Blue White Game Weekend Is Here!

Several former players were there, 2004 signees too. Recruits were sighted at every turn. Then there was the Blue White Game. It was a tremendous day of football for the 47,000 Nittany Lions fans in attendance.

A sun-splashed crowd estimated at 47,000 watched the Blue squad capture a 24-7 victory over the White team in Beaver Stadium.

More than 40,000 fans have attended the game in seven of the past nine years, with rainy conditions during the other two contests.

The White squad opened the scoring on an 18-yard pass from Zack Mills to Gio Vendemia, who was shifted from cornerback to receiver prior to spring drills. Nate Weltman's kick made it 7-0 with 3:12 left in the first quarter. The Blue squad then scored the next 24 points of the game, starting with an 8-yard run burst by tailback Austin Scott early in the second quarter. Robbie Gould's kick made it 7-7. The Blue took the lead for good on a 31-yard pass from Michael Robinson to redshirt freshman Terrell Golden with 12 seconds left in the first half. Gould's kick made it 14-7 Blue. Golden ran a short hitch and go pattern and got corner Anwar Phillips to bite on the play before going long where he easily cradled in a beautiful touch pass in the end zone from Robinson.

After a Robbie Gould FG from 34 yards out late in the third quarter, Chris Ganter threw a 65-yard touchdown pass to Paul Cronin, a safety, with 4:53 to play to finish the scoring.

Zack Mills was 7 of 11 for 118 yards, with one touchdown in no interceptions playing for the Blue squad (the first team offense). Michael Robinson was 10 of 17 for 165 yards, with one touchdown and one interception while Chris Ganter was 13 of 25 for 183 yards, with one touchdown and no interceptions.

Tony Hunt had nine carries for 41 yards, followed by Austin Scott with 10 attempts for 38 yards and one score.

Junior Ryan Scott was the leading receiver with five catches for 101 yards, including a long grab of 41 yards, playing for the White team. Vic Surma made four catches for 68 yards and Terrell Golden had four grabs for 54 yards to lead the Blue.

Junior tight end John Bronson won the Red Worrell Award, presented annually to the offensive player whose spring contribution is most worthy of special tribute. Redshirt freshman outside linebacker Tim Shaw won the Jim O'Hora Award which is given annually to one of our defensive players. The Nittany Lion coaching staff singled out Bronson and Shaw as the players who have best demonstrated exemplary conduct, loyalty, interest, attitude and improvement during spring practice.

Junior fullback Adam Senk (Cortland, Ohio) was named recipient of the Frank Patrick Memorial "Total Commitment" Award.


Here are some of my personal quick takes from the game.

Offense

Penn State will be good at QB with Zack Mills and Michael Robinson, vastly improved on the OL, good to possibly very good at RB, very good at FB, and OK at TE. I'm still a little worried about the WR's.

Specifically, I really like Tyler Reed, Levi Brown, EZ Smith, and Andrew Richardson on our offensive line. Reed and Brown were good last year but had little help from others. Smith and Richardson are going to give them a lot of help. Both are quick off the snap and will drive opposing linemen off the line of scrimmage. Charles Rush and Mark Farris are going to have a battle for that last and final spot at OG opposite Tyler Reed. I like Charles Rush because he's super strong, and I like Mark Farris because he's pretty quick. For a true freshman, I really liked Greg Harrison at center.

At WR, I think Terrell Golden is already getting pretty good. He's not there yet, but there is lot's of upside with him. Gerald Smith, Terrance Phillips, Ryan Scott, Josh Hannum and Vic Surma are all blue collar types at WR - guys who can catch the ball but who will not neccesarily scare opponents.

We have workmanlike TE's in Isaac Smolko and John Bronson. Both caught a couple of balls in the game, but neither did anything extraordinary. Serviceable guys, but no one who will wow you.

Austin Scott and Tony Hunt are both potentially very good backs. I can't mention Rodney Kinlaw because he's hurt right now, but if he too plays this fall we could have three very good tailbacks. Paul Jefferson is a very good FB. He's in tremendous shape. Adam Senk and Chris Wilson will provide depth at FB.


Defense

The Defensive Tackles this fall will be Ed Johnson and Scott Paxson with Jason Alford, John Shaw, Steve Roach, and Elijah Robinson. We have the potential to be several notches better than last year. Although he did not play in the game, Ed Johnson is up over 290lbs. Scott Paxson and Jay Alford are both in great shape and are real quick. Same for John Shaw.

The D Ends will have Tamba Hali and D. Wake starting, then Chisley, Matt Rice, Pat Hall and Amani Purcell backing up. Again, we should be pretty good here. Hali is very, very good.

Tim Shaw started at MLB today with Brandon Snow backing him up. JR Zwierzynski was at strongside linebacker with Paul Posluzny at wsOLB. Poz is a lot bigger than last year while Tim Shaw has all that speed they talked about from the coaches clinic. He's looking pretty damn good in fact. These players along with Pat Bedics, Mike Sothern (who also looks good) and Dan Conner will play this fall, IMHO.

Allen Zemaitis is set at one CB spot. He is very much looking like a true shutdown corner. He just ate the WR's up today. Chris Harrell did not play today, but he told me he went 100% in the recent coaches clinic and is in good health. He's fine. Chris, Cal Lowry, Paul Cronin, Jim Kanuch, and Andy Guman who looks to be in tremendous shape will all probably get some reps at safety this fall with Chris Harrell and Cal Lowry starting.

If I had to pick a corner opposite Z man, I'd pick Brent Wise. In my opinion, he was the best of the rest today among a group that also included Anwar Phillips and Donnie Johnson. I think Tony Davis has to play this year.

Good news! Jon Jackson told me he believes he's going to be cleared to play within days. He thinks he'll be playing this fall. Jon looks like a good athlete too. We have pics of just about every player, including Jon.


The Recent Commits

We saw all the February 2004 commits except Josh Gaines, Tony Davis, Paul Cianciolo and Tyrell Sales. Those boys are looking pretty good. Rich Ohrnberger looks real strong. He was seen getting along pretty well with a certain special young QB from Downingtown, PA. We spoke with most of the newest Lions today, including Deon Butler who looks to be 5-10, 175 lbs. and in great shape!


Recruits

Justin King got the royal treatment at the Blue White Game. Had a place on our sideline alongside many current NFL players like Brandon Short, Bryant Johnson, Bahwoh Jue, Larry Johnson, Bobby Engram, Anthony Adams and several others. Penn State really rolled out the carpet for Justin who had a smile on his face for much of the afternoon. It appears he is very friendly with New Brighton OT recruit Brandon Richardson as well as Austin Scott, Brandon Short, and several others in our program. Every time I looked over at him on the sideline it seemed as if he was laughing and having a generally good time with a number of our players and/or former players. It seems pretty obvious that Justin has a lot of good friends at Penn State!

Also in attendance were: Mario Henry, Michael Ray Garvin, Jarmal Ruffin and Greg Robinson, Brock Harner, Nate Hartung, 10th grade QB Pat Devlin from Downingtown, CB Aaron Ellison from CT (we'll have more on him later), a kid we think was Kade Weston (or someone else his size), and another we speculated might have been WR David Harvey. There was a group from Westerville South HS in Ohio that I'm doing some research on. OT Brandon Richardson was there as was LB Mike Dell.

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