Penn State players move on from missing playoffs; Nittany Lions’ NCAA Tournament hopes all but gone
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Closing the book
The Penn State players who have left the program over the last two years can look back and think what-if? They can also realize they took the program back to pre-NCAA sanction status.
The players who took part in the just-concluded NFL combine have zero regrets from their time spent in Happy Valley despite narrowly missing out on two trips to the college playoffs, writes Land of 10’s Scott Dochterman.
A reason why
All of a sudden the hottest college football team at the combine was Penn State. In years past, unless it was a star with status like former linebacker LaVar Arrington, seldom would there be the buzz surrounding Penn State at the combine.
One of the big reasons for the surge in performance of the Penn State prospects is a relationship that coach James Franklin started almost two decades ago, writes Pennlive.com’s Greg Pickel. Strength and condition coach Dwight Galt might be one of the more under-appreciated staff members under Franklin, but not anymore.
Trending up or down
Franklin and his staff have their fingers on the pulse of several recruits for the Class of 2019, and some they are going to have to really work for. Lions 247’s Andrew Callahan breaks down which direction Franklin’s top targets are trending right now.
Dates to remember for these targets: Junior day later this month and the annual Blue-White spring game on April 22.
Former Penn State tight end Mike Gesicki should hear his name called on Day 2 of the NFL draft, and one team that could possible look to add him is the defending world champion Philadelphia Eagles.
The Press of Atlantic City’s David Weinberg writes that the Eagles should draft Gesicki because they very well may need a tight end.
“Philly Special” star Trey Burton is expected to leave via free agency. Brent Celek told ESPN.com he wants to keep playing, but it might be for another team, considering he’s 33 years old, caught just 13 passes last season and is due $4 million next season.
Gesicki played his high school football at Southern Regional, just north of Atlantic City, N.J.
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Penn State’s men’s basketball team will be in a postseason tournament, it just won’t be the one the Nittany Lions wanted to make. With Selection Sunday this weekend, Penn State will be left out of the field of 68, writes Pennlive.com’s David Jones.
Jones talked to both resident bracketologists Jerry Palm and Joe Lunardi and both agreed the Nittany Lions have no path to March Madness.
Under any metric you check, PSU’s nonconference strength of schedule is extremely weak. This is a ranking the 10-person selection committee commonly cites when it decides the last few at-large bids.
A win over Purdue in the Big Ten Tournament coupled with three wins over Ohio State would have done wonders for this Penn State team.
Penn State’s wrestling program will now take aim at the NCAA Tournament in Cleveland on March 15-17, but future Nittany Lions are blazing a path towards Happy Valley too.
The Centre Daily Times’ Lauren Muthler writes that plenty of Penn State recruits are taking home hardware in their respective state wrestling tournaments.
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