PSU Notes from San Antonio

SAN ANTONIO — As preparations for Saturday's U.S. Army All-American Bowl continue here this week, there are several storylines involving Penn State worth following. Bob Lichtenfels is chasing all of them for Fight On State, from Justin King to Brian Cushing to Marques Slocum and more.

Justin King

King was burned by outstanding WR Patrick Turner on the first play of one on ones Monday. King regrouped once he realized what had happened. He played shutdown the rest of the day. On Tuesday, King was outstanding as he made great breaks on passes thrown by Greg Paulus and Jonathan Crompton. He could have taken both to the house.

King even played some wide receiver and was outstanding. I sat down with his coach and step father, former Nittany Lion wideout Terry Smith, and asked him how Joe Paterno planned to use King, if offense was a possibility. Smith told me that the plan is to use King as a CB/WR, and possibly even at tailback.

King said he will room with fellow early enrollee Derrick Williams and wear his familiar No. 1 for the Nittany Lions.

Brian Cushing

The New Jersey linebacker said he has narrowed his choices to Florida, Notre Dame, USC and Miami. But do not count out Penn State just yet. Cushing’s dad loves Penn State, and wants him to stay close to home. Father knows best could play a factor in this.

Cushing will announce on signing day.

Marques Slocum

I spoke to Philadelphia offensive lineman Marques about Penn State and why he never showed much of an interest in the in-state schools such as Penn State and Pittsburgh.

“Penn State knew about me since I was a freshman, but they never really pursued me very hard,” Slocum said. “I went up there once with some teammates, and Joe Paterno came in the room and shook some hands, and never even came up to me.”

There has been a lot of banter on the boards in the past as to whether Penn State had actually offered Slocum.

“Penn State officially offered me back in September or October, by then it was to late for them,” he said. “Pittsburgh sent me about 15 letters and never followed up with me.”

The U.S. Army All-American Bowl will be played in San Antonio at the Alamodome on Jan. 15, 2005, and broadcast nationally on NBC at 1 p.m. Eastern. is a sponsor, the official selection partner and exclusive on-line partner of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, as well as the associated U.S. Army Combine for underclassmen. The game features the top 78 football prospects in the country, East vs. West.

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