Tag Archive | "James Franklin"

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Edsall not concerned about what Franklin is doing at Penn State

Posted on 28 July 2014 by WNST Staff

MARYLAND COACH RANDY EDSALL

THE MODERATOR: We’re joined by Coach Randy Edsall. Coach, an opening statement.

COACH EDSALL: It’s a pleasure to be here on behalf of our University of Maryland, our athletic department, and we’re very thrilled to be a part of the Big Ten Conference and everything that it represents and stands for. And I know that the three young men that I brought here today with me  have been very, very impressed with what they’ve seen so far. And three outstanding guys that you’ll get a chance to talk to and visit with.

And C.J. Brown, our professional student, who is back for his sixth year, leader of our team as a quarterback, outstanding young man from Pittsburgh who hopefully has all the injuries behind him now. Had a good year last year, and we expect big things out of him this year as we look forward to this season.

We also have Jeremiah Johnson, a young man who is a defensive back for us, that is coming back off an injury from a year ago, fully recovered now, and has been a great leader for our team since he’s been at Maryland and somebody that’s 100 percent healthy now and ready to go.

And then also Stefon Diggs, our wide receiver, a junior wide receiver who has come back off his injury, and ready to go this year and fully recovered and really has done a good job this offseason.

But three outstanding young men. C.J. is into his master’s degree. J.J. has his degree, and Stefon’s doing an outstanding job in the classroom.

Just to give you a little bit about who we are at Maryland and what we’re all about. One of the things that we really believe in, and I think it fits into what the Big Ten is all about, we’re a program that really believes in developing our kids holistically, and that means that we’re going to develop them as students, as athletes, and as people, and to make sure that we provide them with all the things necessary so they can go on and be successful once their academic career is over, athletic career is over. And that’s something that we take a lot of pride in and it’s something that we’re able to attract young men to come to Maryland.

The one thing that we want to do also is we want to be able to win at the highest level and win the right way and to make sure that we’re
providing these young men with opportunities that maybe they didn’t think they could get, but also what we want to do is we want to provide them with better opportunities than what myself and our coaches have had for ourselves.

So we know we have a tremendous challenge that’s ahead of us this year as we enter the Big Ten, but one that we’re really looking
forward to.

We have 10 new opponents that we have to prepare for. So the spring and the summer has been a whirlwind for us as coaches from the
standpoint of getting to know the teams here in the Big Ten that we’re going to be going against and understanding their personnel, understanding their schemes and what they like to do.

But, again, we’re also looking forward to the fact that being a member of this conference, because of what this conference stands for
academically, the collegiate model that it represents in terms of helping the student-athletes grow as students and as athletes. With that, I’ll open it up to any questions.

Q. Have you sought any advice from other coaches about making a move to a new league?
COACH EDSALL: We’ve talked to some of the other coaches, but the good thing for me is the fact that I’ve been involved with this quite a few times in my career, having gone to the Jacksonville Jaguars and the expansion team, going into the league there as an assistant coach, and then also made the jump from 1-AA to the Big East.

So again, the biggest focus I think that we’ve had to have for us making this move is really just finding out who the other teams are and
studying what they do, but also what we have to do is make sure that we continue to do what we do and continue to make sure that we get better.

So that’s been our whole focus is continuing to work on making ourselves better and enhancing what we do, but getting an understanding and getting a feel for all the teams in this outstanding league. And I think we’ve done a good job with that throughout the spring and summer.

Q. I’m not asking you to look past your first game, but your first five. I want you to describe what’s that atmosphere going to be like at your place when Ohio State comes in the first Big Ten home game?
COACH EDSALL: Well, I think it will be electric. I think it will be a sold-out crowd. It will be something that I know our fans are looking forward to. Ohio State is a program with great tradition and history and one that has done very, very well. And it will be something that I think everybody that’s in attendance and everybody that gets a chance to watch on TV wished that they were there, because I think it will be a ton of excitement, one that I know we’re looking forward to as well as all the other games we’re going to play.

Q. Wondering, coming from the ACC, is there a certain type of player that you recruit when you’re in that conference, and is there
another type of player that you have to turn your attention to towards recruiting in the Big Ten now?
COACH EDSALL: The thing that, from a recruiting standpoint, we have a philosophy of who we are offensively and defensively and what we want to do special teams. We’re not going to change the type of young man that we want to recruit to the University of Maryland just because we’re coming to the Big Ten.

We have things that we believe in and what we want to do and all’s we’re going to do is we’re going to continue to recruit that model and
continue to recruit the business student-athletes that we can that fit what we want at the University of Maryland.

And again, we want to recruit the biggest, the fastest, the strongest players that we can in order to give us a chance to be able to compete for championships here in the Big Ten. And the one thing that we have seen by being a part of the Big Ten now is it’s really enhanced our recruiting.

We’ve expanded a little bit from our foothold that we were in, and kids want to be a part of being in the Big Ten in terms of the exposure
that you get through the Big Ten Network. The opportunity to play bowl games in California, Texas, Florida, New York, Detroit, that’s something that’s very, very appealing.

And so again, we’re already seeing those benefits from a recruiting standpoint, but we’re not going to change the model that we have based on maybe what everybody else does.

Q. I asked Coach Flood this question, I’ll ask it to you as well: The move for your two schools came very quickly, it seemed at least
publicly, from one league to the other. From a football standpoint, what was your initial reaction to this and just overall maybe the
story behind the scenes about how quickly this all came about?
COACH EDSALL: Well, I just think it’s an outstanding move for our institution. Not only from a football standpoint, but also from an academic standpoint, to be a part of the CIC and the consortium, those things.

I think everybody’s a winner, and I think that’s what, really, college athletics is all about and what institutions are all about, that everybody benefits from this, not just our student-athletes, but our students in general and our faculty.

And it was something that I wasn’t privy to. I just know that I had a discussion with my athletic director, Kevin Anderson, and he asked me about the possibility — what I thought about the possibility of going to the Big Ten. And I just told him I was all for it. I think it would be a really good move for us and one that I would embrace, and I’m sure that I know our players would embrace, to be part of the history and the tradition and what the Big Ten stands for.

So the thing is, I’m just glad that we’re finally to the point now where we can go and play games. It has been a long time, it seems, to get to this point. But I’m glad we’re here, and I’m glad it’s getting close to August and starting practice and getting the opportunity to compete against these outstanding programs and institutions that we’re going to compete against.

Q. Just curious, your first go-around here with the Big Ten Media Days, did you keep an eye what was going on in Greensboro last week with the ACC Media Days? Was it tough for you to let that go, so to speak?
COACH EDSALL: No. I was in St. Thomas and I was enjoying the heck out of St. Thomas.

So, again, change is inevitable in life, and what you do is you embrace change. And at the end of last season, we pretty much put it forward that this is where we’re going and this is what we have to concentrate on. And this is what our future is.

And, again, I’ve got to make sure that I keep everybody doing those things and looking straight ahead and concentrating on what we have to.

So it’s great to be here in Chicago, to see everybody here and be part of this. It’s really a lot of fun.

Q. Penn State had some success recruiting in your area for those faster, stronger players they talk about. How do you compete against a program that James Franklin brings?
COACH EDSALL: Well, I think when it comes to recruiting, there’s always a philosophy that you have a profile that you’re going to recruit.

And a lot of times, some of those guys that maybe go elsewhere don’t fit the profile that you’re looking for. And we know that we’re in an area where there’s going to be a lot of schools come in and recruit where we’re at. The thing we just stay focused on is just recruiting that profile and recruiting that young man that fits what we’re looking for.

And recruiting is a very competitive, very competitive game, and we’re going to go other places into people’s states and recruit people from there.

So again, I think the biggest thing with recruiting is getting the guys that fit what you’re looking for. And it also comes down to this: I think you have to be a staff that is good at developing those players, because there’s no player that comes into the program as a finished product.

And I think I have a great coaching staff. I know I have a great coaching staff of being able to bring young men in and to be able to develop them and them to be better than what people thought they would be or better than what maybe they thought they could be.

So getting kids on your campus is one thing. But it’s what you do with those kids once they’re on your campus that truly makes a difference in your program. And that’s one of the things that we’re starting to see at the University of Maryland, is we have 20 starters coming back and we have a lot of depth as these kids are getting better.

And to me, that’s the real thing about recruiting. It’s not only getting the kids there, it’s getting them developed and making them better
once they’re in your program and they’re there for the four or five years.

 

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Pasadena native Gaia (Gilman) gets Penn State football honor

Posted on 13 April 2014 by WNST Staff

Penn State Blue Squad Topples White, 37-0 in 
Front of 72,000

Chiappialle runs for 63 yards, two scores as Blue defeats White on 70 degree day in Beaver Stadium

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; April, 12, 2014 – Spring arrived in Happy Valley in full force for the annual Penn State Blue-White Game presented by AAA, as an estimated 72,000 fans watched the Blue squad defeat the White squad, 37-0, inside a sun-drenched Beaver Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The crowd of 72,000 was third-largest in Blue-White Game history, trailing only 76,500 in 2009 and 73,000 in 2008. The temperature hit 70 degrees as the huge crowd took in Coach James Franklin’s first Blue-White Game.

After the return of the players’  pre-game autograph session opened the day, the team took to the field and made what Franklin called “great progress” in the locker room after the contest. The first-year Nittany Lion mentor expressed that he was pleased with the strides the squad made during the 15-practice spring session, but made a point that there was still ample of work to do before the team opens fall camp in August to begin on-field preparations for the Aug. 30 opener vs. UCF in the Croke Park Classic.

After Sam Ficken’s (Valparaiso, Ind.) 26-yard field goal opened the scoring for the Blue team with 9:26 left in the first quarter, sophomore running back Cole Chiappialle (Beaver Falls) piled up some points late in the second quarter. 



Chiappialle carried the ball five times for 32 yards and two scores over the final three minutes of the half. After a punt, Chiappialle covered the final nine yards to paydirt to push the Blue team ahead, 10-0, and following Ryan Keiser’s (Selinsgrove) interception of D.J. Crook (West Barnstable, Mass.), he jolted 23 yards over the left side to make it 17-0 heading to the locker room.

Chiappialle finished with nine carries for a game-high 63 rushing yards and added two catches for 17 yards.

The defense was on point for the Blue team, as well, recording four of the five turnovers in the game (3 INT, 1 Fumble). Keiser, Trevor Williams (Baltimore, Md.) and Matthew Baney (State College) all grabbed interceptions, while Keiser forced a fumble that Jesse Della Valle (Pittsburgh, Pa.) recovered. Adam Cole (Belle Vernon) recovered a fumble to account for the only turnover forced for the White squad.

Baney’s interception opened the scoring in the second half, as the junior rumbled for 28 yards to cross the goal line and push the Blue team ahead, 23-0.

A bit of trickery caught the White squad’s defense off guard late in the third quarter when wideout Eugene Lewis (Wilkes-Barre) found Matt Zanellato (Burke, Va.) down the right side line for a 56-yard touchdown pass. Lewis came in motion and freshman quarterback Michael O’Connor (Ottawa, Ontario) pitched the ball to the speedy receiver. After a few steps, Lewis stopped and connected with Zanellato, who was wide open behind the defense for a 56-yard scoring strike. Akeel Lynch (Toronto, Ontario) capped the scoring with a three-yard touchdown run with 25 seconds late in the game to account for the 37-0 final score.

All four quarterbacks on the roster completed passes in the game, led by O’Connor’s 81 yards on 11-of-16 passing for the Blue team. Crook completed 10-of-17 passes for 68 yards for the White team.

Eight different receivers caught passes for the Blue Team and 10 White squad receivers grabbed catches. Kyle Carter (Bear, Del.) led the Blue side with four grabs and DeShawn Baker (Philadelphia) grabbed a pair of catches for eight yards to pace the White contingent. Zanellato’s 68 yards on two catches led all receivers.

On defense, the Blue’s C.J. Olaniyan (Warren, Mich.) led all players with five tackles, including 2.5 sacks and three tackles for loss. Keiser forced a fumble, intercepted a pass and came away with three stops, as well. Cornberbacks Da’Quan Davis (Baltimore, Md.) and Devin Pryor (San Bernardino, Calif.) each had four stops to lead the White, with Davis recording four solo stops.

Four Nittany Lions were recognized for their spring practice efforts at halftime. Junior defensive tackle Anthony Zettel (West Branch, Mich.) was presented the Jim O’Hora Award, as the redshirt junior switched from defensive end to defensive tackle during the spring. Redshirt sophomore Brian Gaia (Pasadena, Md.) transitioned from defensive line to offensive guard and earned the Red Worrell Award. Junior defensive end Deion Barnes (Philadelphia) was selected by the coaching staff as the recipient of the Frank Patrick Memorial Award.

Franklin and his staff added a fourth award, Coaches Special Team Award, which was presented to Ficken.

The Worrell Award is presented to the offensive player whose spring contribution is most worthy of special tribute. The prize was first presented in 1958 and is named in the honor of the late Red Worrell, a high school All-American from Centerville HS who was tragically electrocuted in an accident after an exceptional season on the 1957 Nittany Lion freshman team. Past Worrell Award winners include former offensive coordinator Fran Ganter, Lydell Mitchell, Mickey Shuler, Steve Smith, Kyle Brady, Bryant Johnson, Rodney Kinlaw, Graham Zug, Matt Stankiewitch and Ty Howle, the 2013 recipient.

The defensive award is named in honor of Jim O’Hora, a long-time Penn State assistant coach who was a member of the coaching staff for 31 years. Loyalty and attitude especially characterized Jim O’Hora and has typified many of the previous winners, including Walker Lee Ashley, Andre Collins, Michael Haynes, Anthony Adams, Tim Shaw, Michael Mauti, Jordan Hill and Stephon Morris, along with Jordan Lucas and C.J. Olaniyan in 2013. The O’Hora Award was first presented in 1977.

The Frank Patrick Memorial “Total Commitment” Award goes to junior class squad members who consistently follow through with their responsibilities in all facets of the football program and do so in exemplary manner. This includes academic pursuits, off-season preparation, in-season commitment, demeanor and community service. Jeff Hartings, Wally Richardson, Justin Kurpeikis, Bryan Scott, Robbie Gould, Josh Hull, John Urschel and the 2013 duo of Miles Dieffenbach and Mike Hull are among the previous recipients. Patrick was a member of the Lions’ coaching staff from 1949-73.

Urschel, who won the James E. Sullivan Award Friday night in Orlando as the nation’s top amateur athlete, presented the Patrick Award to Barnes.

Franklin and nine other head coaches will be participating in the 17-stop Penn State Coaches Caravan, starting May 1 at the Pegula Ice Arena on the University Park campus and ending May 22 in Erie. Franklin is scheduled to appear at all 17 events. More than 4,500 Penn State alumni and fans have registered during the initial three weeks. For all the Coaches Caravan event dates and locations, go to alumni.psu.edu/events/coachescaravan. 

Penn State returns 41 letterwinners and 15 starters (7 offense, 7 defense, 1 specialist) and will host Rose Bowl Champion Michigan State (Nov. 29), Ohio State (Oct. 25), Northwestern (Sept. 27-Homecoming) and Maryland (Nov. 1) during its 2014 Big Ten home schedule. The Nittany Lions will play a trio of 2013 Top 10 teams this fall.

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Your Monday Reality Check: O’Brien saga another example of flawed system

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Your Monday Reality Check: O’Brien saga another example of flawed system

Posted on 22 July 2013 by Glenn Clark

I’ve never hidden from the fact that I never actually finished my degree at the University of Maryland.

I mean, Mark Zuckerburg never finished his degree either. So no worries, right?

You (have to) know I’m an alum of the school in College Park, and our buddy Chris Lombardi once nicknamed me “The Tradition” because of the old Navy football advertising slogan “tradition never graduates.”

I never got around to finishing my degree for a number of reasons. One was because I got my first (nearly) full-time job in radio and I was very distracted. I missed a number of classes because my radio mentors told me I should try to be at the station as much as possible. I was introducing Jimmy Eat World records late at night and recapping Terps basketball games during the day. I never wanted to leave.

The other issue I dealt with was a bit more personal. My parents offered me about two semesters worth of help (and I’m forever grateful to them for being able to help even that much) financially, and then I was on my own. I cleverly took cheaper classes concurrently at the Community College of Baltimore County (who actually gave me a “degree”, so I’ve got that going for me) for awhile, but ultimately struggled after shifting back to Maryland. I tried to finish my degree using the school’s “University College” program, but I was simply putting myself in much too significant debt while trying to begin my professional life.

Much like Alex Len, I was forced to make the tough choice to leave school early.

It’s nearly a guarantee you don’t care about any of my collegiate career, but if you stuck around I have a point to make.

I would have LOVED to have had the opportunity to attend the University of Maryland with tuition paid. I didn’t get that opportunity. I couldn’t catch a football, I couldn’t dunk a basketball, I most certainly couldn’t nail a behind the back bounce shot on the lacrosse field.

Former University of Maryland quarterback Danny O’Brien WAS granted the opportunity to attend the University of Maryland on scholarship. He was given said scholarship because when he played quarterback in high school in North Carolina, former Terps Offensive Coordinator James Franklin and head coach Ralph Friedgen believed he could help them win football games and wanted to convince him to choose the school over other interested schools.

It’s important to point out that as someone who couldn’t really afford to finish my own degree at the same University of Maryland, I do not begrudge O’Brien one bit for being able to get his own without having to pay for it.

I don’t begrudge him one bit because as the quarterback of the football team, O’Brien had significant value at the University. He played a major role in helping the University make money, likely responsible for much more than the amount his three years of scholarship money added up to.

I reference this story because we found out this weekend that Danny O’Brien would be spending his final year of collegiate eligibility at Division II Catawba College this fall. It is a long fall from ACC Rookie of the Year (2010) and starting quarterback at the University of Wisconsin (2012).

The news was first reported by Scout.com Friday night and met with reaction that was quite surprising to me. Here are some of those reactions (including a bit of language) from the @WNST Twitter account…

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Former Maryland QB O’Brien transferring to Catawba College

Posted on 20 July 2013 by WNST Staff

Former University of Maryland and University of Wisconsin quarterback Danny O’Brien has found a new college home.

The former Terps and Badgers QB will spend his final season of eligibility at Division II Catawba College in Salisbury, North Carolina. The news was first reported by Scout.com. O’Brien’s final college home will not be far from Kennersville, NC-where O’Brien played at East Forsyth High School.

O’Brien spent two years of eligibility with the Terrapins in 2010 and 2011, claiming ACC Freshman of the Year honors in 2010. O’Brien was 192/337 that season, throwing for 2,438 yards and 22 TD’s while helping to lead the Terps to their most recent bowl appearance, a win over East Carolina in the Military Bowl.

At the end of the 2010 season, then Maryland Offensive Coordinator/Head Coach in Waiting James Franklin left for the head coaching job at Vanderbilt and the school chose to successful head coach Ralph Friedgen. O’Brien chose to stay at Maryland for his sophomore season under new head coach Randy Edsall, finishing his degree at the University in the process. O’Brien began splitting time with fellow sophomore QB C.J. Brown before having his season cut short when suffering a broken arm in a blowout loss to Notre Dame.

After his sophomore season, O’Brien elected to take advantage of a NCAA rule that allowed graduate students to transfer without penalty  to a school that offers graduate programs not available at the previous University. O’Brien was originally blocked from seeking a transfer to Vanderbilt by Edsall, but then released to seek transfer to any non-ACC school. Edsall however did file a complaint accusing Franklin of having improper contact with O’Brien before the quarterback had decided to transfer.

Ultimately, O’Brien chose to transfer to Wisconsin. He played in just seven games during his junior season in 2012, being replaced both by freshman Joel Stave and later by senior Curt Phillips as then Badgers head coach Bret Bielema cited struggles with turnovers.

O’Brien was once viewed as a legitimate NFL prospect. Only a few former Indians have ever reached the NFL Draft, including former Baltimore Colts OT David Taylor (1973).

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Former Terps assistant Franklin apologizes for wives comment

Posted on 01 June 2012 by WNST Staff

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Former Maryland quarterback O’Brien granted permission to transfer to Vanderbilt

Posted on 22 February 2012 by WNST Staff

After initially prohibiting former starting quarterback Danny O’Brien from going to Vanderbilt, the University of Maryland has had a change of heart.

O’Brien will have the opportunity to join former Terps offensive coordinator James Franklin if he so chooses after coach Randy Edsall had balked at the idea of the quarterback joining the Commodores. Offensive tackle Max Garcia and linebacker Mario Rowson will also have the chance to transfer to Vanderbilt where Franklin led the program to a 6-7 record and an appearance in the Liberty Bowl in his first season. Vanderbilt is not schedule to play Maryland in the near future.

“While at first I thought it was important to limit the institutions to which they could transfer, I have since reconsidered my decision,” coach Randy Edsall said in a statement released by Maryland. “At the end of the day, I want what’s best for these guys and I wish them well in their futures. As a program we are looking forward to putting this distraction behind us and to moving forward.”

However, whether Franklin had improper contact with O’Brien remains in question as Maryland has reportedly filed a complaint with the Atlantic Coast Conference. The matter will be turned over to the SEC for further investigation.

Edsall’s transfer policy does not allow former players to transfer to other ACC schools or upcoming opponents outside the conference.

O’Brien is on track to graduate in the spring, leaving him two years of eligibility at the FBS level. If he elects to transfer to a school with a graduate program not offered at Maryland, O’Brien would be able to play immediately without having to sit out for a year.

Franklin was instrumental in O’Brien’s recruitment out of North Carolina, and the two shared a close relationship before Franklin’s departure to become the head coach at Vanderbilt in December 2010.

 

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The 15-7-0 Might Be Tricky, But It’s Always A Treat

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The 15-7-0 Might Be Tricky, But It’s Always A Treat

Posted on 31 October 2011 by Glenn Clark

You know how it works. 15 positive football observations, 7 “not so” positive football observations and one “oh no” moment from outside the world of football.

(As a reminder, we don’t do Baltimore Ravens analysis here. We do PLENTY of that elsewhere. This is about the rest of the world of football.)

15 Positive Observations…

1. With the entire country winning, Andrew Luck looked like a Heisman Trophy winner and future #1 pick Saturday night in Los Angeles.

It’s a shame the USC Trojans gave the ball away just outside the endzone in overtime number three against Stanford. Not only because I picked the Cardinal to lose last Thursday when I played John Allen (of Charm City Devils fame) in “Everybody Beats Glenn”, but also because it was a hell of a game.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rx7vpD_D4g0[/youtube]

I’ll go ahead and move Luck ahead of Boise State QB Kellen Moore on my Heisman Watch list. Yeah, I guess I’m a sellout. But it’s hard not to like what you see with this kid. Alabama RB Trent Richardson is third on my list; which now ends at three because one of those guys will be your winner.

Going back to Saturday night, Andrew Luck also did this…

luck

2. Marvin Lewis is (very deservingly) the winningest coach in Cincinnati Bengals history.

I get more and more concerned about the Ravens’ pending matchups with the Bengals every time I watch them…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u0an-M9us5Y[/youtube]

They did all of that without Cedric Benson and they were playing the Seahawks IN Seattle.

By the way, did you know Adam “Pacman” Jones was still in the NFL? Me neither.

3. I’ll assume Frank Gore is particularly happy to no longer be thought of as “the best player on a bad team.”

Also part of the San Francisco 49ers’ win over the Cleveland Browns? Joe Staley playing the role of “Offensive Lineman” in “Offensive Lineman makes catch, runs with football”….

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDTJcYX4hQA[/youtube]

Just beautiful. By the way, I guess the Niners have to be number two in my new NFL power rankings, right? How’s that possible?

4. Penn State controls their own destiny to reach the Big Ten Championship Game, but their schedule leads you to believe Ohio State is still very much in the mix.

Joe Paterno passed Eddie Robinson as the all-time winningest coach in Division I history as Penn State beat Illinois. It was the only time the word “pass” was used in Happy Valley Saturday. I don’t care for much of anything about the Nittany Lions, but I respect their students for packing in behind the goalposts to try to make the Illini’s tying field goal try harder…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-4XhbiILGI[/youtube]

Things get VERY difficult for PSU now, as they host Nebraska in State College next week before finishing conference play with trips to Columbus and Madison. Speaking of which…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwuXzK5Mehs[/youtube]

Wisconsin fans were once again hoping a penalty flag could save them, but Braxton Miller did NOT cross the line of scrimmage before throwing the game winner to Devin Smith. Russell Wilson’s Heisman hopes are totally up in smoke, and the Badgers are now a long shot (at best) for the Rose Bowl, while the Buckeyes are still very much in the picture.

5. Nebraska is firmly back in the race for the Other spot in the Big Ten title game, and Michigan is by no means out of the picture.

Michigan State had no magic left after an incredible two weeks-or more realistically had no answer for some dude named Rex Burkhead, who reportedly plays for the Cornhuskers…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TiYLzEwG16Y[/youtube]

Elsewhere in the world of bizarre football names, the Wolverines stomped Purdue thanks to a running back whose name is (seriously) Fitzgerald Toussaint. Shouldn’t he be playing for Dartmouth?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BXTWG9xmjgs[/youtube]

Not part of the Big Ten title picture? Iowa. They lost to Minnesota. Yes. That Minnesota.

6. Stephen Tulloch may have shut down the internet after sacking Tim Tebow in the Detroit Lions’ win over the Denver Broncos.

We’ll start with the highlights…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tc7Zp6FdEVU[/youtube]

And now for those that missed it in the video…

tulloch

I like Tim Tebow. I also like this. It is what it is.

7. I guess we can assume the Philadelphia Eagles are just fine at this point.

The Eagles DESTROYED the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football. Sadly the highlight of the game was a Laurent Robinson catch that didn’t count at all…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FwDZz-a6r8[/youtube]

The SNF broadcast was obsessed with Philly O-Line coach Howard Mudd. I actually have no issue with that. Howard Mudd is awesome. Otherwise they’d have been obsessed with Rob Ryan, and I’m about done with that.

Also of note, Jason Kelce snapped the ball off his own ass at one point…

kelce

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The #Occupy15-7-0 Campaign Hasn’t Really Caught On Yet

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The #Occupy15-7-0 Campaign Hasn’t Really Caught On Yet

Posted on 17 October 2011 by Glenn Clark

You know how it works. 15 positive football observations, 7 “not so” positive football observations and one “oh no” moment from outside the world of football.

(As a reminder, we don’t do Baltimore Ravens analysis here. We do PLENTY of that elsewhere. This is about the rest of the world of football.)

15 Positive Observations…

1. After beating Old Dominion in miraculous fashion, I understand why Towson Coach Rob Ambrose’s first comment was “Oh my God!”

If you’re not aware, the Tigers topped ODU after trailing by 11 points late in the fourth quarter. They recovered an onside kick and then completed the miracle when QB Grant Enders found WR Tom Ryan for a 63 yard TD on 4th and 29.

Impossible?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z93IQd7oaw4&feature=related[/youtube]

This season his been crazy for Towson football. I’m more and more surprised they didn’t win in College Park.

2. The Green Bay Packers are so good that even when they’re not very good they win.

Seriously, the defending Super Bowl champs (and last remaining undefeated team) did absolutely NOTHING in the second half. No matter, they had already ensured themselves a blowout victory.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1hNThbRuqQ[/youtube]

Yes, that WAS AJ Hawk flipping off his own sideline. I don’t get it either.

hawk

3. I’ll assume Michael Turner’s big performance Sunday came because he heard I had picked the Atlanta Falcons to win the Super Bowl before the season.

But it’s not as though I feel any more comfortable about my chances of being right.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fd1WLndlnrA[/youtube]

I liked Cam Newton’s Deion Sanders dance. I would assume Panthers fans would prefer that he win games. He will.

4. I’m keeping Kellen Moore and Trent Richardson just ahead of Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson in my Heisman Trophy watch. (Landry Jones is now 5th for me if you’re scoring at home).

I’m sure this keeps you up at night. Russell Wilson had the best highlight of the weekend in Wisconsin’s blowout win over Indiana…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzTmnQNUWfs[/youtube]

Trent Richardson had both the best game of his career and perhaps the best juke of all time in Alabama’s win over Ole Miss…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1HaGJaJOjQw[/youtube]

But I put Kellen Moore at the top of the list a few weeks ago and he hasn’t done anything to make me change my mind. Certainly not in Boise State’s blowout win over Colorado State…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Obt4pqafnLA[/youtube]

Luck was great again in Stanford’s big win over Washington State, but he might have been upstaged by teammate Ty Montgomery…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lb2LUWV6S48[/youtube]

Landry Jones should probably not be making his first appearance in my Top 5. Hey, it’s my list jerks. He was really good in Oklahoma’s win over Kansas…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wefV1zoReY8[/youtube]

5. So let me get this straight. Ryan Tannehill was a great receiver, now he’s a great quarterback and he might go on to be an orthopedic surgeon? I wish I had one skill.

Tannehill threw four TD’s to Ryan Swope alone in Texas A&M’s big win over Baylor Saturday…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kcH0_drbtu8[/youtube]

In the loss, Bears QB Robert Griffin III…I don’t know how to describe this. I’m just glad Gus Johnson called it…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sztf9JpzDEM[/youtube]

Elsewhere in the Big 12, Oklahoma State and Texas traded kickoff return TD’s. And otherwise the Cowboys kicked the Longhorns’ asses…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wiTrot49na4[/youtube]

6. The New York Giants got a nice win over the Buffalo Bills. How the hell did they lose to the Seattle Seahawks last week?

It wasn’t a good 4th quarter for Drayton Florence…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CbZd7OAxyZ0[/youtube]

But really, they lost to the Seahawks last week. How in the hell is that possible?

7. Attention Tom Brady: We get it. You’re good at quarterbacking.

He came up with a big time throw to Aaron Hernandez to help the New England Patriots beat the Dallas Cowboys…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c11qzU8HVAQ[/youtube]

By law, we’ll all be talking about Tony Romo on Monday instead of anything that happened in the game. Right up until we remember Tim Tebow is playing again next weekend.

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Former Terps WR Torrey Smith ready to “help Ravens get to a Super Bowl…and win it”

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Former Terps WR Torrey Smith ready to “help Ravens get to a Super Bowl…and win it”

Posted on 04 May 2011 by Ryan Chell

From the start of the evaluation process for the 2011 NFL Draft, the Ravens personnel department said repeatedly that they were very interested in bringing in former Maryland Terps wide receiver Torrey Smith for a look at solving their offensive woes.

Torrey Smith

But only if the price was right.

And that price was at best a second-round pick-which happened to be the case as former Ravens LB Peter Boulware announced that Baltimore had selected the Maryland Terrapins junior receiver with the 58th selection last Friday night.

And for Smith, playing for the nearby Ravens was definitely a possibility  for him, as he told Thyrl Nelson Monday on “The Mobtown Sports Beat” in his first appearance on Nelson’s program since becoming a Raven.

Smith had joined Nelson every week since January giving updates on his draft preparation.

“I knew it was a possibility,” Smith told Nelson. “I wanted to be there.”

Before the draft based on Smith’s pure athletic ability, resume at Maryland and his Combine numbers, Torrey Smith had been projected by every mock draft to at least land on all 32 NFL teams.

But luckily, Smith was able to fall given some of the other wide receivers and position players being of need.

But despite not being drafted Thursday by an NFL team, Smith knew that he could always rely on the Ravens to call his name.

“I felt like Ozzie and Coach Harbaugh wanted to draft me,” Smith said. “I’m just happy everything happened the way it did.”

In a sense, it seemed like it was meant to be for the Ravens to take their second Jimmy Smith of the draft weekend (Torrey’s real first name is James.)

“I didn’t necessarily think he was going to be there,” Ravens director of pro personnel Eric DeCosta told Drew Forrester Tuesday morning. “I thought it was probably a 50-50 shot.”

It does come as quite the surprise that Smith was available to the Ravens at 58 given his impressive resume in his final season at Maryland.

Smith had 67 catches (4th best in school history), 1,055 yards and a Maryland-record 12 TDs in his final season at College Park, and built on his career numbers of 152 catches, 2,215 yards, and 19 TDs.

Only former Raven Jermaine Lewis has more receiving touchdowns (21)and yards (2,932)in his career than Smith.

Smith hopes he can bring the same skills to the table taking passes from Joe Flacco behind two of the best in the business.

“I just want to help anywhere I can,” Smith said. “I’m lucky to be able to learn from Derrick Mason and Anquan Boldin. I’m looking forward to learning from them.”

Smith also offers versatility and options to the Ravens in the return game. In fact, Smith broke onto the scene in the ACC more for his return skills at first-then he blossomed into an NFL-caliber receiver.

In his career, he amassed 2, 983 return yards which broke the previous ACC-record.

His three career touchdowns returned via kickoff are a Terrapins school record.

All-in-all, it was everything Smith brings to the Ravens that caused Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome to call Smith their “three-pointer”.

“I think the Ravens can use my speed,” Smith said. “They need that from me. I’m happy I can provide that and give the Ravens my best up there.”

But Torrey’s going to have to put on the brakes for now. Just like the rest of the Ravens draft picks minus first-rounder Jimmy Smith, Torrey Smith unfortunately wasn’t able to get a playbook from the Ravens coaching staff due to the lockout being put back into place by the owners Friday into Saturday.

“I was only able to say hello at the press conference and that was it. I couldn’t talk about football and didn’t get any playbooks,” Smith said. “It was tough.”

But so far, he has heard from several of his new Ravens teammates though and they are ready to embrace him as quickly as the opportunity presents itself.

And he’s ready to use the same speed in getting prepared toward playing in the NFL that he used toward burning past ACC-defenders and tacklers.

“My goal is to help the Ravens get to a Super Bowl and win it,” Smith said. “I hope the judge rules in favor of the players so that everything can get going.”

WNST thanks Torrey Smith for joining “The Mobtown Sports Beat” after being drafted by the Ravens and leading up to the Draft as well! Torrey being a Raven makes it that much easier to root for him! WNST-We Never Stop Talking Baltimore Sports!

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Despite recent coaching departures-including most recently Don Brown-Terps football coach Edsall pleased with first Signing Day

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Despite recent coaching departures-including most recently Don Brown-Terps football coach Edsall pleased with first Signing Day

Posted on 08 February 2011 by Ryan Chell

Last week, high school Signing Day for the most part was pushed under the rug because of all the hype leading up to Super Bowl XLV.

But one person hard at work in the few short weeks he has been at the helm of the Terps has been new football coach Randy Edsall.

Edsall’s recruiting class was also pushed under the rug due to the fact that the “experts” didn’t give the first-year Terps coach much credit for what he brought to College Park.

Edsall-hired as the new football coach of Maryland in the coming days before coaches were allowed to hit the recruiting trail back in January-had a shorter time to work with than most coaches implementing his own recruiting plan following the firing of  Ralph Friedgen.

Edsall joined Thyrl Nelson of “The Mobtown Sports Beat” to discuss his results from last week’s Signing Day, and with the National Letters of Intent still finding his way to his desk as of Monday, he is pleased with the results and likes the way the team will be shaping up for the 2011 season.

And despite the recent departures of some of Friedgen’s former assistants-guys like James Franklin(who left to become the head football coach at Vanderbilt)-and defensive coordinator Don Brown-who just this past week announced that he will take the same position at Edsall’s old stomping grounds at UConn-the recruits still saw College Park as the place to be.

“It’s been a situation where we were able to maintain most of the guys who were committed here previous to my arrival,” Edsall told Nelson. “And we were able to get three or four guys where we had spots that needed to get done.”

Ralph Friedgen in his decade-long run at Maryland was always good at recruiting the best of athletes to become Terps-guys like Vernon Davis, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Shawne Merriman, and Torrey Smith-and Edsall said that his first recruiting class at Maryland hasn’t missed that beat either.

“You know, being able to maintain the speed and athleticism that we had on the defensive side and I thought we got three quality receivers so overall I was pleased with the work and the final tally of these twenty-one recruits.”

The recruit that has jumped off the charts-or at least highlights the receivers Edsall signed-is Parkwood High School (North Carolina) wide receiver Marcus Leak, the 44th ranked wide receiver prospect in the country.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlAAdkXwRnU[/youtube]

Leak is along the same lines of a Torrey Smith, and has shown on the prep level to have adequate speed and impressive size and bulk.

He is also expected to be a force in the return game when he suits up for Edsall on the field.

Receivers coach Lee Hull was one of a handful Friedgen assistants to remain on Edsall’s staff, and Hull will no doubt have an impact on the grooming of Leak to help him hit the field quicker and perform better when he does hit Byrd Stadium.

Another prospect catching attention and praise from Edsall and others is Hoschtown, Georgia native Tyler Cierski, a protypical fullback at 6’1, 240 pounds.

Tyler Cierski

Cierski was rated as the #2 fullback in the nation according to ESPN.com, and his signing could be attention to the fact that Edsall is going to commit his teams to running the football effectively and not relying entirely on the shoulders of his ACC Rookie of the Year QB Danny O’Brien.

Cierski could eventually be blocking for the recruit who signed late as of Monday- #26th ranked running back Justus Pickett out Ardrey Kell High School in North Carolina.

Justus Pickett

Pickett had several other schools on his list, including West Virginia, Arkansas, Duke, Wake Forest, and Ball State.

The 5’10, 166-pound running back is said to have 4.3-4.6 speed and has drawn some comparisons to Mountaineers running back Noel Devine.

On the defensive side of the ball, defensive coordinator Don Brown was expected to remain with Edsall and run that side of the ball, but he recently announced that he was taking his services up to UConn to run new coach Paul Pasqualoni’s defense.

Brown said the move was based on being closer to his family in the New England area, and the former UMass head coach will be going home apparently.

That leaves Edsall with a hole in his coaching lineup at defensive coordinator, but whoever picks up the headset there will have some toys to play with in the coming years.

Quinton Jefferson

Three-star defensive end recruit Quinton Jefferson (Woodland Hills, Pittsburgh)-who had received offers from Iowa, Cincinnati, WVU, Pittsburgh, and Wisconsin-could either be that dominant pass rusher in the next few years for the Terps on the line or if Edsall remains confident in the 3-4 as his defense, Jefferson might be the next Shawne Merriman.

Cole Farrand-a three-star linebacker/tight end out of Sparta, NJ/Pope John-could see himself at either position for Edsall in the coming years.

ESPN has him ranked as the #25th ranked OLB in the prep nation.

You can also add to the mix at the linebacking corps Maryland’s own Alex Twine-out of Quince Orchard High School.

Twine may make an immediate impact on special teams and has already has impressed the coaching staff with his sure tackling ability.

The wild card in the defensive recruits Edsall mentioned may be defensive tackle Keith Bowers out of Dwyer High School in Palm Springs, Florida.

Bowers already weighs in at 6’1, 250 pounds, and he could be that force in the middle for Edsall’s defense.

But while that remains to be seen-as well as the rest of this recruiting class-just as it is in the transition from college to the NFL, some of these guys may not pan out.

“You never know how someone will turn out until you’re four or five years down the road,” Edsall noted. “I just worry about what we do as an evaluation as coaches.”

Maryland’s recruiting class was rated ninth out of the 12 ACC schools, with only Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, and N.C. State trailing the Terps according to ESPN.com.

Edall however doesn’t believe in all that rankings and star-systems when it comes to recruiting college athletes. He just wants guys who he knows can play the game of football and do it well enough to his standards.

“I don’t put any credence in the star system,” he said. “What we’re looking for is how they’re going to fit into the schemes we play and do they fit in academically…socially…with their work ethic, and character wise. Those are the decisions we have to make…all those other things are just there to make money for fans to buy into.”

But what Edsall does know that these 21 guys are committed to the University of Maryland 100%, and they’ve already taken that first step in proving so by signing their letters of intent and getting to work.

“It’s so refreshing,” Edsall said,” because you’re teaching these kids about commitment and what commitment means.”

WNST has you covered talking Baltimore sports!

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