Paterno won't keep up with NFL draft

Posted: April 27, 2007

While a lot of people are busy analyzing all those NFL mock drafts, Penn State coach Joe Paterno admits to being blissfully unaware. He might not be able to pick pompadoured ESPN draftnik Mel Kiper Jr. out of a police lineup, even if all the other guys were bald.

Oh, sure, JoePa is interested in where his NFL-bound former players will wind up, but somebody is going to have to tell him afterward. He doesn't plan to settle into his favorite armchair this weekend for the marathon coverage on ESPN and the NFL Network.

"I don't really follow it," Paterno, 80, said. "I'd like to know who got drafted, but I won't watch it. The guys on the staff will talk about it, and some of the kids will come around.

"To me, the draft is like recruiting. I get tired of hearing people tell me who the guys are you're supposed to recruit.

"Every once in a while I turn the television on, trying to find something to put me to sleep. You got ESPN this and ESPN that, Fox this and Fox that. There's always some guy saying, 'Well, this guy's going to be OK because this club needs so-and-so.' I don't pay any attention.

"When our kids get drafted and they go [to the NFL], I wish them luck and I hope that they make it. I tell them it's a tough job. Hopefully, it'll work out for them. But hopefully, they'll all leave here with a degree because if it doesn't work out in pro football, they have another life to lead." *

- Bernard Fernandez

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