Penn State QB commit Justin Fields again turns heads, wrestlers rally against Oklahoma State and more
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This is your Penn State Wake-Up Call for Monday, Feb. 20. Let’s get started.
Fields continues to sparkle
Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley retains two years of eligibility, but his potential successors began lining up behind him long ago. Jake Zembiec arrived last year. Sean Clifford is an early enrollee this year.
And this weekend brought word of the continuing exploits of Justin Fields, a 4-star QB from Kennesaw, Ga., who committed to PSU’s 2018 recruiting class in December. The 6-foot-3, 221-pound Fields, rated the nation’s top dual-threat QB by ESPN (and the No. 2 quarterback overall), appeared at the Orlando regional for The Opening, a showcase for top recruits.
Brian Stumpf, the president of football events for Student Sports, tweeted out that Fields tested out as the sixth-best player at the event, and the top quarterback. He ran a 4.51 40-yard dash, a 4.16 in the 20-yard shuttle and had a 39.5-foot powerball toss. His vertical jump was also measured at 33.2 inches.
— Brian Stumpf (@Stumpf_Brian) February 19, 2017
— Brian Stumpf (@Stumpf_Brian) February 20, 2017
There was other recruiting news over the weekend. Brian Dohn of Scout.com reported that Isheem Young of Philadelphia’s Imhotep Charter, the nation’s top-rated safety, visited Happy Valley on Friday and Saturday, and Sean Fitz of Lions247 reported that another safety, Michael Dowell of Lakewood, Ohio, will be in town Monday.
But Fields is the guy who will obviously attract the most attention. And not without reason.
Stellar comeback for wrestlers
As noted by Wayne Staats elsewhere in the Land of 10, No. 2 Penn State spotted No. 1 Oklahoma State a 13-0 lead before roaring back to beat the Cowboys 27-13 on Sunday to win the NWCA Dual Championships for the second straight year.
Matt McCutcheon, who topped Preston Weigel at 197 to secure the match for the Lions, summed things up for the Penn State Sports Network (via Pennlive.com’s Jim Carlson):
“Coming back showed some resilience. I’m proud of our team and I’m proud of the way I wrestled today. We were there to pick each other up and I think that’s what makes this team special. No one got down; it was our time to go.”
The Lions (14-0), who lost 125-pounder Nick Suriano to a lower-leg injury of undisclosed severity early on, will be in action next at the Big Ten Championships, March 4-5 in Bloomington, Ind.
Moorhead reflects on 2016 season
Lions offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead made an appearance in the Lehigh Valley over the weekend and sat for a question-and-answer session with Mark Wogenrich of The (Allentown) Morning Call.
Moorhead said he considered the victory over Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship Game the obvious highlight of the 2016 season. It was, he added, “a microcosm” of the year, since the Lions dug themselves a deep hole and then crawled out of it, as they did on several other occasions.
Then Wogenrich asked Moorhead which games have kept him up at night. He replied:
“The ones you obviously look back on and always question whether you could have done better are the calls at the end of the Pitt game (a 42-39 loss) and the last call of the Rose Bowl (a McSorley interception that set up USC’s decisive field goal in a 52-49 PSU defeat). You’re going to point the thumb at yourself instead of the finger at someone else and ask, ‘What could I have done to put the kids in a better position?”