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SPORTS
January 9, 2016 | By Joe Juliano, STAFF WRITER
Adam Breneman, ranked as the nation's No. 1 high school tight end in his class, committed to Penn State in March 2012, 10 days after quarterback Christian Hackenberg. The two then joined forces to make sure that Bill O'Brien's 2013 recruiting class stayed together after the NCAA punished the university with harsh sanctions stemming from the Jerry Sandusky scandal. Breneman became a highly respected figure once he got to Happy Valley, but after a promising freshman season, his left knee betrayed him. After surgery, a redshirt year and two brief appearances this season, Breneman decided the pain in his knee had become too much, and he announced Thursday that he is stepping away from the game.
SPORTS
January 4, 2016 | By Erin McCarthy, For The Inquirer
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Christian Hackenberg's announcement on Saturday that he would declare for the NFL draft came as news to Trace McSorley. The redshirt freshman backup quarterback said he had never talked to Hackenberg about what next season would hold. With that future suddenly clearer, "I feel like I just have to come in and compete for that job," McSorley said. "Now, the real work starts. " While he did not know it at the time, Penn State's 24-17 loss to Georgia in the TaxSlayer Bowl served as an early opportunity for McSorley to secure that starting role.
SPORTS
January 4, 2016 | By Joe Juliano, STAFF WRITER
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Christian Hackenberg couldn't stand the pain in his right shoulder any longer, so redshirt freshman Trace McSorley became Penn State's best hope to move his team's offense against Georgia on Saturday in the TaxSlayer Bowl. After a slow start, McSorley helped the Nittany Lions make up a 21-point deficit with a pair of fourth-quarter touchdown passes. The Lions moved toward a potential game-tying touchdown, but a Hail Mary try on the last play fell incomplete, giving the Bulldogs a 24-17 victory at EverBank Field.
SPORTS
January 4, 2016 | By Joe Juliano, STAFF WRITER
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - When it came to being loyal to Penn State, few football players who have passed through Happy Valley showed that quality more than quarterback Christian Hackenberg. It was that loyalty that had Nittany Lions fans hoping he would return for his senior year. But in the end, after 38 consecutive starts, two offensive systems, countless hits, and opinions over whether he regressed after a great freshman year, Hackenberg did what most people expected. He said he will declare for the NFL draft, announcing the decision Saturday after the Lions' 24-17 loss to Georgia in the TaxSlayer Bowl, a game that Hackenberg left for good early in the second quarter with a sprained right (throwing)
SPORTS
January 3, 2016 | By Joe Juliano, STAFF WRITER
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Bryan McLendon was a member of Georgia's coaching staff when James Franklin coached Vanderbilt to an upset victory of the 15th-ranked Bulldogs in 2013, the Commodores' first win over a top-25 team in five years. McLendon, who will serve as Georgia's interim head coach Saturday in a TaxSlayer Bowl matchup against Penn State, admired what Franklin did at Vanderbilt. And although Franklin has taken some heat since becoming head coach of the Nittany Lions, McLendon says he's "a heck of a coach.
SPORTS
January 3, 2016 | By Joe Juliano, STAFF WRITER
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Amid all the TaxSlayer Bowl week activities in which Penn State players and coaches participated, there remained an undercurrent of great importance to Saturday's matchup against Georgia in terms of the perception of James Franklin's program. The Nittany Lions haven't won since Halloween. They are 7-5 and enter EverBank Stadium with an urgent need for a victory in order to end 2015 with one more win than last year when they finished 7-6 with fewer scholarship players than this team.
SPORTS
January 2, 2016 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The sidelines and the seats in the Georgia coaches' booth will look significantly different Saturday when the Bulldogs take on Penn State in the TaxSlayer Bowl. A multitude of coaching changes began the day after Georgia's 13-7 victory over Georgia Tech in its final game of the regular season. Mark Richt, the Bulldogs' head coach for 15 seasons, was fired with the intention that he would coach in the bowl game, but he changed his mind after being introduced Dec. 4 as the new head coach at Miami.
SPORTS
January 2, 2016 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. - Although Penn State players and coaches have been staying relatively far from the site of the TaxSlayer Bowl game in Jacksonville, they've had plenty to keep themselves occupied. The Nittany Lions have taken advantage of their seaside location in Amelia Island, about a 50-minute drive north of Everbank Field, where they will meet Georgia on Saturday. "They've done a good job of giving us time to just kind of hang out," offensive tackle Andrew Nelson said.
SPORTS
January 2, 2016 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. - Gregg Garrity admits that he tries to keep his family connection as low-key as possible, that he doesn't initiate any reference to "The Catch," an event that is up there with the top legendary moments in Penn State football history. But when asked, he will come clean. And he was repeatedly asked by the media Thursday after Penn State completed its final practice for the TaxSlayer Bowl against Georgia on Saturday. Garrity's father, also named Gregg, made a diving catch of a 47-yard touchdown pass from Todd Blackledge that sparked the second-ranked Nittany Lions' 27-23 victory over No. 1 Georgia in the 1983 Sugar Bowl and gave them their first national championship.
SPORTS
December 31, 2015 | By Joe Juliano, Staff Writer
Austin Johnson knows that everyone who follows Penn State is wondering whether the team's TaxSlayer Bowl matchup against Georgia will be his last game wearing the Nittany Lions' blue and white before he decides to enter the 2016 NFL draft. But he's not saying. After the Nittany Lions completed their first practice in Fernandina Beach, Fla., on Tuesday, Johnson did not provide any clarity on his situation. "I have not" made a decision, the redshirt junior defensive tackle and former St. Augustine Prep star told reporters.
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