Penn State Nittany Lions: Gregg Garrity

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- The all-time Penn State fantasy draft might be over, but the controversy has only just begun.

NittanyNation thought it'd take an extra day to reflect on the process, offer some analysis, give some opinions and then move on from a memorable three-hour, 24-round draft.

Steve Jones and Mike Poorman will grade each team later today, but NittanyNation wanted to give its own rundown of the draft and offer a behind-the-scenes look at a few picks.

The best PSU player? In a casual Twitter poll Monday night, linebacker Jack Ham received the most mentions for best overall Penn State player. Team Prato took him in the second round, with everyone except the softspoken McDuffie playfully calling Lou Prato a jerk. (Everyone wanted Ham.)

It was an interesting, nonscientific poll because it took about a dozen votes for a single name to be repeated. LaVar Arrington and John Cappelletti also received multiple mentions.

Prato voted for Lenny Moore by drafting him with his No. 1 overall pick.

[+] EnlargeO.J. McDuffie
USA TODAY SportsO.J. McDuffie wasn't happy when Team Moyer drafted him -- immediately before McDuffie planned to draft himself.
Most memorable part of the draft: Definitely the end of the seventh round. Only one receiver had been drafted until that point (Bobby Engram), and Team Moyer needed a wideout.

So, right before Team McDuffie had back-to-back picks, Team Moyer selected O.J. McDuffie for his own fantasy team.

Team Moyer: "Sorry to do this to you, OJ, but I got to. I'm taking O.J. McDuffie. Need Collins to throw to someone."

Team McDuffie: "Damn, Josh. I was just about take myself."

That's when four receivers -- McDuffie, Bryant Johnson, Deon Butler, Kenny Jackson -- were taken consecutively and caused headaches for the other three participants. That was a key part to the draft. And, five days later, O.J. still wasn't happy about the move.

"I still can't believe you did that," McDuffie said, laughing. "Right before me."

Biggest head-scratchers: Cornerback Brian Miller as the No. 2 overall pick? C'mon, Team McClellan. Cornerback was the slimmest position in the draft, so corners had added value -- that was McClellan's reasoning for taking him so high -- but one could've held off on Miller until at least the fourth or fifth round.

Team McClellan passed up Ki-Jana Carter and Kerry Collins for Miller. Team Morris also received some ribbing for making Sean Lee the No. 1 LB, but Stephon Morris wanted to draft someone in the first round with whom he had played. So that was understandable.

But when Morris took kicker Chris Bahr in the 10th round? Definite head-scratcher -- although he did explain that move here. McDuffie also surprised just about everyone when he drafted Larry Johnson over the likes of Curt Warner and Cappelletti.

Best undrafted players: Where to even begin? There were plenty; you could make up a great team on just left-overs from the draft.

QB Tony Sacca, FB Franco Harris, RB Blair Thomas, WR Derek Moye, OT Chris Conlin, and C Matt Stankiewitch are among the best remaining picks on offense. As far as the defense: DT Jimmy Kennedy, DE Bruce Bannon, LB Michael Mauti, CB Derek Bochna and S Harry Hamilton were also undrafted.

Best sleepers (or best-value picks): OK, we'll throw Team McClellan a bone here. Grabbing two-time All-American and College Football Hall-of-Famer Dennis Onkotz in the 16th round was probably the steal of the draft.

That greatly boosted Team McClellan's LB corps. And he grabbed another great-value pick with Lydell Mitchell in the 20th round. Team Morris definitely got great value in QB Todd Blackledge in the 19th round, and Team Moyer's best-value picks appeared to be LB Greg Buttle in the 18th round and Kenny Jackson in the eighth.

Morris means business: A lot of participants hit the books before the draft, but Morris' preparation was a little different. As a player, he had a bit of a leg up, because he didn't just stop at reading up on all the players -- he went straight to the source.

Morris called up several former players -- including Lee, Chafie Fields, NaVorro Bowman, Derrick Williams and Arrington -- to talk about whom they thought deserved to be drafted.

"Once you told me about it, I had contacts with guys who I played with and guys like Chafie Fields, who I was thinking about signing with, so I just did my research," Morris said Tuesday night. "I asked them about some guys, who I should choose and pretty much went from there."

Morris' research seemed to pay off. Prato was pleasantly surprised at Morris' Penn State knowledge, and his defense is among the best.

Can we get a mulligan? When you're picking players without a fancy draft board and you're racing against the clock, sometimes panic and confusion set in -- and it basically happened to all of us.

Prato regretted not taking Gregg Garrity; Morris likely would've taken Brandon Noble over Devon Still if he had another chance; McDuffie would've drafted himself sooner. And Team Moyer? Why, oh why, couldn't Lydell Mitchell hold out for one more round? Michael Mauti also likely would've replaced Ed O'Neil upon closer inspection.

Looking back on the draft: The most difficult part wasn't necessarily creating your own "cheat sheet" and ranking the best players at each position. It was trying to weigh whether someone like Michael Robinson had more value than someone like Engram.

There was no blueprint to this, since it had never really been done before. We all knew what players we wanted -- but we weren't so sure just who we could wait for and who we needed to grab right away.

Morris agreed that you kind of had to adopt a reactive strategy with the draft. With no mock drafts, it was definitely unique. But, looking ahead, at least future drafters will have some idea of what to expect.

It was definitely a lot of fun. The NittanyNation staff will probably continue trash-talking about this throughout the season. And McDuffie, Morris and Prato were all great sports.

"If I’d know the level of participation McDuffie and Morris would have I’d have picked them 1 and 2," McClellan said. "Great guys and tremendously patient during the whole process, too."
What is Penn State getting in run-on WR Gregg Garrity Jr.? And what can fans expect?

NittanyNation turned to one of the people who best knows what Garrity is capable of on the field -- Art Walker, his high school coach at Wexford (Pa.) North Allegheny -- and asked what separates Garrity as a player, and more.

Meet the run-ons: WR Gregg Garrity Jr. 

March, 8, 2013
3/08/13
9:00
AM ET
Every weekday, as part of an ongoing series, NittanyNation will take a closer look at a Penn State walk-on.

Vitals: Gregg Garrity Jr., Wexford (Pa.) North Allegheny, 5-foot-10, 155 pounds.


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Run-ons overview: Offense 

February, 11, 2013
2/11/13
12:30
PM ET
Here's a list -- complete with film and notes -- on Penn State's offensive run-ons.


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Gregg Garrity Jr. thought about committing to Penn State as a preferred walk-on for the last five days. His father -- the Nittany Lions' most well-known walk-on of the 1980s -- advised him to hold off.

But the younger Garrity's mind raced. If he waited, could he get an offer from another school? Should he go to a place he could play right away? Did he want to go to a smaller college? How did the education stack up?

By Wednesday afternoon, Garrity (Wexford, Pa./North Allegheny) found answers to most of those questions -- at least enough that he was able to answer the biggest one. Where did he want to spend the next four years of his life?

"Really, what it came down to, was that I wanted to go to Penn State," he said about an hour after calling up assistant coach Charlie Fisher to commit. "I just felt like this was the right fit, and I couldn't wait any longer."

(Read full post)

Visitors' List: Big weekend for walk-ons 

January, 17, 2013
1/17/13
1:00
PM ET
Penn State will have several commits up for weekend visits, but this might be the most important Sunday of the year when it comes to potential preferred walk-ons.

NittanyNation has confirmed that at least eight players who were extended spots on the team as non-scholarship players will be in Happy Valley for "Run-on Day," which will take place from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Potential walk-ons -- or run-ons, as Bill O'Brien calls them -- will be broken into two groups and will take part in several tours or meetings.

According to recruits, they'll meet with the training staff, coaches and hear about academics. They'll also have lunch together but, due to NCAA rules, recruits will have to pay $10. One prospect said 10 or 11 players received an email with Sunday's itinerary.


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Will Garrity follow in dad's footsteps?

December, 19, 2012
12/19/12
11:25
AM ET
Josh Moyer talks with 2013 wideout Gregg Garrity (Wexford, Pa./North Allegheny) about his recruitment and whether he might follow in his father's footsteps and play for Penn State.

PSU recruits guide in PIAA: Class AAAA 

December, 16, 2012
12/16/12
1:51
PM ET
HERSHEY, Pa. -- NittanyNation was at the state title games over the weekend, checking in on PSU targets and seeing how they fared.

Here's a look at recruits who played on Saturday in the Class AAAA championship, their performances and what they showed Penn State:

Class AAAA championship: North Allegheny 63, Coatesville 28

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Hoke Glad To Get Back To Winning
Brady Hoke reacts to Michigan shaking off the losing streak with a Big Ten win over Penn State.
VIDEO PLAYLIST video

BIG TEN SCOREBOARD

Saturday, 10/25