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Penn State has high hopes for Miles Sanders, here taking a handoff from Tommy Stevens against Rutgers on Nov. 19.

Penn State shows fight in recruiting (again) and on practice field, wrestlers continue rolling and more

We hope you’ll start your day with us here at the Landof10.com as we work to prepare you for everything that you need to know – Monday through Friday – around the world of Penn State sports. Whether it’s football, basketball, wrestling, hockey, baseball or just a wild story we hope you’ll find interesting, we’re here to share it all with you.

This is your Penn State Wake-Up Call for Friday, Feb. 10. Let’s get started.

Heart of the Lions

Penn State coach James Franklin tweeted out a video from Thursday’s winter workout showing running back Miles Sanders – Saquon Barkley’s heir apparent – and linebacker Cam Brown battling it out in something called the tire pull.

It is ferocious. It is primal. It is riveting.

It has long been clear that Franklin takes that core value regarding competition to the nth degree when it comes to recruiting. On Thursday he received a verbal commitment from linebacker Nick Tarburton, the 11th guy to pledge to a 2018 class that is ranked No. 1 in the country. No other school has reached double digits in verbals.

Granted, it is only February, but such success speaks to the kind of bounce the Lions have gotten not only from their surprise Big Ten championship but the relentlessness of Franklin and his assistants.

Core value, indeed.

Of course, there was also a reminder on Twitter that other schools compete just as fiercely. Check out the charm on the keychain of Pitt assistant Tim Salem.

The schools meet again on Sept. 9 in Beaver Stadium.

Wrestlers host Illinois, Maryland

PSU’s second-ranked wrestling team hosts Illinois on Friday and Maryland on Sunday, but there is already keen anticipation of the Lions’ Feb. 19 visit to No. 1 Oklahoma State for a meeting in the NWCA Championship Dual Series.

In the meantime, the Lions (11-0) are bidding for their second straight undefeated regular season. Not surprisingly, coach Cael Sanderson feels pretty good about the way things are progressing.

Per the Centre Daily Times:

“I think our guys are wrestling well. They’ve certainly been tested with the best. We have little things we can improve upon and that’s always our focus individually and as a team. We are always trying to focus on the positives. If you’re focusing on the things we’re not doing right, you’ll drive yourself crazy. I think we are doing things really well right now. Overall, we’re pleased.”

Hockey team looks to snap skid

The No. 10 Lions (16-6-2, 5-4-1 Big Ten) will be looking to snap a five-game winless string when they visit No. 17 Wisconsin (15-8-1, 8-2) Friday and Saturday.

Among the Lions’ problems are special teams. They have scored just four power-play goals in 28 chances since winter break, according to the university’s website, while killing off just 18 of 28 penalties.

The Lions managed three goals while losing twice last week at Minnesota, their lowest weekend total of the season.

Sophomore Andrew Sturtz has been a bright spot. He has a four-game point streak, one shy of his career high.

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