Temple tries to woo Penn State's Barnes, others

Posted: July 28, 2012

If any Penn State football player decides to relocate, Temple wants to be a likely destination.

"Yes, we are interested," an Owls source said Thursday of attracting would-be Nittany Lion transfers. "But we are not at the point where we are going to send our staff out there and sit in the parking lot. That's not how Coach [Steve] Addazio operates.

"We put out feelers to see if there is any mutual interest back to us."

Penn State players are free to transfer without having to sit out a year after the NCAA hit the school with a $60 million fine, reduced scholarships, banned the Lions from postseason play for four years, and forced them to vacate all wins dating to 1998. The sanctions come in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sexual-abuse case.

The source said he didn't know how many Penn State players were targeted.

"I can tell you this: We are interested in Deion Barnes, the kid from Northeast [High]," he said. "But again, is there mutual interest? I know we are trying to at least see if he is at least interested. I don't know if there is any mutual interest."

Barnes, however, said Thursday afternoon that he will remain a Nittany Lion.

"After talking to my family, we all agreed that I would still be able to get a good education and have a good chance of going to the NFL," he said of remaining at Penn State.

Nittany Lions tight end Garry Gilliam said he was also contacted by Temple. Like Barnes, the redshirt junior said he's staying at Penn State.

The 6-foot-4, 248-pound Barnes is battling redshirt freshman Anthony Zettel for Penn State's backup right defensive end position.

As a senior at Northeast, Barnes chose Penn State over Georgia in January 2011, partly because it enabled him to stay closer to home.

Bob Lichtenfels, the East regional manager for the Scout.com recruiting service, said Arizona State was also recruiting the redshirt freshman defensive end.

If Barnes changes his mind about staying in State College, one of his mentors believes Temple would be a good destination for him.

"I mean, the Owls are in the Big East now," said Ron Stokes of Top Prospect Sports, a national recruiting, scouting, consulting, and sports publishing company. "And Addazio is a good coach. . . .

"But it's his ultimate decision. I never get involved with the kid's decision."

And for now, Barnes is confident that he made the right decision.

"We still are able to compete every Saturday, and that's all I can ask for," he said.

"Temple contacted me. But I wasn't that interested. And I don't know about anyone else they tried to contact."

Owls drop Pringle. Temple dismissed reserve offensive lineman Darryl Pringle for an undisclosed reason. The 6-6, 327-pounder was a redshirt sophomore last season.

Rizzo commits to Temple. The Owls recently received an oral commitment from Richland graduate John Rizzo.

Instead of coming to Temple in the fall, the 6-1, 225-pound running back will enroll at Temple in January as a "grayshirt."

Rizzo rushed for 1,769 yards and scored 20 touchdowns last season.


Contact Keith Pompey at 215-854-2939 or kpompey@phillynews.com, or follow on Twitter @pompeysgridlock. Read his blog, "Owls Inq," at www.philly.com/OwlsInq

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