Penn State’s cost of recruiting; draft buzz surrounding former TE Mike Gesicki gets louder
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Turning a profit
Penn State athletics had a profitable 2016-17 athletic year. Part of it is because of ticket sales, revenue sharing among Big Ten teams and media rights fees while another part is because of the powerhouse James Franklin has built up on the gridiron too.
Pennlive.com’s Greg Pickel writes that the athletic department turned a profit of $5.29 million during the year ending on June 30, 2017. But the cost of doing business for the football program increased. Franklin’s program spent $1.26 million trying to land the best possible prospects to keep the profit margin rising.
On the rise
Former Penn State tight end Mike Gesicki’s NFL combine performance was so good that it has some of the biggest pundits in the media business humming he could wind up as a first-round selection in the NFL draft in April.
FightOnState’s Mark Brennan writes that ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay doesn’t have Gesicki there yet but expects him to be among the first 50 picks taken.
“Mike Gesicki from Penn State, he’s not going to block much for you, but he’s a guy you can move around, he’s got speed, and his combine performance was exceptional,” McShay said.
Brennan added that McShay thinks South Dakota State’s Dallas Goedert and South Carolina’s Hayden Hurst will be the first tight ends picked along with Gesicki.
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It could happen
More scuttlebutt on running back Saquon Barkley and where he could go in the draft. McShay told reporters on Wednesday that Barkley as the No. 1 overall pick is a strong possibility, writes the Centre Daily Times’ Josh Moyer.
But the choice isn’t going to be easy. Cleveland has been starving to find the franchise quarterback it desperately needs and instead of spending money on a free agent quarterback, the Browns could bypass Barkley and pick, say, USC’s Sam Darnold.
From McShay through Moyer:
So if you’re John Dorsey and you think one of these quarterbacks is going to be the answer, finally going to be the guy and can be a leader at that position — and you can get him at relatively cheap money when you compare that to the free agency market and especially Kirk Cousins, then I think you have to pull the trigger.”
And then there’s this from Forbes.com’s Cartoon of the Day that indicates if the Browns draft Barkley, they will simply ruin him like they have seemingly every other pick since returning to Cleveland.
Tony Carr put together a remarkable season for the Penn State men’s basketball team, averaging 19.9 points a game and anchoring three wins over Ohio State. His name has surfaced on some draft boards, possibly as a late first-round pick.
Pennlive’s David Jones writes that Carr could benefit from another season in Happy Valley and a rising program under Pat Chambers definitely could benefit if Carr sticks around.
Of course, when the motivation is $2.5 million in guaranteed salary over two years (with the promise of a lot more should he stick) rather than dorm food and bus trips, his level of initiative might rise.
Penn State will likely miss a trip to the NCAA Tournament, but an NIT bid, and more games for Carr with the Nittany Lions, seem likely, at least for the rest of March.
Penn State’s wrestlers learned their seeds during the NCAA’s selection show on Wednesday night and Zain Retherford (149 pounds) and Bo Nickal (184) both earned top seeds in their respective weight classes.
The Centre Daily Times’ Nate Cobler writes that plenty of Nittany Lions will have a chance to win a title, and help Penn State earn another team title.
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