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Jerry Sandusky’s day in court is past. While there are likely to be many more charges brought as the investigation continues, perhaps some of the healing can begin. Penn State has a long tradition of excellence that cannot be dismissed lightly. While some recruits have shunned the school, others have made the commitment and pledged to affirm and become part of the future of that tradition.
Some of the Players
What is 6’7”, weighs in at 265 pounds, and can haul that massive muscle 40 yards in 4.70 seconds? Who is going to steal the hearts of Penn State fans? It’s Jesse James – a recruit for the position of tight end. Part of the 2012 entering freshman lineup, he has already lassoed the number two place on the tight end depth chart. He promises to be part of a fantastic season.
It is not a fait accompli, but Eugene Lewis is going to fight hard for the number three spot for wide receiver. At 6’2” and 180 pounds, Lewis has his work cut out for him. The competition is going to be brutal as he goes up against Shawney Kersey and Allen Robinson. You can bet the winner of that coveted position will provide some exciting football. He’s no slouch when it comes to speed running the 40-yard romp in a mere 4.5 seconds. Not only that, he is an accomplished quarterback. It is not clear how things will play out, but he is proud to play for Penn State and be part of its future.
Players come to Penn State because of its history and because they want to become a part of that history. The school already has three consensus top-100 recruits – Greg Webb (defensive lineman), Adam Breneman (tight end) and Christian Hackenberg (quarterback). Dorian Johnson is already part of history as the school’s fourth. Johnson grew up in the shadow of the college, so it was no surprise that he decided to make the commitment to play offensive tackle. He is 6’6” and 280 pounds, so he has the raw material he needs to be successful. Still young, he has room for the pounds he needs to carry the job – and the day.
Penn State rivals had better watch out. There is going to be a massive obstacle in your way. Its name is Brian Gaia, and the 290 pounds his 6’3” frame carries is going to prove to be an immovable object. This heir apparent to the position of defensive lineman knows his business. Defensive line coach, Larry Johnson, found him irresistible. Gaia is going to be fun to watch, at least for Penn State fans, as he forces the opposition to cry “Uncle.”
Tight end – defensive end – Brent Wilkerson excels at both. His powerful 245 pounds wears well on his 6’4” frame. It appears that Johnson is grooming him to be an intimidating pass-rusher. It is always a pleasure to watch the master, Johnson, take the clay of the freshman class and turn them into works of art. It appears that Wilkerson is going to be particularly exhilarating to watch as he matures as a player.
The Future is Promising
Nineteen freshman have joined the Penn State football team. Knowing that the school is under the shadow of the Sandusky debacle and will be for some time, they intuitively understood that Penn State’s reputation as a school of excellence is well deserved and should continue. It will be a long haul, but these nineteen have made the commitment to be a part of that future.
Dorothy Lilburn works with The College City.com as an online instructor. She comes from a long line of Penn State fans and refuses to give up on her school.
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