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September 2, 2016 | By Erin McCarthy, STAFF WRITER
Nyeem Wartman-White can hardly remember the last time he played in Beaver Stadium. It was Nov. 29, 2014. The Penn State linebacker knows he played on the strong side, in a spot he had never played before. He knows he played well. But the rest of that 34-10 loss to Michigan State is a blur. "Wow, it is a long time ago," Wartman-White said after practice Wednesday. "Now when I go out there for my first game [of the season], it might be a little emotional. " When the Philadelphia native returns to the field for the Lions' opener against Kent State on Saturday, he will bring with him lessons he learned from a season on the sidelines.
SPORTS
September 2, 2016 | By Joe Juliano, STAFF WRITER
Mike Gesicki had his bags all packed by the time Penn State's chartered flight left Jacksonville, Fla., after the team's loss to Georgia in the Jan. 2 TaxSlayer Bowl, except for one thing he left behind. The 2015 season. The tight end, one of the prized recruits of the 2014 class, had a second straight mediocre season for the Nittany Lions, catching just 13 passes and suffering a number of drops. He resolved on the flight home to work harder than ever to be a dependable target and a reliable blocker while fulfilling the potential he showed at Southern Regional High School in Manahawkin, N.J. "You're going to go through adversity . . . times that aren't exactly what you're looking forward to," the 6-foot-6, 252-pound junior said this week.
SPORTS
September 1, 2016 | By Joe Juliano, STAFF WRITER
The first depth chart of the new football season usually produces a few surprises. But with Penn State in 2016, James Franklin's choices prompted no shockers and little discussion. The Nittany Lions coach released the depth chart Tuesday for Saturday's season opener against Kent State at Beaver Stadium. Of the 22 positions on offense and defense, 17 were manned by either holdovers or players who have started before. Five spots where players either graduated or left for the NFL were filled with first-time starters, including a pair of redshirt freshmen.
SPORTS
August 31, 2016 | By Joe Juliano, STAFF WRITER
It hasn't been easy for Kent State coach Paul Haynes to get ready for his team's season opener this Saturday at Penn State. The only game film that exists of Trace McSorley, the Nittany Lions' new starting quarterback, comes from last season's TaxSlayer Bowl, and the team has scrapped that offense in favor of a new no-huddle attack. Haynes tried taping the telecast of the Blue-White Game in April to catch some of the new offense, but "you can barely see a lot of the things that happened," he said.
SPORTS
August 31, 2016 | By Joe Juliano, STAFF WRITER
Penn State coach James Franklin was listing the attributes of what makes Saquon Barkley a special running back before summing it up this way: "The good Lord doesn't give you everything. For whatever reason, he's been given more than most. " It didn't take Barkley very long - the second game of his collegiate career, to be exact - before he exhibited one of those special gifts. With the Nittany Lions driving deep into Buffalo territory, he took a handoff and hurdled free safety Ryan Williamson on his way to a 17-yard gain.
SPORTS
August 29, 2016 | By Joe Juliano, STAFF WRITER
James Franklin realizes that expectations are part of the job description as Penn State's head coach. And for his first two years in Happy Valley, the fact that the Nittany Lions played with a reduced number of scholarships compared with their opponents took very little weight - if any - off those expectations. In rolling back its 2012 sanctions on the football program two years ago, the NCAA allowed the Nittany Lions to return to the maximum 85 scholarships last season. But they couldn't get to that number, with Franklin saying on more than one occasion that they played with 75 in 2015.
SPORTS
August 27, 2016 | By Joe Juliano, STAFF WRITER
If James Franklin wanted to surprise Penn State fans at his latest media availability, he would have announced redshirt freshman Tommy Stevens as the team's starting quarterback for its Sept. 3 season opener against Kent State at Beaver Stadium. But even as he admitted that "the statistics were pretty even" in the quarterback competition during the first two-plus weeks of training camp, Franklin decided to go with experience in redshirt sophomore Trace McSorley. It was a safe and smart move by the third-year head coach at the start of an important season.
SPORTS
August 26, 2016 | By Erin McCarthy, For The Inquirer
Trace McSorley wasn't sure what to make of the text message. The Penn State quarterback received it Monday night from coach James Franklin's secretary, who asked if McSorley could meet Franklin in his office at 7:45 a.m. Tuesday. Of course, the redshirt sophomore knew that he had been battling for a starting job, and that a decision was imminent. But McSorley told himself this meeting would be normal. He slept well, and wasn't nervous when he arrived at the coach's office the next morning.
SPORTS
August 26, 2016 | By Rick O'Brien, STAFF WRITER
Our position-by-position guide continues with a look at some of the area's hardest-hitting linebackers and best ball-hawking defensive backs. Germantown Academy's Patrick McGettigan and Valley Forge Military Academy's Audley Isaacs are savvy linebackers headed to Penn and Temple, respectively. Of the 6-foot-1, 225-pound McGettigan, GA coach Matt Dence said, "He's everything you want in a linebacker. He's really good. And he's got deceptive speed. " McGettigan is a senior positioned in the middle of a 4-3 scheme and flanked by Matt Gorman and Tanner Long.
SPORTS
August 25, 2016 | By Joe Juliano, STAFF WRITER
Senior linebacker Brandon Bell, who starred at Oakcrest High School in Mays Landing, N.J., is one of three Penn State players who have been voted as team captains for the 2016 season. Bell joins two other seniors, center Brian Gaia and linebacker Von Walker, as captains. Bell, of Mays Landing, started 11 games last season and finished fifth on the team with 65 tackles. He recorded 51/2 sacks and 121/2 tackles for loss while ranking sixth in the Big Ten with three forced fumbles. Gaia, a converted defensive tackle from Pasadena, Md., started all 13 games at guard last season, the only offensive lineman with that many starts.
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