Blue White Roundtable: Alabama Week Edition
September 7, 2011 – | 1 Comment

Once again, it’s Adam Collyer over at BlackShoeDiaries providing the questions, and we, your humble bloggers, providing the answers. Mine are below, and you can venture off to the remote areas of the blogosphere that …

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Notes From Media Day

Submitted by on August 17, 2011No Comment

Before I begin, I should probably explain why we haven’t posted in a while. Frankly, it’s just been bad timing. I just got back from a study abroad program in Europe, and Charlie is still working his way back from a late-summer vacation. And let’s be honest, aside from the occasional recruiting commitment, there really hasn’t been much going on in the way of Penn State news. But now that we’re just a few weeks away from the regular season, we’ll be getting right back into the regular swing of things. And though we weren’t able to make it to State College yesterday, here’s what you need to know about these Nittany Lions that we  learned yesterday.

Image Credit: PennLive
We Still Don’t Have a Quarterback. Well, it would have been a longshot if on Media Day, we found out that JoePa, Jay, and Galen had decided on a starter. In all fairness, it’s only been a couple weeks into the summer practices–the early summer ones were, by regulation, unsupervised–and reports from observers have indicated that neither Rob Bolden nor Matt McGloin has gained a leg up on the other. As if last year’s production from each didn’t help stoke the flames of the debate that’s been playing out, surely, amongst the coaches as they have in the fanbase, the two are neck-and-neck in their pursuit of the QB job.

PSU Practice -QB position - from what I've seen which is not much but more than most other than the coaches - I could not separate the two
Gerry DiNardo

Even more interestingly, Joe left the door open for both Bolden and McGloin to see the field, as part of a 2-QB system–but that seems unlikely. I’m pretty sure I remember hearing similar rhetoric three years ago, when Daryll Clark and Pat Devlin jockeyed for the job. It’s almost ironic–at last year’s media day, Bolden put on such a show for visiting reporters that even as a true freshman, he’d wedged his name into the discussion, eventually winning the job before having it taken from him after suffering a concussion. Yesterday, though, promulgated more of the same, and though there’s only little more than two weeks before the Lions take on Indiana State, something tells me the quarterback situation is far from settled. I’m an unwavering supporter of Bolden in this competition, but at this point, I just want to see someone named, so they can get the first-team reps either one could’ve sorely used.

Exit Stephfon Green. Three years ago, Stephfon Green was an enigma. A converted defensive back, he was reputed to be one of the fastest players in the Big Ten, someone who would challenge Evan Royster for carries.  The first time he ever touched the ball in the Blue and White, in the 2008 Blue/White game, he ran for an 80-yard touchdown. In his freshman season, Green was a more-then-capable backup to Royster, racking up nearly 900 yards from scrimmage and 5 touchdowns, but as he matured, he lost some of that effectiveness. Some of it seemed a loss in explosiveness, another part might due to misuse (a Green dive up the middle seemed to be the preferred playcall on third and short, for no f***ing reason whatsoever), but Green was never able to recapture the glory of his early career. Yet, he still seemed to be a leader, a formidable, steadying, clubhouse presence, and someone who might have been expected to step it up as a senior, given more carries to split with Silas Redd. But all through the summer, the whispers had been there, and yesterday, we got verification: Stephfon Green is no longer with the team. Something tells me we’ll never find out why.

Joe: I doubt that he’ll be back. Stephfon has had some problems with me and right now I think for the benefit and especially the good of the football team, it might be better if he backs away right now.

Enter Glenn Carson. Heading into the 2011 season, the one position that no Penn State fans were concerned about is its traditional strength. Thanks to the graduations of Chris Colasanti and Bani Gbadyu, it seemed safe to say that Linebacker U was back. With Mike Mauti on the inside, and a rotation including Gerald Hodges, Nate Stupar, Khairi Fortt, and Mike Hull, not only would the Lions boast a glut of talent, but a deep rotation. Somewhow, we all forgot about Glenn Carson. He might be one of the most forgotten big-time recruits Penn State ever got–he was a 4-star kid, a top-10 inside linebacker in all the recruiting rankings, but back surgery forced a grayshirt, and he’s failed to engender the same kind of excitement as some as his fellow youngsters. But reports from camp are that he’s so impressed the coaching staff that Mauti is back working on the outside, with Carson working to lock up the job at MLB. There’s still time to work Mauti back inside should Carson falter–he played there exclusively during the spring–but the emergence of Glenn would only add to an already stacked lniebacking corps.

Curtis Drake is on the mend. It’s funny, about Curtis Drake. The way we talk about him, you’d expect to have more than 8 career catches, 4 career carries, and 122 yards from scrimmage. But it was more the way those yards were amassed that captured the curiosity of the Penn State fanbase–an explosive freshman who excelled in gadget plays was someone we were excited to watch grow and evolve. Obviously, that’s been de-railed, first by the broken leg he suffered two years ago, then by the subsequent break of the opposite leg this past spring. But the good news is that Drake has been healing quicker this time around, and may well be ready in time for the regular season. Though JoePa was somewhat cryptic about his ability to get back onto the field, it would be a big boost to an already crowded receiver position, especially at the slot, where Devon Smith has been somewhat entrenched, and where freshman Bill Belton has been expected to contribute.

Crawford and Latimore are back. The career paths of Eric Latimore and Jack Crawford have been remarkably similar, even if their paths to Penn State couldn’t have been more disparate. Both showed flashes as freshmen, fitting right into Larry Johnson’s trademark deep defensive line rotation. As sophomores, both became entrenched in the starting lineup, and both excelled. Jared Odrick was the dominant player on the line, but Crawford was honorable mention All-Big Ten, and Latimore was solid, if less spectacular than his linemate, the athletic freak. But before their junior seasons, each suffered nagging injuries–from Latimore, a broken wrist, and for Crawford, a bum foot. Neither ever seemed to be at 100%, both missed significant time, and the defensive line was as bad as it’s ever been. But reporters from yesterday are that both are back, healthy, and ready to pick up where they left off after the 2009 season.

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