Penn State RB Saquon Barkley signs with agency; Ricky Rahne now fully in charge of offense
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From Nittany Nation to Roc Nation
Saquon Barkley wasted little time picking an agent.
On Wednesday, Barkley told ESPN.com’s Darren Rovell, Jay-Z, aka Sean Carter, will represent him. Yes, Barkley has gone from Nittany Nation to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation.
Barkley is the top prospect on ESPN’s Mel Kiper’s NFL draft board.
Barkley and his family were invited to Jay Z’s home in Los Angeles this week, when the two talked about his business future.
“I’m obviously a big fan of his,” Barkley said. “He is a wise man, has a lot of knowledge and gives good advice.”
Barkley will be represented by Roc Nation’s Kim Miale, who represents Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant, among others.
Barkley and Roc Nation were tweeting about it Wednesday as well.
Excited to share that I've signed with Kim Miale of Roc Nation Sports. So happy to join the… https://t.co/z2WtKaOLU1
— Saquon Barkley (@saquonb21) January 3, 2018
— Roc Nation (@RocNation) January 3, 2018
So Saquon’s got 99 problems, but finding an agent isn’t one.
The Fiesta Bowl was Ricky Rahne’s official debut as the offensive coordinator of the Nittany Lions, but this week he really gets down to work, writes Pennlive’s Greg Pickel.
As Pickel writes, Rahne must come up with the scheme and find the talent to keep Penn State a top threat offensively. Not only does Rahne need to replace Barkley, he must also find a replacement for tight end Mike Gesicki, and wide receiver DaeSean Hamilton.
Easier said that done. But Rahne’s offense did utilize running back Miles Sanders and wide receivers Juwan Johnson, Brandon Polk and DeAndre Thompkins, all of whom return for the 2018 season. Not to mention the guy behind center, Trace McSorley, returns too.
The rich get richer
Does recruiting really determine who will win the national title?
Bud Elliott of SB Nation thinks so, saying Penn State is one of four teams that could join the Blue Chip Ratio Club in the 2018 season.
Penn State is signing a top class this season, and the 2014 class in which the Nittany Lions signed just five blue-chip recruits is rotating off. I’m impressed by the defensive linemen Penn State is getting with Micah Parsons, PJ Mustipher, and perhaps Jayson Oweh.
Elliott says that the 2018 champion could come from a crop of 14 teams. It should be noted he had Georgia, Alabama, Oklahoma and Clemson in his Ratio Club for the 2017 season.
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Early look ahead
A lot will unfold over the offseason but it’s never too early to throw darts and pick who will win the Big Ten title in 2018.
Tim Bielik of Cleveland.com does just that, unveiling his way-too-early conference picks for the 2018 season.
Bielik pegs Ohio State to repeat as conference champion and Wisconsin, fresh off it’s Orange Bowl victory, to finish second.
3. Penn State (11-2, 7-2)
This is going to be the biggest test of James Franklin’s career at Penn State. After back-to-back 11-win seasons, the Nittany Lions are losing a lot of talent, including running back Saquon Barkley, as well as offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead, who is now the head coach at Mississippi State. He has veteran quarterback Trace McSorley back, and two top-20 recruiting classes that should fill out most of the depth chart.
Is it April yet?
Still on top
It’s a new year, but a familiar face remains the top wrestling program in the country.
Penn State checked in at No. 1 in the first National Wrestling Coaches Association poll of 2018, writes Lauren Muthler of the Centre Daily Times.
The Nittany Lions are fresh off an appearance at the Southern Scuffle in Tennessee, where they took home six individual championships and rolled to the team championship as well.
Miss previous editions of the Wakeup Call? They can be found here.