Sunday, April 25, 2010


By Your Athletic Supporter, Jack Strap

This NFL-draft extended weekend represented the Changing of the PSU Guard (& I'm not talking about Stefen Wisniewski switching from Center to Guard) as it was OUT WITH THE "OLD" & IN WITH THE NEW @ PSU. It started Thursday night with Jared Odrick being selected in the 1st round by the Dolphins. Odrick was the most highly touted linemen to come out of Lebanon since John Scholes and he disappointed nobody who bleeds Blue & White. This was followed Friday night (did anyone else think extending the NFL Draft over 3 days was too-too much?) with LB Sean Lee being drafted in the 2nd round by the Cowboys & as an admitted Cowboys-hater & Lee-luver this was bitter-sweet to me. Then in the 3rd round, Navorro "Big Play" Bowman went to play for Hall of Fame LB Mike Singletary in San Fran, although not sure when Bowman's stock slipped because when he declared for the draft, the so-called experts were saying that he'd be a 1st round pick--wish he would have stayed in school. Then on Saturday, the NFL's "Black & Blue Division" welcomed in PSU TE's Andrew Quarless (Packers) & Micky Shuler Jr. (Vikings) followed by the 3rd LB selected from Linebacker U--former walk-on Josh Hull. Not that I looked at Daryll Clark as an NFL starting QB, but a little surprised he wasn't drafted late, so that's it for OUT WITH THE (not so) OLD.

IN WITH THE NEW started Saturday with Penn State's Blue-White Game with 55,000 in attendance & many more watching on "The Deuce". I guess the big story is at QB regarding who is going to succeed Clark who was an upgrade from the enigmatic Anthony Morelli. Will the next QB be another upgrade? It's hard to be too optimistic about that being the case next year as this inter-squad scrimmage saw disappointing performances from Kevin "Young & Restless in the Pocket" Newsome & Matt McGloin who combined were 15 of 35 for 160 yards, while 17-year old Paul Jones stole the show by completing 5 of 8 for 67 yards & the game's only two Touchdowns. Would JoePa really consider starting the season with a True Freshman QB? I highly doubt it, but we'll see.

IN WITH THE NEW @ PSU on Defense means having to replace Odrick & all the starting Linebackers. Well overall I certainly expect some drop-off there, but not too much drop-off as DT Devon Still has shown glimpses of great potential & now he gets his big chance surrounded by (3) starters from last year including Ollie Ogbu-u-u-u-u-u-u and Jack "The Ripper" Crawford. Linebacker U is re-loading with Michael Mauti (who probably would have started ahead of Josh Hull last year) returning from injury, Nate Stupar who has made some big plays the past 2 years in somewhat limited action, and the fairly experienced & cooly named Bani Gbadyu. On Offense, Andrew "Buy a Vowel" Szczerba who had a great Blue-White game last year will step in for Quarless & Shuler. The top RB's & WR's are all back led by Evan "Blue" Royster "Cult", the speedy Stephfon Green, Derek Moye, and WR Graham Zug who is also the back-up Punter after graduation & an underage drinking incident.

So what does all this OUT WITH THE OLD & IN WITH THE NEW @ PSU mean for next year? Now your guess is as good as mine, but it all will be clearer after PSU travels to National Champions Alabama in early September.