July 2012 Archives

VIDEO: Meet the Women's Volleyball Freshmen - Lara Caraway

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Nittany Lion women's volleyball team will intensify its preparations for the 2012 season with the official practice beginning next week.

Four newcomers joined the roster since the Lions last played a match.  We continue a series of interviews with the freshmen getting set to kick off their first season in Penn State blue and white.

Today, we focus on 5-4 defensive specialist Lara Caraway.  The Evans City, Pa., product was a four-year varsity letterwinner and team captain in the Mars Area School District (was homeschooled).  Caraway was named a 2011 First Team All-State honoree, in addition to All-WPIAL first team honors.  Meet Lara Caraway.




VIDEO: Meet Megan Courtney


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VIDEO: Football Underclassmen Player Remarks

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Nittany Lions are six days away from the first day of official practice.  GoPSUsports.com talked with several underclassmen on the squad who are counting down the days until the start of the 2012 season.

Sophomores Bill Belton, Allen Robinson and Adrian Amos, along with redshirt freshmen Donovan Smith, Kyle Carter and Deion Barnes are among the significant group of young student-athletes committed to the program and greatly appreciative of the support from Penn State fans.  Hear what they have to say.



More underclassmen interviews to follow in the coming days.



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VIDEO: Meet the Women's Volleyball Freshmen - Megan Courtney

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Nittany Lion women's volleyball team will intensify its preparations for the 2012 season with the first day of official practice in one week.

Four newcomers joined the roster since the Lions last played a match.  This week, we will roll out a series of interviews with the freshmen getting set to kick off their first season in Penn State blue and white.

First up is 6-2 outside hitter/setter Megan Courtney.  The Dayton, Ohio, native was a first team Under Armour All-American and PrepVolleyball High School All-American.  The Gatorade Player of the Year in Ohio helped lead Kettering Archbishop Alter High School to the OHSAA Final Four during her freshmen, junior and senior seasons.  Meet Megan Courtney.



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With Walsh, Family Comes First

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Penn State Head Coach Decides to Take Time Off from Olympics to Support Mother

By: Greg Kincaid, Penn State Athletic Communications Assistant

There comes times in life where we have to set aside our passions, hobbies and even careers for the most important thing in life: Family. In her sixth season at the helm of the Penn State women's soccer program, head coach Erica Walsh can tell you herself that she knows a lot about family.

An assistant coach for the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team since 2008, Walsh decided to step away from joining the team at this year's Olympic Games with good intentions.

Erica and Mom_cropped.jpg"My family is the most important thing in my life. I was very fortunate to be provided an opportunity to go to the Olympics for the second time. Unfortunately my mom has fallen ill and she is battling illness. The good news is that she is a fighter and she has passed that on to me as well. I want to be here to support my mom because family is the most important thing in my life."

Walsh's mother, Jeanne, is currently battling cancer. Walsh describes her mother, who is nurse by trade and somebody that has worked in hospice her entire life, as her rock and inspiration. In fact, she has used her mother as not only a mentor her entire life, but as a symbol and example for what she looks for in recruits.

"My mom is a winner, she's a fighter," says Walsh. "She has the same qualities that I recruit for in student athletes, whether it's a winner in the classroom or on the field, a leader or someone involved in community service. Those are the most important qualities."

Walsh's parents split time between their residences in Chattanooga, Tenn. and State College, Pa. Her father, Cal, is a Penn State alum and the two were married in Happy Valley. Despite her mom's current health, Walsh is convinced that the two of them will be making it up to Penn State for some games this year. Cal and Jeanne are also avid supporters of Penn State women's soccer and active members in the booster club. Walsh says the way she was raised by her parents has helped her translate it into her student athletes today.

"My family is the most important thing to me," says Walsh. "When I have difficult choices to make, I use that to guide me through those difficult choices such as this situation. It really isn't a choice when dealing with a loved one. I was raised in a wonderful home and a plan to carry on those lessons. It's the way I treat my student athletes and the people around me, the way the parents treated me."

Beginning in the spring of 2004, Walsh joined U.S. Soccer and the Under-19 team as an assistant coach for the Under-19 World Cup, where the team eventually finished with a bronze medal. In January of 2008, Walsh was named as the assistant coach by Pia Sundhage for the U.S. National Team. With Walsh's help and guidance the U.S. team completed its historic run with a gold medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China. Even sweeter was that Walsh's main responsibility was the U.S. defense, which held fellow world power Brazil scoreless in the gold medal match.

During the 2011 summer, Walsh had an extraordinary experience of being one of the top assistants to Sundhage and the U.S. team at the FIFA World Cup in Germany. The U.S. made a sparkling run through knockout play to the final, falling to eventual champions Japan in penalty kicks following a 2-2 draw.

As she has always shown through her great commitment and work ethic with U.S. Soccer, Walsh plans on remaining heavily involved.

2008 Olympics - 1 349.jpg"I have been fortunate enough to be involved with the U.S. program since 2004," she says. "I have every intention to continue on with that program. I've had the pleasure of working with some of the best coaches in the world through those opportunities. I believe that has made me the person and coach that I am today."

Walsh has made trips to Tennessee to check in with her mom. A reliable coaching staff has allowed her to do that along with coaching for U.S. Soccer. With the recent promotions of Ann Cook to associate head coach and Tim Wassell to full-time assistant coach, Walsh feels blessed to have one of the best staffs in the country.

"Tim's attention to detail, focus and thorough determination to make this the best program in the country has been a huge help during this time," says Walsh. "He has been a huge addition to this staff and the recruiting perspective."

"Ann could run the best soccer program in the county, and she has," Walsh said of Cook. "I have no concerns about turning things over to her. The team embraces it. At this point, I consider her to be my peer, my guide, my right hand, my mentor, and I'm thankful that every day she is most importantly my friend and my co-worker."

Walsh and her peers all know she has made the best decision. Not only is she using her family situation as life lesson for herself, but she has also transferred the same concept to her team and program.

"My mom has always lived by the concept probably most accurately described by Steven Covey, 'Seek first to understand, then to be understood,'" Walsh added. "She's just the most caring woman I have been around. She is a wonderfully compassionate woman and I take that into coaching and my approach with my student athletes. I'm their advocate and we are all going to make mistakes but we need to be there for one another."

VIDEO: Big Ten Kickoff Day II - Player Interviews

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CHICAGO, Ill. - After answering hundreds of questions over the course of two days at the Big Ten Kickoff, GoPSUsports.com caught up with senior Jordan Hill, junior John Urschel and senior Michael Mauti on Friday morning for their thoughts on the trip to Chicago.


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VIDEO: Big Ten Kickoff Day II - Head Coach Bill O'Brien

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CHICAGO, Ill. - Two days of media interviews wrapped up on Friday afternoon with the 41st Annual Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon.  ESPN College Football personality Chris Fowler served as the host of the luncheon.  Fowler performed interviews with all 12 Big Ten coaches during the event.

Head coach Bill O'Brien and the trio of Nittany Lion players in Chicago participated in a round table question and answer session in the morning before sitting at the head tables at the luncheon.  We will roll out a series of remarks from Coach O'Brien in the coming days, but here is a snippet from Friday's media session.


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Q&A: Volleyball Olympian Christa Harmotto

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Penn State in the London 2012 Olympics

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Former Penn State women's volleyball standouts Christa Harmotto and Megan Hodge are in London representing USA Volleyball in its quest for a gold medal at the 2012 Olympic Games.

Harmotto and Hodge, who both were named to the 12-player roster for London on July 3, are set to participate in the Opening Ceremonies on Friday.  Prior to leaving the United States, GoPSUsports.com talked with Harmotto on what it is like to be an Olympian and her expectations for the 2012 Games.

Team USA Women's Volleyball begins pool play on Saturday against Korea.

 

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Q: Just talk about the opportunity you have. Not many people are in your position and as a person in the sport of volleyball, what does this mean to you?
Harmotto:
"It truly is a dream come true. When I played in high school, I had an opportunity to play for the Junior National team for two years. I think that's when the Olympic dream started. I was in that pipeline, but there was a lot of work to do before that. In the years at Penn State, I was super fortunate to be a part of a very successful and great program, where myself, Megan (Hodge), Nicole (Fawcett), and Alisha (Glass) could all go into the pool of players to compete for spots on this Olympic roster."

Q: You touched on Megan, Alisha, and Nicole. You look at the 12-person roster and two are Penn Staters and then additionally Alisha and Nicole as alternates. What's it like to have teammates around you in this elite company?

Harmotto:
"It's fantastic for me. It's something for me, my senior year when Nicole and I were asked to come out and try out for the national team. Megan and Alisha that following summer came out for a couple of weeks. At some point, it was Blair (Brown) and Arielle (Wilson) were there too.  There were six Penn Staters there and former teammates. That was really cool and I think it's a tribute to the people that Penn State recruits and, obviously, the training that goes on behind Coach Rose. They build their athletes to train hard and work hard and it develops us into good players, where we can begin to compete at that international level."

Q: How did coach Rose specifically help to put you in this position?
Harmotto:
"I think at this level, it's so much about the mental game, as well. You spend your life learning these skills and coach is trying to strip us of some of our bad habits here. You just stay in the trenches and grind and grind and grind. That's something that Coach Rose definitely taught us and he expects the best out of us. A lot of times, it's figuring out what you're doing wrong and how to fix it. Coach Rose helped us to figure out a lot of things on our own by presenting these different challenges, whether it was in practice or things along the way. I think he prepared us the best mentally for this and you grow up in the Penn State program and know you have to work hard in order to succeed and it's the same thing at this level."

Q: How much time have you put into USA Volleyball leading up to this summer? How much commitment did you have to be involved with leading up to this point?
Harmotto:
"It's a four year all-year round commitment. My National team season began in May 2009 and went until October that year and then we all split off and went to our professional teams. The coaches here expect that you to work on things you learned the past summer and then we all meet back up again the following May.  It's constantly on your mind. It's not easy; it's been somewhat of a rollarcoaster for me both from the mental side and the physical side. I had another knee surgery last year and things like that. You have four years to get to this ultimate dream and goal. I can't tell you how rewarding it is to reflect back on the relationships I built with all of these different players that I took from this year and Penn State.  There's a whole lot more that goes into that final day when the Olympic roster is decided. I think it's a tribute to all 25-plus girls that have been in and out of the program and trained for these Olympic games. Without all 25, then the final 12 would not be as good as they are.  I think it's important to have depth and I think we showed at the Grand Prix that it didn't matter what lineup we threw out there.  We were able to get it done because of the work and the hours that every player has put in."

Q: Give me an idea of what it's like in term of the competition.  Obviously, there's a lot of talent when you look down the roster.  It's pretty much a who's-who of college volleyball in America for the past decade. What's it like competing with these people on a daily basis in practice?
Harmotto:
"As we say in California, it's pretty gnarly. (laughter) Everyday when you go in that gym, it's essentially like a four-year tryout in the sense that you're building.  They're studying everything, serving, passing, hitting.  They give you chances to check back in and work on things, but they prepare you for these matches during practice.  There are only so many matches we get to play a year with the national team, so I think they do a great job of creating that environment where there's pressure.  You know that they're studying you. That's something that different people deal with differently. As far as competing against the ability level of our team, we have the three middles from the previous Olympic team.  You walk in and first off they are fantastic in showing how to work and stay healthy.  You go out to just become whatever player you become, whether it's chipping in or just watching them.  It's a combination of competition and phenomenal friendship. We have several girls who have competed for international or national championships.  We enjoy watching all of these players that are part of our era and now they're some of our best friends.  So you have the relationship aspect, the learning aspect, and the competition.  You have to go out and stay with it.  You have a bad week here and there and you have to stay in the trenches and Penn State and Coach Rose prepared me for that.  It helps me for those pressure moments, when I'm in the trenches and grinding it out while competing against these players."

Q: What was that moment like when you were notified that you were on the 12-player roster going to London?
Harmotto: "They organized individual meetings in 10-minute intervals on July 3rd in rank by seniority.  Mine was at 11:30 and I walked in, the first thing that we've spoken with all four coaches and we've nominated you for London, and I think they said some other things afterward. After you hear those words, I was trying to process everything because it all happened so fast. I can't believe it's already here.  It was very special and it's something that I'll definitely remember and have that in me for the rest of my life. There's a whole lot of preparation for the Olympics, but there's a whole lot more that goes along with it."

Q: What will your schedule entail during your time in London?
Harmotto: "We played a match against Liberia this past week and had a full day schedule, which is how it is for the Olympics.  We play a day and then we're off a day.  You can check the USA Volleyball website for the schedule.  I think we start the 28th because the opening ceremony is the 27th.  We play Korea first and then it's every other day.  We'll play each team in our pool and you can see all of that information on the website.  After pool play ends, we'll have crossover matches and then eventually if we win, which is the goal, we have the semifinals and finals." 

Q: What do you think of the field and how the team stacks up?
Harmotto: "As a team, we're definitely up there in the world rankings.  In February we were moved up to the No. 1 spot.  Coach Rose always talked about at Penn State, it's not where we start, it's where we finish.  I'm sure that stands true for this, too.  Everyone goes to the Olympics hoping to win on the international level and we've been training for this pressure for four years.  There's no turning it off.  I think it carries over from our practices and training camp, because you can't take a day off or someone will pass you by.  I think it's that same attitude on the court.  You have Brazil, Russia, and the Italians and all of those great teams.  We're ready to compete and we'll see what happens."


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VIDEO: Player Interviews Big Ten Kickoff - Day I

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CHICAGO, Ill. - Senior linebacker Michael Mauti had very direct messages to the supporters who have sent messages to the Nittany Lions this week.  Penn State fans across the nation should watch Mauti, senior defensive tackle Jordan Hill and junior guard John Urschel to hear what they had to say at Big Ten Kickoff on Thursday in Chicago.


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VIDEO: Coach O'Brien at Big Ten Kickoff - Day I

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CHICAGO, Ill. - Head coach Bill O'Brien spent Thursday in Chicago speaking with college football media from across the country.  Check out sights and sounds from day one of the Big Ten Kickoff and hear from the leader of Penn State football.


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VIDEO: Behind the Scenes with Coach O'Brien at ESPN

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Head coach Bill O'Brien traveled to the ESPN campus in Bristol, Conn., on Wednesday to do a series of interviews with a variety of the network's platforms.

The list included a live interview on the Mike and Mike show with Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic, a live interview with Rece Davis on SportsCenter, an ESPN.com chat and an interview with ESPN The Magazine.  From Bristol, Coach O'Brien traveled to Chicago for Big Ten Media Days.  Take a behind the scenes look at his visit to ESPN.


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Coach O'Brien Leading the Nittany Lions, Program Forward

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Head coach Bill O'Brien has conducted two team meetings with the members of the Nittany Lion football squad since Monday morning, and his message was clear on both occasions.

"It's a place that combines great academics with good, tough football. None of that has changed," Coach O'Brien said on Tuesday.

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O'Brien took the head coaching position at Penn State University because it provides an opportunity to mentor and teach high character student-athletes in the game of football while they work towards and receive a world-class degree in one of the more than 100 different academic programs on the University Park campus.

He said that both meetings were very positive, and that the team is built with a collection of high character student-athletes.

"I feel good about this team. They care about this University and this football team," O'Brien said.

The program will face challenging days in the coming seasons, but O'Brien is leading the Nittany Lions into the future by moving forward with a positive attitude.

"The way you travel through life is how you handle adversity," he said. "You can't dwell on the past. You've got to move forward. That's what we're doing," O'Brien said.

O'Brien added that in coaching you are always taught to be prepared for anything that is thrown at you.

The Nittany Lion faithful will play an integral part in the process of helping O'Brien and the student-athletes move forward into the next chapter of Penn State football.  The undying support of Penn State fans has never been more important to the program than it is today and throughout the future.

As Coach O'Brien said on Tuesday, Penn State's players will compete in seven bowl games each season inside the 108,000-seat home of Nittany Lion football.  The fans, supporters, alumni and lettermen can certainly do their part in ensuring that the stadium is full each Saturday throughout the fall.

"Move forward. Renew your tickets. Jump on board with a new era of Penn State football," O'Brien encouraged Penn State fans.

Coach O'Brien is going to fight every day to ensure that the Penn State football program and its players are performing at the highest possible level on the field and in the classroom.  From the moment he stepped on campus, the leader of Penn State football has never backed away from a challenge.

"You have a team here that is really close to each other, and it has a lot of fight in it," O'Brien said.  "Just like its head coach.  We have resolve."

O'Brien's actions and response to how the program will move forward after the hand it was dealt on Monday is no different than his original message when he accepted the job on Jan. 6.

"I'm here to do the best job that I can for Penn State and for these kids on the team and this coaching staff," said O'Brien.

Coach O'Brien and the Nittany Lions kick off practice on Aug. 6.  The season-opener against Frank Solich and the Ohio Bobcats is 38 days away in Beaver Stadium.

"We get to start our season on Sept. 1 in front of 108,000 strong and I couldn't feel better about that," O'Brien said.


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Blog - Kendall Pierce, July 22, 2012

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Since I was young, I've always been a huge fan of Penn State Volleyball. My parentPierce_Kendall (H-12-MS) 6853_.jpgs would always take my sister, brother and I up for both Men's and Women's games. As I started getting older however, I was spoiled with being able to see inside the Women's locker room, meeting room and even sit in some of the best seats in the house right next to the blue and white band. One thing I always was amazed by though was the tremendous support this team had. At the start of each game if you just took a quick peak to your right you would be able to pick out some of the teams biggest fans. Decorated in Penn State apparel from head to toe and sticking their hands out for the girls to high five as they ran by for warm up.

Well today I was fortunate enough to get to meet some of these people at our Special Olympics Volleyball event. I was warmly welcomed into the gym with a big smile and hug from a very enthusiastic Curtis. As soon as the girls walked into the gym, there were shouts of excitement and smiles from the crowd who remembered each girl and their numbers. We started off with quick introductions for the new members, and quickly got into our warm-up. They were extremely cooperative and energetic. In fact some of them decided that our warm-up wasn't tough enough and suggested some line jumps and jumping jacks.

Following, we split into three courts sending four teammates or so on each court. I was given the "beginners court", but they looked as if they had been playing volleyball many times before. As I started to break down an underhand serve, Bryan instead shook his head and showed me that he had his overhand serve mastered. 

After that, assistant coach Steve Aird brought all of us in for some ball handling drills. We started with one hand touches, to self setting, and by the end of it, we were peppering back and forth. My partner had tapped Steve on the shoulder in excitement telling him to watch how many balls we could play back and forth. 

Clearly showing that they had their skills down, we broke back up into three courts again and started to play a game. It was inspiring to watch their teamwork communicating to us about whose ball was whose. As I looked down at the other courts I saw some pretty impressive rallies even including some dives in there to save the ball from touching the ground. Throughout the whole gym there was nothing but smiles from our participants, their parents, my teammates, coaches and the volunteers. 

We celebrated such great play with a little pizza party after, and signing some posters. Everyone was great and so thankful and incredibly inspiring. They all promised to attend some of our games. Which is one of the best things about State College. I know that come game time this fall, I'll be able to look over my shoulder to see my new friends smiling there and cheering us on.

-Kendall Pierce
Freshman #3

VIDEO: Meet the Men's Hoops Freshmen - Akosa Maduegbunam

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - GoPSUsports.com wraps up its introduction of the Nittany Lion basketball freshmen for the 2012-13 season.

Today, we sit down with 6-3, 185-pound forward Akosa Maduegbunam.  The Boston native will bring a great deal of athleticism and perimeter shooting to the Nittany Lion roster.  Second-year head coach Patrick Chambers originally recruited Maduegbunam when he was at Boston University.  One of the top high school players in Massachusetts, Maduegbunam averaged 18 points, six rebounds and four assists per game for The Winchendon School last season.

Maduegbunam is on campus enrolled in classes and working out in preparation for his first campaign in Happy Valley.  Meet Nittany Lion basketball freshman Akosa Maduegbunam. (And learn the proper pronunciation of his name.)



Meet the Freshmen - Donovon Jack

Meet the Freshmen - Brandon Taylor



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VIDEO: Summer Football Interview with Malcolm Willis

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Nittany Lions are less than three weeks away from the opening day of training camp on Aug. 6.  To get ready for the start of practice, GoPSUsports.com will continue rolling out a series of player interviews over the next several days.

Today, we focus on junior safety Malcolm Willis.  With the departure of four senior starters from the 2011 secondary, Willis will be looked upon as one of the veterans in a young corps of defensive backs.  The Maryland native is the most experienced safety on the roster. 
Playing in every game last year, Willis recorded 33 tackles (22 solo), as well as one interception, a fumble recovery and a blocked kick.  See what the junior has to say leading up to the start of camp.



Silas Redd Summer Interview

Pete Massaro Summer Interview

Matt McGloin Summer Interview


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VIDEO: Meet the Men's Hoops Freshmen - Brandon Taylor

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - GoPSUsports.com continues its introduction of the Nittany Lion basketball freshmen for the 2012-13 season.

Today, we sit down with 6-8, 235-pound forward Brandon Taylor.  The Tabernacle, N.J. product has a Big Ten body and is ready to contribute for the Nittany Lions.  Taylor has the ability to post up and shoot from the perimeter.  He helped Trenton Catholic Academy (N.J.) to a 2010 New Jersey Non-Public B State Championship.

Taylor is on campus enrolled in classes and working out in preparation for his first season in Happy Valley.  Meet Nittany Lion basketball freshman Brandon Taylor.




Meet the Freshmen - Donovon Jack


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VIDEO: Summer Football Interview with Matt McGloin

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Nittany Lions are less than three weeks away from the opening day of training camp on Aug. 6.  To get ready for the start of practice, GoPSUsports.com will continue rolling out a series of player interviews over the next several days.

Today, we focus on quarterback Matt McGloin.  The senior was named starting quarterback entering the 2012 season on June 1. 
Learning a new offensive language, commanding the offense at the line of scrimmage while reading the defense and practicing at a swift pace were all challenges for McGloin and the rest of the quarterbacks during their first spring under the direction of Bill O'Brien.

McGloin improved each day and played the best football of the spring at the end of the practice season and ultimately earned the starting assignment, which sent the fiery competitor into the summer with a great deal of confidence.  McGloin has studied the offense throughout the summer and is eager to start fall practice on Aug. 6.




Silas Redd Summer Interview

Pete Massaro Summer Interview


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VIDEO: Meet the Men's Hoops Freshmen - Donovon Jack

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Beginning today, GoPSUsports.com will introduce the Nittany Lion basketball freshmen for the 2012-13 season with a series of video interviews.

First up is 6-9, 205-pound forward Donovon Jack.  Hailing from Reading, Pa., Jack brings a big post presence to the Penn State roster.  Jack is an athletic big man with a high basketball IQ.  The Berks Catholic all-state forward led his high school squad to a 28-3 mark, division, county and district championships last season.

Jack is on campus enrolled in classes and working out in preparation for his first season in Happy Valley.  Meet Nittany Lion basketball freshman Donovan Jack.


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VIDEO: 2012 Summer Series - Stephen Obeng-Agyapong's Internship

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Several members of the Nittany Lion football team are working at internships to fulfill degree requirements this summer.

Recently, GoPSUsports.com visited safety Stephen Obeng-Agyapong at his summer internship at the world headquarters for Minitab, a statistical software company in State College.  Developed in 1972, Minitab also has offices in the United Kingdom, France and Australia.

Obeng-Agyapong works in the marketing department of Minitab.  Among his many tasks, Obeng-Agyapong organizes storage files, communicates with a number of different clients on a regular basis and conducts demos with vendors.  An IST (information, sciences and technology) major, Obeng-Agyapong said that he has learned a lot from his internship at Minitab this summer.  Take a look.



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VIDEO: First Day of European Tour Practice

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Lady Lions will be going across the pond for a 10-day European Tour August 13-23. The team will be playing three games and will visit five cities in France and Italy. As part of the tour, the NCAA allows teams to practice 10 times before heading overseas.

The Lady Lions will begin their European trip in Paris, where they will spend two nights. The team will visit several historic landmarks and museums in Paris, including the Louvre, the Effiel Tower, the Champs-Elysees and Arc de Triomphe. The Lady Lions will take on Le Havre in their first tour game on August 15.

Penn State will then travel to Nice for a one-day tour stop before heading to Monaco and Lake Como for two days. On the second day in Lake Como, the team will play their second game of the tour against the Italian All-Star Team on August 18. The Lady Lions continue their tour in Florence, where they will see the Duomo, the Piazza della Signoria and Ponte Vecchio.

The final destination for the Lady Lions is a three-day visit to Rome, where Penn State will see the Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain, the Vatican, the Roman Colosseum & Forum and the Pantheon & Piazza Navona. The Lady Lions will play their final game of the European Tour against the Italian All-Star team on August 21.

The Lady Lions opened their practice today...check it out.


VIDEO: Summer Football Interview with Pete Massaro

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Nittany Lions are less than three weeks away from the opening day of training camp on Aug. 6.  To get ready for the start of practice, GoPSUsports.com will continue rolling out a series of player interviews over the next several days.

Today, we focus on senior defensive end Pete Massaro.  After a strong 2010 campaign, Massaro missed all of 2011 with a knee injury.  He is back to full strength and looking forward to playing a pivotal role on the Nittany Lion defense in the fall.



Silas Redd Summer Interview


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VIDEO: Summer Football Interview with Silas Redd

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Nittany Lions are three weeks away from the opening day of training camp on Aug. 6.  To get ready for the start of practice, GoPSUsports.com will be rolling out a series of player interviews over the next several days.

First up is a conversation with junior tailback Silas Redd.  The Connecticut native returns to the backfield following a superb sophomore season.  Redd tallied 1,241 yards and seven touchdowns in 2011.  See what he is looking forward to about the 2012 campaign.



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Offense Tops Defense at the 10th Annual Lift For Life

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Photo Gallery: 10th Annual Lift For Life


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Friday evening's 10th Annual Uplifting Athletes "Lift For Life" was a huge success with the offense battling past the the defense in a seven-event competition while raising money for the Kidney Cancer Association.

Early indications are that the funds raised in 2012 will top the $100,000 mark for the second-straight year, bringing the 10-year total to more than $700,000 raised for kidney cancer treatment and research. 
Fans can still make a "Lift For Life" donation by visiting the Penn State Uplifting Athletes donation page at: http://liftforlife.upliftingathletes.org/lfl2/.

Lift 3.JPG

On the field, the Nittany Lions engaged in a fierce battle pitting the offense (blue) against the defense (white) during a new team-oriented format that was a big hit with the more than 2,500 fans in attendance.  The offense and defense were each broken into three groups - "jets" (QB, RB, WR vs. DB), "bombers" (TE, FB vs. LB) and "tanks" (OL vs. DL).  Those three groups battled head-to-head in six grueling stations before capping things off with three games of tug-of-war.

The six stations included two players from each team pushing 6,400-pound conversion vans, a medicine ball toss through the uprights of a goal post, a giant truck tire flip
team relay, a shuttle run while carrying 100-pound bags, a sled pull and push and a farmer's carry.

Boosted by big performances from the offensive line and skill players, the offense took a 90-66 lead on the scoreboard heading into the five-minute halftime break after the teams finished their third rotation.  The defense closed the margin to within 10 points (146-136) following the sixth rotation, thanks to a big finish from the defensive line on the farmer's carry.

The narrow margin set up a dramatic finish with three tug-of-war contests, each worth 10 points towards the final team scoring, deciding the outcome.  The offense claimed all three pulls to score a 176-136 victory, and the unit will take some friendly bragging rights into the start of training camp, which begins on Aug. 6.

The Nittany Lions met with the fans and signed autographs after the test of physical and mental strength before participating in a team barbecue.

The players were in unanimous agreement following the 100-minute workout that the conversion van push was the toughest station in the competition.  Senior running back Michael Zordich described the van push as the ultimate leg workout.

Fitzgerald said afterwards that he felt like Friday's strenuous workout helped the team take a step forward in its quest to be in the best physical condition it can be in heading into the Sept. 1 season-opener against Ohio.  Fitzgerald jumped in and participated on a couple different events during the night, including the tire flip relay.

The 10th Lift For Life was again a tremendous success and fundraiser for kidney cancer, largely thanks to countless hours of preparation from the Uplifting Athletes group led by senior tackle Mike Farrell.


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VIDEO: Nittany Lions Set for New Format at Lift For Life

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RELEASE: Offense vs. Defense at 10th Annual Lift

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State strength coach Craig Fitzgerald wants to see the Nittany Lions having fun while they engage in a fierce competition pitting the offense against the defense at the 10th Annual Lift For Life on the Penn State Lacrosse Field from 5-7 p.m. on Friday.

The grueling workout is a staple in the summer training for the Nittany Lion football program.  All of the proceeds for the event are raised for kidney cancer awareness and assistance.

"Penn State has a proud tradition of always doing a great job with Lift For Life," Fitzgerald said.  "It is a great event, and it is a great cause.  I'm really proud of our players.  They have really taken the forefront on this.  They are pushing the whole thing, and they are trying to raise as much money as they can.  We are all behind them."

This year's new format will pit the offensive line against the defensive line, the tight ends against the linebackers and the quarterbacks and wide receivers against the defensive backs.  The teams will participate in seven different events.  Points will be awarded for each event with the winner decided by the highest cumulative total between the offense and defense.

As the points come in from each event, fans will see updates throughout the evening.  Coach Fitzgerald is encouraging the fans to rally behind groups and individual players to help push for more competition while the squads battle to determine a winner.

"The fans can expect to see intensity from our players; the guys getting after it and competing," Fitzgerald said.  "We are going to do some neat drills where they are flipping tires, tug of war, obstacle courses, to name a few drills.  We are going to make it really fun and exciting for our players, and it will be fun and exciting for the fans."

We caught up with Fitzgerald and Uplifting Athletes President Mike Farrell, who is leading the staff of student-athletes organizing Friday's Lift For Life event.  Take a look.


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2012-13 College Football Bowl Schedule Released

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Football Bowl Association (FBA) released the upcoming bowl schedule for the 2012 football season on Tuesday.

In all, 35 bowl games will be played in 28 different communities.  The Big Ten Conference will again have ties to eight different bowl games this season.  Should the conference have eight bowl eligible teams, the Big Ten will fill spots in a bowl games stretching from the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl on Dec. 26 to the Rose Bowl Game presented by VIZIO on Jan. 1.

Penn State has played in six different bowl games during the past seven seasons.  The list includes the Orange Bowl (2006), Outback Bowl (2007, 2011), Alamo Bowl (2007), Rose Bowl (2009), Capital One Bowl (2010) and TicketCity Bowl (2012).

The Big Ten will be busy on Tues., Jan. 1 with five games, including two games starting at 12 p.m. and two starting at 1 p.m.  The matchups include three Big Ten-SEC clashes at the Gator, Outback and Capital One Bowls.  Take a look at the full Big Ten bowl lineup.



2012-13 Big Ten Bowl Schedule

 

Date/Time (ET)

Bowl

Site

Matchup

TV

Dec. 26/7:30 p.m.

Little Caesars Pizza Bowl

Detroit, Mich.

Big Ten vs. MAC

ESPN

Dec. 28/9 p.m.

Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas

Houston, Texas

Big Ten vs. Big 12

ESPN

Dec. 29/10:15 p.m.

Valley of the Sun Bowl

Tempe, Ariz.

Big Ten vs. Big 12

ESPN

Jan. 1/12 p.m.

TicketCity Bowl

Dallas, Texas

Big Ten vs. C-USA

ESPNU

Jan. 1/12 p.m.

TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl

Jacksonville, Fla.

Big Ten vs. SEC

ESPN2

Jan. 1/1 p.m.

Capital One Bowl

Orlando, Fla.

Big Ten vs. SEC

TBA

Jan. 1/1 p.m.

Outback Bowl

Tampa, Fla.

Big Ten vs. SEC

TBA

Jan. 1/5 p.m.

Rose Bowl Game

Pasadena, Calif.

Big Ten vs. Pac-12

ESPN


For a complete list of all 35 bowl games in 2012-13, follow the link below:

 

2012-13 Bowl Schedule


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VIDEO: Tim Frazier Talks Deron Williams & LeBron James Skills Trips

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State point guard Tim Frazier has been in elite company on the hardwood this summer.

The standout senior worked out with some of the game's top point guards at the Deron Williams Skills Academy from June 21-23.  Beginning today, Frazier will be in Las Vegas after receiving an invitation to the LeBron James Skills Academy, which hosts 20 of the top players in college basketball.

GoPSUsports.com caught up with Frazier before traveling to the LeBron James Skills Academy.  Take a look.


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VIDEO: Happy Fourth of July

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VIDEO: Uplifting Athletes Getting Set to Host Lift For Life

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - For the past nine years, Uplifting Athletes, a group of Penn State football players, have worked together to lead the fight against kidney cancer.

To date, the group has raised more than $600,000, including more than $100,000 alone in 2011, for the Kidney Cancer Association.  Each summer, Uplifting Athletes hosts Lift For Life, a grueling test of physical and mental strength, to benefit of kidney cancer.

Founded by Penn State Football teammates Scott Shirley, Dave Costlow and Damone Jones in 2003, Uplifting Athletes is currently led by senior tackle Mike Farrell.  Farrell and his volunteer staff of football student athletes are getting set for the 10th Annual Penn State Lift for Life.

This year's event will take place on Friday, July 13 from 5-7 p.m. at the Penn State Lacrosse Field (located next to the Multisport Building).  Look for more information on the new format of the event in the coming days on GoPSUsports.com.

We recently caught up with Farrell as the Uplifting Athletes group reaches its final days of preparation for the event on July 13.  Take a look.


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