Penn State hires wide receivers coach; Trace McSorley among early Heisman favorites
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1 door closes, another opens
Just as Josh Gattis was saying his official goodbye to the Penn State program, James Franklin quickly found his replacement as wide receivers coach.
Gattis took to Twitter on Wednesday to confirm he would join Nick Saban’s staff at Alabama as wide receivers coach replacing Mike Locksley, who was promoted to offensive coordinator when Brian Daboll returned to the NFL after the Crimson Tide’s national title victory over Georgia .
Thank You! pic.twitter.com/pPQYa7HBkt
— Josh Gattis (@Coach_Gattis) January 24, 2018
Franklin didn’t wait long tagging Gattis’ replacement and hired Florida tight ends coach Ja’Juan Seider to replace Gattis, per GatorCountry.com and confirmed by Gainsville Sun beat writer Graham Hall.
Can confirm @GatorCountry report that Ja’Juan Seider is leaving the UF coaching staff, indications are he will coach WRs at Penn State.
— Graham Hall (@GrahamHall_) January 24, 2018
Seider is expected to not only fill the void on the staff, but also Gattis’ role recruiting with Franklin. Gattis was thought of as Franklin’s best asset on the recruiting trail.
Pennlive.com columnist David Jones says that Gattis and others who have left the Penn State coaching staff this offseason would have been foolish to pass up the chance to move on.
An early Heisman candidate
Ten players may be in front of him on the latest Heisman list, but Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley is an early Heisman candidate for 2018, according to one Las Vegas sportsbook.
ICYMI: #FollowTheMoney took a look at the early #Heisman odds for next season & made the case for their best play #HailWV #WillGrier & his video game numbers (12/1) & #WeAre #TraceMcSorley (18/1) as focal point of #PSUnrivaled offense No love for #BryceLove #GoStanford (7/1) https://t.co/MVoTJZBzv0
— VSiN (@VSiNLive) January 24, 2018
The Vegas Stats and Information Network show Follow The Money has players like West Virginia quarterback Will Grier and Stanford tailback Bryce Love ahead of McSorley.
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Questions to answer
Lions 247 writer Andrew Callahan addresses some critical questions aside from the usual topics in his latest chat. Among them, a best guess on who will assume the kicking duties for the Nittany Lions.
Best guess as to who assumes the kicking duties next year: Carson Landis on kickoffs and Jake Pinegar placekicking. Blake Gillikin, of course, is the wild card considering he wants to enter the kicker mix.
Don’t underestimate the importance special teams will have on Penn State’s 2018 season and one of those key areas is the kicking unit, which was solid with Tyler Davis the last couple of seasons.
No time wasted
Torrence Brown figured by now he would have played an important role on Penn State’s defensive line, but the oft-injured lineman has had just one productive season in his time with the Nittany Lions.
Brown suffered a right knee injury in Week 3 against Georgia State, but as Pennlive’s Greg Pickel writes, the setback didn’t derail Brown’s confidence.
With the Senior Bowl on Saturday as a chance for four Penn State players to showcase their abilities to pro teams, CBS Sports ranked all of Penn State’s NFL prospects going into the NFL draft this April.
Of note, CBS has tight end Mike Gesicki ranked fourth of all tight ends. No surprise that Saquon Barkley is the top available running back in the draft.
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