Penn State Nittany Lions: coach talk

Q&A: Coach talks PSU commit DT White 

July, 8, 2013
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What's Penn State getting in three-star DT Antoine White (Millville, N.J./Millville), the 13th commit of the 2014 class?

NittanyNation decided to ask one of the people who knows most what he's capable of -- his head coach at Millville (N.J.), Jason Durham. The coach talked at length about White's explosiveness, what makes him stand out and the type of leadership he showed as a junior.

NittanyNation: What separates Antoine from other defensive tackles you've coached and seen throughout your career?

Q&A: Coach on PSU pledge Vincent Jr. 

July, 3, 2013
7/03/13
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What is Penn State getting in four-star athlete Troy Vincent Jr., the 12th commit of the 2014 class?

NittanyNation decided to ask one of the people who knows most what he's capable of -- his assistant coach at Baltimore (Md.) Gilman, Henry Russell. The coach talked at length about Vincent Jr.'s athleticism, what makes him stand out and how important he's been to the team.


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Q&A: Weinke discusses QB O'Connor 

June, 12, 2013
6/12/13
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What's Penn State getting in recent commit and ESPN 150 quarterback Michael O'Connor?

Well, NittanyNation decided to conduct a Q&A with one of the people who knows best what he's capable of: His coach at Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy, Chris Weinke, a former Heisman Trophy winner who also went on to play with the Carolina Panthers. Weinke talked about O'Connor's strengths, how quickly he's improved and more.

NittanyNation: I know you haven't seen O'Connor up close during a game yet, but you've seen a lot of him during spring practices and everything. What kind of player has he been for you so far?


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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.


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What kind of player is Penn State getting in safety Marcus Allen? And what can fans expect?

NittanyNation turned to one of the people who knows most what Allen is capable of on the field -- DaLawn Parrish, his high school coach at Upper Marlboro (Md.) Wise, who played defensive back for Wake Forest -- and asked what separates Allen as a player, how he first noticed Allen's ability and when the player especially showcased his potential.


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Jared Wangler's commitment to Penn State might just be a few minutes old, but the big question now is what kind of player is Penn State getting here?

NittanyNation turned to one of the people who knows most what he's capable of on the field -- Matt Lewis, an assistant coach at Warren (Mich.) De La Salle -- and asked what separates the outside linebacker, and how he first noticed Wangler's potential.


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Coach talk: WR Chris Godwin 

May, 1, 2013
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What kind of player is Penn State getting in Chris Godwin? And what can fans expect?

NittanyNation turned to one of the people who knows most what Godwin is capable of on the field -- Mark DelPercio, his high school coach at Middletown (Del.) High School -- and asked what separates him as a player, how he first noticed Godwin's ability and when he especially showcased his potential.

WR Chris Godwin, Middletown (Del.), 4 stars, No. 35 at position
6-foot-2, 197 pounds


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Coach talk: WR Troy Apke 

April, 23, 2013
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What kind of player is Penn State getting in Troy Apke? And what can fans expect?

NittanyNation turned to one of the people who knows most what Apke is capable of on the field -- Mike Melnyk, his high school coach at Pittsburgh (Pa.) Mt. Lebanon -- and asked what separates him as a player, how he first noticed Apke's ability and when he especially showcased his potential.


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Coach talk: Run-on LB Carter Henderson 

April, 17, 2013
4/17/13
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What kind of player is Penn State getting in run-on linebacker Carter Henderson? And what can fans expect from the player who turned down an FCS offer?

NittanyNation turned to one of the people who knows most what Henderson is capable of on the field -- Greg Botta, his high school coach at Murrysville (Pa.) Franklin Regional -- and asked what separates him as a player, how he first noticed Henderson's ability and when he especially showcased his potential.

LB Carter Henderson, Murrysville (Pa.) Franklin Regional

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What kind of player is Penn State getting in three-star early enrollee Richy Anderson? And what can fans expect from the player who flipped from Maryland?

NittanyNation turned to one of the people who knows most what Anderson is capable of on the field -- Ben Wright, his high school coach at Frederick (Md.) Gov. Thomas Johnson -- and asked what separates the running back/wide receiver as a player, how he first noticed Anderson's ability and when he especially showcased his potential.

Anderson is currently playing the slot for the Nittany Lions.

Wright, on what separates Anderson from others at his position: "We played him in the slot and at tailback, and he was probably our best receiver. He'd run your pass route, and he can recognize coverages really well, so he'd get where you wanted him to. It takes a lot to learn that. He's pretty fast, got real good moves and he has real good lateral cuts. He's definitely a competitor.

"I think fans are going to be surprised at how well he catches the ball. He jumps up, and he's very physical going for the ball. He doesn't look like a freshman. When you watch kids play, there are just some that see the field really well -- and he does. He knows how to evade defensive players."

When he first knew Anderson would be special: "I knew that when he was in seventh grade when he was in a youth league. He just had a lot of skills. He ran intensely and played hard. He could catch, throw and move well laterally. You could just tell then he was a good player.

"So, yeah, I saw him play in seventh -- and he broke his arm in eighth so he didn't play that season -- but I had already seen him play. He played for a couple different organizations, but any team he played for, he was the best player. You could tell right away. Everybody said the kid was good. Even then, he was pretty driven. He was mature. I think his dad [former PSU running back Richie Anderson] being a coach for the Kansas City Chiefs at that time imparted in him a lot."

When Anderson surprised him or really showcased his ability: "I know we beat a team that won the state championship in his 10th-grade year. And, late in the game, he broke off a run and instead of going to the outside, he cut inside. I asked him why he did that, and he said he wanted to keep the clock running. That's pretty mature for a 10th-grader. He understood the game. It was later in the game, the fourth quarter and we're winning. They didn't have any timeouts left, so he knew not to run up the sideline.

"And, in the playoffs his junior year, he'd really rise to the occasion. He had a big run every game, probably. He ran back punts, played some defense, and you could tell he was good."

Coach talk: QB Jack Seymour 

April, 3, 2013
4/03/13
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What kind of player is Penn State getting in preferred walk-on Jack Seymour? And what can fans expect from the player who turned down several scholarships?

NittanyNation turned to one of the people who knows most what the headliner of this run-on class is capable of on the field -- Orlando Lowry, a former NFL player and Seymour's high school coach at Indianapolis (Ind.) Park Tudor -- and asked what separates him as a player, how he first noticed Seymour's ability and when he especially showcase his potential.


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Coach talk: 2014 RB Mark Allen 

March, 27, 2013
3/27/13
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What kind of player is Penn State getting in running back Mark Allen? And what can fans expect?

NittanyNation turned to one of the people who knows best what the 2014 PSU commit is capable of on the field -- Elijah Brooks, his high school coach at Hyattsville (Md.) DeMatha -- and asked what separates Allen as a player, how he first noticed Allen's ability and when the player especially showcased his potential.

RB Mark Allen, Hyattsville (Md.) DeMatha, 5-foot-7, 185 pounds


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Coach talk: 2014 RB Nick Scott 

March, 21, 2013
3/21/13
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What kind of player is Penn State getting in Nick Scott? And what can fans expect?

NittanyNation turned to one of the people who knows best what the 2014 PSU commit is capable of on the field -- Kevin Simonds, his high school coach at Fairfax (Va.) -- and asked what separates Scott as a player, how he first noticed Scott's ability and when the player especially showcased his potential.

RB Nick Scott, Fairfax (Va.), 5-foot-11, 187 pounds


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Coach talk: 2014 MLB Troy Reeder 

March, 12, 2013
3/12/13
1:00
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What kind of player is Penn State getting in Troy Reeder? And what can fans expect?

NittanyNation turned to one of the people who knows most what Reeder is capable of on the field -- Bill DiNardo, his high school coach at Salesianum (Del.) -- and asked what separates him as a player, how he first noticed Reeder's ability and when he especially showcased his potential.


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Coach talk: OG Brendan Mahon 

March, 4, 2013
3/04/13
12:00
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What kind of player is Penn State getting in Brendan Mahon? And what can fans expect?

NittanyNation turned to one of the people who knows most what Mahon is capable of on the field -- Joe Lusardi, his high school coach at Randolph (N.J.) -- and asked what separates him as a player, how he first noticed Mahon's ability and when he especially showcased his potential.

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