Thursday, September 18, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Positively Penn State

At the risk of sounding like a pollyanna, Penn State has reason to puff out its chest this week and "Lion Eyes" figures it'll hop on the bandwagon and help spread the good news.

Positively Penn State

At the risk of sounding like a pollyanna, Penn State has reason to puff out its chest this week and "Lion Eyes" figures it'll hop on the bandwagon and help spread the good news.

With National Signing Day a week away, Penn State's recruiting haul is looking like a solid group. The Lions have addressed many of their needs -- in the defensive secondary, at wideout and quarterback -- with some of the better prospects in the nation. Still, Penn State needs that cherry on the top and it could come in the form of Olney, Md. linebacker Jelani Jenkins. Ranked as the best outside linebacker in the nation by scout.com, Jenkins has reportedly narrowed his list to Penn State and Florida. My guess is the Gators, but stranger things have happened (see: Derrick Williams).

Off the gridiron -- yes! -- men's basketball is garnering some headlines. The Lions are 16-5 overall, 5-3 in the Big Ten and head to top-ranked Michigan State on Saturday and -- provided they pull off the upset -- the Lions could launch themselves into the NCAA Tournament picture. It's been a long time since those around the program have thought about March Madness -- eight years to be exact. There's still a lot of work to be done, however. Because of a weak non-conference schedule, the Lions have a not-so-impressive 72 RPI and need some help to get into the NCAA conversation. Let's put that aside for the moment and celebrate what has been.

Off the field, 55 members of the football team earned a 3.0 GPA or higher during the fall semester. That's eyebrow raising any way you slice it.

That's it. I'll be back to my negative self next week when Jenkins picks the Gators.

 

About this blog
Joe Juliano has been a staff writer for The Inquirer for 20 years, covering college sports, golf and the Penn Relays.

Joining Joe this season will be John Stuetz, an intern for The Inquirer and senior at Penn State majoring in print journalism and marketing. This is John's third season covering the Penn State beat. He previously covered the Nittany Lions for the Daily Collegian, the university's student newspaper. A native of Glenside, Montgomery County, John graduated from Cheltenham High School.

For Joe, this will be his fifth season on the paper's Penn State beat. He previously covered the Nittany Lions for United Press International from 1976 to 1984.

Reach Joe at jjuliano@phillynews.com.

Joe Juliano Inquirer Staff Writer
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