It’s not often that we gaze into the college football crystal ball and accurately predict the future. But in the case of the Penn State Nittany Lions, the future seems suspiciously clear. A more potent and efficient passing attack could be all the Blue & White need to reach the College Football Playoff.
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It is a question that often fires up Penn State fans: Would the 1994 Nittany Lions beat the 1994 National Champions, the Nebraska Cornhuskers? In the 1994 season, Penn State and Nebraska never got a chance to play one another due to the bowl coalition tie-ins and the fact the Big Ten Champion had to go to the Rose Bowl.
Yesterday, a lawsuit was filed by former Penn State DB Isaiah Humphries and his representatives against Penn State, James Franklin, and ex-teammate Damion Barber. The lawsuit accused Penn State players of hazing Humphries and numerous other players, Franklin and his staff of knowing about the hazing, and essentially accusing the Penn State coaching staff of setting Humphries up to fail in practice.
So, with such a huge story coming out with details that have such strong claims against the Penn State Football program, of course social media was a buzz about the lawsuit. Those in the anti-Penn State crowd of course made their headlines and comments revolving around the “I am going to Sandusky you” threat mentioned in the lawsuit. And others made their comparisons to the Jerry Sandusky scandal when this lawsuit came out yesterday afternoon.
But, many in the Penn State community, including the players and the university itself, gave their thoughts on the lawsuit and many of them are quite suspicious of why this lawsuit was filed.
First, here was Penn State’s official response to the lawsuit.
It appears that Penn State did their own investigation and sent their results to the Centre County District Attorney. The District Attorney went over the case and decided charges should not be pursued. The case seems pretty cut and dried based on the statement from the university.
Now, many of the players that were on the team with Isaiah Humphires gave their reactions, as well.
This one is from 2019 Penn State captain Garrett Taylor.
Taylor was in the same position group as Humphries and as a captain, his word carries a lot of weight with the team, the coaches, and the media that covers the team. Another captain and another member of the defensive backs group Jonathan Sutherland, a player who had racist comments toward him this year and handled them with the utmost grace, seems to side with Taylor here.
Lamont Wade, yet another player who was in the Penn State defensive backs group with Humphries added several comments on Twitter, as well. In addition, Wade entered the transfer portal after the 2018 season, just as Humphries did. However, Wade obviously came back to Penn State and had a big 2019 season while Humphries opted to transfer to the University of California. Here is what Wade had to say.
All three of these players beat out Humphries on the depth chart and Wade seems to think that has something to do with this lawsuit coming out yesterday.
Cam Brown, another captain of the 2019 team, added his comments.
Former Penn State Offensive Lineman Ryan Bates took to Twitter and was very adamant on the lawsuit. He later deleted the tweet from his Twitter account.
Overall, it seems that from the Penn State players that this is the case of a disgruntled player who did not earn his playing time and wants some type of revenge for it. The university has conducted their investigation and the Centre County DA reviewed the case and found no reason for charges to be filed. Specific financial terms have not come out of what Humphries and his camp are looking for from this lawsuit.
But, the consensus around the Penn State Football program is that these allegations are false and they are willing to strongly defend the program until this lawsuit is settled.
A lawsuit has come out revealing hazing allegations involving the Penn State Football program and its players. Former Penn State Isaiah Humphries claims to have been hazed by former teammates Damion Barber, Yetur Gross-Matos, Micah Parsons, and Jesse Luketa. In the lawsuit, Humphries names Penn State, James Franklin, and Barber as defendants.
The hazing allegations are of both sexual and threatening nature. There are several key points that Humphries mentions in the lawsuit that build his case.
- Forcing victims on the ground and shoving their genitals in their face or putting them between the victims’ buttocks and humping them.
- Jesse Luketa threatened to gun down Humphries if he ever visited “his city” in Canada.
- Players would say “I am going to Sandusky you” in the locker room in reference to the Jerry Sandusky case.
- Hazing occurred in places on campus such as the Lasch Building.
- Coaches witnessed the hazing but did not do anything to stop it.
- Underclassmen were threatened with sexual assault.
Humphries entered the transfer portal after the 2018 season and claims in the lawsuit that he did so because of the hazing. He ultimately decided to go to the University of California. He sat out the 2019 season because of transfer rules.
Humphries’ lawyer for the case is attorney Steven F. Marino. Marino is the same lawyer who filed a lawsuit against the James Franklin and the university in the fall of 2019. He represented former team doctor Scott A. Lynch, who filed suit because he claims James Franklin urged him to have injured players return to the field.
More to come as more details come out, players react, and the university and Coach Franklin speak to the media.
Perhaps it isn’t the most exciting NY6 game of this year’s bowl game slate, but the Memphis-Penn State is an intriguing one.
The Early Signing Day period, which has become essentially the official National Signing Day, saw Penn State sign 27 prospects in their 2020 class. As of 2 PM ET on Wednesday, Penn State has the 12th best class nationally and the third best class in the Big Ten behind just Ohio State (3) and Michigan (11). Here is a breakdown of the 2020 recruiting class that James Franklin and his staff brought in on Wednesday.
The 2020 Class By The Numbers
According to 247Sports, this class features 11 4-star prospects and 16 3-star prospects. Two of the prospects, Ji’Ayir Brown and Norval Black, come from the JUCO ranks by way of Lackawanna College in Scranton, PA. As a whole, the 27 recruits that signed on Wednesday come from 14 different states, districts, or countries. Here is the breakdown:
- Pennsylvania (4)
- Virginia (4)
- Maryland (4)
- Florida (2)
- Michigan (2)
- New Jersey (2)
- Canada (2)
- Connecticut (1)
- District of Columbia (1)
- Indiana (1)
- Nevada (1)
- New York (1)
- Ohio (1)
- Texas (1)
In terms of the roster, it seems that James Franklin was able to fill out a well-rounded class that has depth all the way around. Franklin added a QB in this class in dual threat QB Micah Bowens from Nevada. They also added two running backs in the 2020 class, just one year after adding Noah Cain and Devyn Ford in the 2019 class. Caziah Holmes and Keyvone Lee are both 4-star prospects from Florida who will add to an already crowded running back room.
In addition, six wide receivers and tight ends are within this class. TE Theo Johnson is the #3 TE in the class and is a 4-star prospect. Three wide receivers, KeAndre Lambert, Parker Washington, and Jaden Dottin are 4-star prospects, as well. Malick Meiga, a 3-star recruit from Canada, is a 6’4″ WR, and the previously mentioned Norval Black is a 3-star prospect from Lackawanna College.
On the offensive line, Penn State signed five prospects on Wednesday. All five are 3-star prospects, according to 247 Sports. Three of the lineman are offensive tackles and two are slotted to play on the inside at either guard or center. J. Christ, Jimmy Christ that is, is the top rated offensive lineman of the group. He stands at 6′ 7″ 295 lbs from Virginia. Olu Fashanu is a tackle and Golden Israel-Achumba is a guard, both listed at 6′ 5″ 320 lbs, also both from the DMV area. 6′ 5″ 290 lb tackle Ibrahim Traore and 6′ 4″ 300 lb guard Nick Dawkins round out the offensive lineman from the 2020 class. Dawkins is the son of basketball legend Darryl Dawkins.
On the defense, James Franklin made it a priority to continue to beef up the defensive line. Seven defensive linemen signed with Penn State on Wednesday, the most signees of any position in the 2020 class. Cole Brevard and Coziah Izzard are both 4-star prospects listed at defensive tackle. Zurriah Fisher from Aliquippa is also a 4-star prospect that is a 6′ 3″ 255 lb defensive end. The other four defensive ends are Amin Vanover (DE), Brandon Taylor (DE), Bryce Mostella (DE), and Fatorma Mulbah (DT). They are all 3-star prospects.
Behind them, two linebackers, including class headliner Curtis Jacobs, will be Nittany Lions in 2020. Jacobs is the highest ranked player in the Penn State 2020 class, according 247Sports. He is listed as the 44th best prospect in the entire class. The other linebacker in the 2020 class is Tyler Elsdon from Pennsylvania. Elsdon is an inside linebacker who is the 5th best prospect in the state.
Penn State also signed three defensive backs, including 4-star prospect Enzo Jennings. Jennings is the 157th ranked player in the nation. He projects as a safety for the Nittany Lions. The other two defensive backs are rangy 6′ 2″ cornerback Joseph Johnson and JUCO transfer Ji’Ayir Brown.
Tyler Warren is listed as a 6′ 6″ 235 lb athlete. He has high school quarterback experience but has the size of a tight end. It will be interesting what kind of mold the Penn State coaching staff places on Warren when he steps foot on campus.
For more here is James Franklin recapping his 2020 recruiting class with Big Ten Network
For a complete rundown on all 27 recruits from 247Sports, click here.
Penn State fans were hoping to be California Dreamin’. But, instead, they will settle for their third New Year’s Six Bowl appearance in four seasons. After finishing 10th in the College Football Playoff Rankings, Penn State will head to Dallas to play in Cotton Bowl.
The Cotton Bowl will be played on December 28th at 12 PM on ESPN.
After an impressive(?) showing in the Big Ten Championship, #8 Wisconsin will go to the Rose Bowl to face Oregon.
Penn State will face the #17 Memphis Tigers, who won the American Athletic Conference Championship and qualifies for a NY6 bowl as the highest ranked Group of 5 team. This is Penn State’s first appearance in the Cotton Bowl since 1975, where they defeated Baylor, 41-20.
With a win in the Cotton Bowl, Penn State would win their 11th game for the third time in four seasons. In addition, it would be their second straight victory in a New Year’s Six Bowl.
What do you think of the College Football Playoff Committee’s decision? Do you like Penn State playing in the Cotton Bowl?