November 3, 2012 |
There is something attractive about a college football team that is referred to as "Linebacker U. " Just ask Mike Hull, who went to Penn State because of its reputation for preparing linebackers for the NFL and stayed for the same reason after the NCAA imposed sanctions against the university. The 6-foot, 228-pound Hull, a redshirt sophomore, is considered the next star in the pipeline where he receives a share of playing time behind three starters - Michael Mauti, Gerald Hodges, and Glenn Carson - who probably will be taking the field on Sundays very soon.
August 5, 2010 |
Joe Paterno had gone three months without speaking to the media because of a stubborn illness, so the questions to Penn State's 83-year-old head coach came quickly at the Big Ten football media day earlier this week. How do you feel? What do you think of the conference adding Nebraska as a member? What's your thought on reaching 400 career wins? How long do you want to continue to coach? Will you have a say as to your successor? Or as the anchor of the Big Ten Network's four-plus hours of coverage lamented following Paterno's news conference, "There wasn't one question asking him about his football team.
April 22, 2010 |
Graduation has put some huge holes in the Penn State defense, which was ranked No. 2 in total defense in the Big Ten and No. 9 in the country last season. Six starters are leaving, including three expected to be high choices in the NFL draft: defensive tackle Jared Odrick and linebackers Sean Lee and Navorro Bowman. (Bowman, a junior last season, gave up his final year of eligibility.) The other departing starters are linebacker Josh Hull, defensive end Jerome Hayes, and cornerback A.J. Wallace.
March 27, 2010 |
Finding replacements at quarterback and the three linebacker positions was the challenge facing Penn State coach Joe Paterno as the Nittany Lions began spring practice yesterday. The Lions return 13 starters - seven on offense, five on defense, and kicker Collin Wagner - from a squad that went 11-2 last season, won the Capital One Bowl against Louisiana State, and was ranked No. 9 in the final Associated Press poll. With two-year starting quarterback Daryll Clark gone, the Lions will look at three quarterbacks during the 15 days of drills leading up to the Blue-White Game on April 24. Paterno insists there is no front-runner at the quarterback position.
January 6, 2010 |
Navorro Bowman spent much of the week of the Capital One Bowl wearing his poker face, declining to commit one way or the other whenever he was asked if he planned to give up his final season of eligibility at Penn State to enter the NFL draft. But in essence for the Nittany Lions' junior outside linebacker, the decision was a slam dunk. He fulfilled his mother's wishes by earning a degree in crime, law and justice. At least one Web site, ESPN.com's Scouts Inc., predicted that he would be drafted in the middle of the first round.
November 11, 2009 |
The thick glasses on Joe Paterno's rather prominent nose might be tinted, but they apparently don't distort his view of reality in terms of his football team. Another Senior Day at Beaver Stadium is fast approaching, and Saturday's final home game (against Indiana) for Penn State's departing veterans will again prove to be a time for hugs, tears and misty, water-colored memories of the way they were . . . or at least the way they'd like to think they were. "It's going to mean a lot to me," tight end Andrew Quarless said of the last time he and his fellow seniors will run out of the tunnel for an afternoon of football before the standard adoring turnout of 105,000-plus.
November 4, 2009 |
If you're a football fan who loves offense, find something else to do at 3:30 p.m. Saturday rather than watch 11th-ranked Penn State test Ohio State, ranked 15th. The Nittany Lions and the Buckeyes are 1-2 in the Big Ten Conference in the four major defensive categories (rushing, passing, total defense, and fewest points allowed). They are in the top 10 nationally in three of those classifications, and in the top 15 in pass defense. The numbers point to a low-scoring, slug-'em-out battle at Beaver Stadium similar to the Lions' 13-6 victory last season, when the first turnover of the game, an Ohio State fumble recovered by linebacker Navorro Bowman in the fourth quarter, set up a touchdown drive that gave Penn State the lead for good.
October 19, 2009 |
STATE COLLEGE - Members of the Penn State defense understandably exude a lot of confidence. The unit has been solid all season and posted its best effort Saturday in a 20-0 victory over Minnesota. "This game really was a game where from the start, we were going to dominate this team," linebacker Navorro Bowman said. "That's the type of attitude we came out here with. We weren't going to let this team get anything. We weren't going to give them anything. The outcome is what we expected.
October 16, 2009 |
TRY TO IMAGINE you've just seen "Titanic," 1993's Academy Award-winning film about the doomed luxury vessel. Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet still head the cast, but they are never in any scenes together, thus no romantic sparks fly. Changes the tenor of the entire movie, doesn't it? Maybe the box office still yields a hefty return, or maybe the expensive production sinks like ... well, you get the idea. Now consider the curious case of Penn State outside linebackers Sean Lee and Navorro Bowman, leading men for a nationally ranked defense who have provided only a fleeting glimpse of what could be. Because of injuries incurred by both players, who entered the season as strong All-America candidates, Lee, a fifth-year senior, and Bowman, a fourth-year junior, have started only one game together.
October 8, 2009 |
Josh Hull never has lacked confidence, as illustrated by his decision to enroll at Penn State and walk on as a linebacker at a university noted for finding the best linebackers in the country. When Hull, then just 205 pounds, informed coaches at the lower-classification schools that were recruiting him of his choice, a number were flabbergasted. "Some coaches thought he was overreaching," said Martin Tobias, Hull's coach at Penns Valley High School, 25 miles from State College.