James Franklin | Leave a comment

Franklin continues coaching run from top to bottom

Head coach James Franklin continues his high-energy run as the leader of Penn State football. Frank Bodani and Jim Seip discuss media day, recruiting and what the future might hold for the Nittany Lions.

Posted in Beaver Stadium, Big Ten, Bill O'Brien, Frank Bodani, James Franklin, Jim Seip, Joe Paterno | Leave a comment

Follow us for Penn State football coverage on Monday

There’s a pretty good reason why I’m not planning to do my next Penn State Monday night chat.

James Franklin will kick off his first Penn State spring practice Monday by meeting the media.

James Franklin will kick off his first Penn State spring practice Monday by meeting the media.

Instead, myself and photographer Jason Plotkin will be in State College most of St. Patrick’s Day to cover James Franklin’s press conference and the opening of spring practice.

Of course, everything hinges on the somewhat ominous weather forecast, which, incredibly enough, is calling for snow.

Just follow along throughout Monday for updates from @YDRPennState and @Jasonplotkin as well as at ydr.com and yorkblog.com/psu.

Senior James English is going to his first NCAA Championships.

Senior James English is going to his first NCAA Championships.

Plus, there’s this to look forward to: Learn why Central York grad James English is the most intriguing Penn State wrestler you probably don’t know about. My column will be online Sunday evening.

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

Michael Robinson making his TV acting debut

Michael Robinson will be making his acting debut Thursday on one of his favorite shows – “The Young and the Restless” (12:30 p.m., CBS).

The former do-everything star quarterback at Penn State apparently landed the gig after mentioning during a recent interview that he grew up faithfully watching the long-running soap opera.

Of course, his Super Bowl victory with the Seattle Seahawks adds to the guest-starring appeal.

In an interview with Soap Opera Network, Robinson reveals his admiration with daytime TV legend Eric Braden (Victor Newman) and how he memorized his lines for his scene in one night.

‘You don’t understand, this is one of my dreams coming true,” he told the Soap Opera Network. “I was going to sleep memorizing those lines, I was practicing them with my wife at home, I was saying them to anybody who would listen to me!’ Nobody knew what I was talking about, but I think it came out well. [Braeden] does a lot of improv, and I was just trying to stay with him, and I thought I did well.”

Apparently, he performed well enough that “Y&R” officials have invited him back for another episode whenever he has time again in Los Angeles.

In the meantime, check out this “The Young and the Restless” short video with Robinson.

Posted in Football, Michael Robinson, Penn State | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment