Silas Redd transferring to USC

Silas Redd announced Tuesday afternoon that he will transfer from Penn State to the University of Southern California.

In wake of the sanctions levied by the NCAA, Penn State players were allowed unprecedented liberal transfer rules. Redd visited USC’s campus over the weekend and viewed a workout on Monday morning before leaving.

Redd informed Penn State coach Bill O’Brien of his decision following a two=hour meeting Tuesday afternoon in State College.

“This has obviously been a very busy, emotionally draining week for me and my family,” Redd said in a statement he released following his decision. “As many of you know, playing football at Penn State has been a dream of mine since I was seven years old, and I will be forever grateful that this dream became a reality. This is the reason that the decision I have made is so difficult for me: I will transfer to USC to complete my education and my college football career, beginning in the 2012-2013 year. Penn State gave me a phenomenal opportunity to become part of a legendary football program. My teammates, my coaches – past and present – and the staff have provided me with a tremendous amount of guidance and support since I arrived on campus, and I can’t thank them enough for their time, their advice, and their friendship. They have given me such a strong foundation from which I can continue to grow.”

Redd, who has two years of eligibility remaining, rushed for 1,241 yards last season as a sophomore. As a freshman he ran for 437 yards and had a 5.7 average yards per rush.

He was widely considered to be Penn State’s best player and top target of other schools during this unique recruiting process.

USC coach Lane Kiffin and seven assistants came east last week to meet with Redd and his family in Connecticut. Redd then went to the Los Angeles campus for the weekend.

USC was looking for a running back to fill one of its final needs on offense.

The transfer means the running back position will be filled by Bill Belton, Curtis Dukes, Derek Day and possibly incoming freshman Akeel Lynch. Lynch, though, is apparently considering a move to Iowa.

In high school Redd starred at King Low Heywood Thomas School in Stamford, Conn. ranked Redd as the top high school player in the state in 2009 and he was selected to play in the 2010 U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

In addition, Rivals had the Norwalk native ranked as the No. 4 running back in the country while had him as the No. 7 running back.

He helped lead his team to a 16-2 record during his final two years of high school. He gained 1,924 yards during his senior season. Even more impressive was his 14.0 average yards per attempt.

For more information on Eastern football, follow @EastRecruiting on Twitter.

Penn State rallies in support of current players

Chances are, for most of the students walking down State College’s Beaver Avenue at 5:45 this morning it was the first time they had been on the streets that early since they were walking home from a long night out.

Instead of trudging back to their apartments after a night of frivolity, this stream of students was headed to an early morning football workout. They were headed to show their appreciation and support to the players who are staying at Penn State.

The students joined businessmen in coats and ties that stopped by before work, parents with children wanting to show support and many, many students (even though 95% of students aren’t even back on campus yet).

Everybody converged on Holuba Hall to greet players as they made their way to what was otherwise a normal summer Tuesday morning workout.

Various estimates  pegged the turnout between 3,000 -4,000.

Rise and Rally, as the event was tagged, was organized by The Goon Show, a football centric podcast hosted by former Penn State players Keith Conlin and Tim Sweeney. It was meant to show support for players that are staying at the school.

Fans also got to line the practice field and watch the short workout. After the workout, the players invited the fans on to the field for the group huddle and breakdown.

The players were clearly moved by the show of support as Matt McGloin, Donovan Smith, Garry Gilliam, Adrian Amos, Bill Belton and Steven Bench, to name just a few, took to Twitter to express their gratitude.

Said McGloin, “After experiencing this today, I don’t know who would want to leave this place.”

The first official first day of fall practice for Penn State is Aug. 6. The team’s opening game is Sept. 1 against Ohio at noon in Beaver Stadium.

For more information on eastern football and recruiting, follow @EastRecruiting on Twitter.



For Penn State football – a week like no other

From worse than the death penalty to the nucleus of the 2013 class all staying – in a week that many declared as the death knell for Penn State football, there were actually a few rays of hope.

It all began Monday morning with the NCAA skirting its normal processes and bylaws and penalizing Penn State and its football program as badly – if not worse – than any school in history. This was done on the heels of the scathing Freeh report – a report that the school itself commissioned and paid for.

The school agreed to the penalties and not to challenge them just so it wasn’t hit with a four-year death penalty. Even though the NCAA bylaws say it can only levy a two-year death penalty, the school was threatened with an unprecedented four-year penalty. As the week went on, however, we saw how many normal rules were tossed out the window in an effort to decimate the Penn State football program and show the public that the NCAA – or at least president Mark Emmert – means business.

By Monday afternoon many national pundits proclaimed the penalties worse than the death penalty. The scholarship losses will all but make Penn State football irrelevant. One analyst said the penalties would probably make Penn  State football like the University of Chicago – a school that would have to drop football.

In addition to those scholarship losses, the NCAA was positive that hardly any current Penn State players would want to actually stay at their school so it waived all logical tampering, contact and recruiting rules. This led to mass chaos.

Coaches from many other schools camped out on campus and in front of players’ apartments. Even after many players publicly committed to staying at Penn State, other coaches continue to stalk.

Illinois, in fact, sent eight coaches to State College complete with Illinois garb and gear. Illinois coach Tim Beckman said his coaches weren’t on campus. Penn State players, though, tweeted about having coaches right outside their apartments.

All of this mess was the prelude to coach Bill O’Brien heading to Big 10 Media Days in Chicago. In addition to O’Brien, players Michael Mauti, Jordan Hill and John Urschel were in Chicago for all the media to see and hear.

First, a group of about 30 players stated publicly – and in a group – that they were staying at Penn State.

Then came the media conferences. In fact, Mauti’s passion for the school was evident to all and even begrudgingly started to engender sympathy from some media members. Although, all positive comments about PSU players had to be  qualified with the prerequisite nasty comments about the school such as in this column on CBS.

By the last day of the media frenzy in Chicago, fans of opposing teams were coming up to the Penn State players to wish them luck and tell them they’d be rooting for them.

Then came the weekend.

The core group of the 2013 recruiting class came to State College to meet with O’Brien. By Saturday afternoon all-everything quarterback Christian Hackenberg, four-star tight end Adam Breneman, Garrett Sickels, Will Fuller, Brendan Mahon, Andrew Nelson and Dorian Johnson all reaffirmed their commitments to the school.

A prominent national football writer for Sports Illustrated, Stewart Mandel, even tweeted, “So much for the mass exodus.”

The news didn’t end there. We found out that third-string quarterback Rob Bolden, a junior, is probably transferring to LSU. What wasn’t mentioned is that Bolden was granted his release during the spring. This comes after two frustrating years. He, in fact, wanted to transfer after his freshman season. It just took him this long to find a school that was interested. Given how things were progressing, the transfer is probably a good thing for both Bolden and the staff.

Sure, it would be better to have Bolden for depth at the position. But if ever a change of scenery might be good for someone, it’s Bolden. And that was the case before the Sandusky news and Freeh report ever came to light.

That leaves us with Silas Redd. Obviously, it would be a blow to the team and program if he left for USC. However, as of this writing on Monday morning, he hadn’t bolted. That’s good news for Penn State fans as many assumed the star running back would’ve committed to USC while visiting the campus over the weekend.

So it was quite a week for everyone associated with the Penn State football program. No, things aren’t going to be great for quite a few years. But if you were listening last Monday, one would’ve thought the program would immediately fall into a deep abyss and never come out.

Time will tell and maybe all those national writers will be correct and Penn State football will die a slow, painful death. But for Penn State fans hoping that is not the case, the week also contained a few rays of hope for the future.

New temporary PSU transfer rules go overboard

by Marty Valania

Has anybody actually read what opposing schools are allowed to do to current Penn State football players right now? And does anybody think this is a good idea?

Look, I have absolutely no qualms with any Penn State football player that wants to transfer. I have absolutely no problem with the NCAA easing restrictions on Penn State football players transferring. They should be able to leave and be able to play right away. It makes perfect sense.

In addition, I have no qualms with many of the penalties that the NCAA levied against Penn State. This one part of the transfer rule, however, makes no sense to me.

Here are the “new” rules in black and white.

“The NCAA recognizes that current football student-athletes will be negatively impacted by the Penn State sanctions,” said Kevin Lennon, NCAA vice president for Academic and Membership Affairs. “We want to allow those eligible student-athletes as much flexibility as possible while still being mindful of some of the transfer safeguards our membership has put in place.”

Okay. That sounds good to me.

What doesn’t make sense is that every college in the country can now recruit Penn State football players – EVEN IF THEY HAVEN’T EXPRESSED ANY INTEREST IN LEAVING.  The suspension of contact rule has been suspended. That is the craziest thing I’ve ever heard. Phones started ringing Monday morning – just after Mark Emmert got done speaking.

We’ve all heard the rumors. Silas Redd to USC being the chief among them. But I also saw that one SEC coach offered three Penn State players scholarships before noon on Monday. ACC schools, UConn, Rutgers, Tennessee, Ohio State, the list of vultures goes on and on.

Granted, the NCAA wants to punish Penn State football into submission. That much is clear. But allowing this is the absolute most hypocritical thing they can do.

As I stated earlier, if a player wants to transfer he should be able to contact any school in the country. He should be able to pick where he wants to go and go there and play immediately.

But allowing other schools to contact them minutes after they just heard about these unprecedented sanctions is callous and a terrible precedent to set. These players have had their lives turned upside down and now you’re letting the recruiting sharks at them without having the opportunity to even digest the situation. It’s just plain horrible.

In addition, they are allowing schools to exceed their scholarship limits to accept Penn State players. Really? I’m not making this stuff up. This is how the NCAA thinks is a good way to change the football culture – by allowing coaches to attack other rosters and exceed their scholarship limits. At any other time these are all violations.

Does anybody really think that this is “being mindful of the transfer safeguards the membership has put in place?”

Does Penn State need to be penalized? Absolutely. Do the players need to be penalized any more than they already have been? Absolutely not.

Does this rule somehow benefit the victims? If so, fail to see how.

I understand punitive penalties. I don’t understand overturning fundamental rules that have been safeguards forever.

To learn more about eastern football recruiting, follow @EastRecruiting on Twitter or email

NCAA sanction announcement could cause havoc on PSU’s 2013 class

If you think recruiting is a crazy business with lots of upheaval, just wait until NCAA President Mark Emmert announces his sanctions against Penn State.

The announcement is set for 9 a.m. Eastern Monday morning and is expected to include a $30-$60 million fine, a multiple year bowl ban and “crippling” scholarship losses.

Despite the Sandusky scandal, Coach Bill O’Brien and his staff have pieced together a highly ranked recruiting class – ranked in the top 15 of services such as, 247Sports, and ESPN. The class has been led by stalwarts Adam Breneman and Christian Hackenberg and those two have rallied many other high school stars into the Penn State 2013 recruiting class.

Even after the Freeh report was released two weeks ago, all of the recruits have been steadfast in their commitments to PSU.

That changed over the weekend as New Jersey defensive tackle flipped from Penn State to North Carolina. Others have noted that they might look around or “keep their options open.”

Other recruits are just plain sick and angry about being asked about their commitments every hour of the day. Here’s what four-star defensive end from New Jersey Garrett Sickels had to say on Twitter.

That’s probably good advice but not how the media or social media world works these days and speculation is officially rampant.

In addition to Hackenberg, Breneman and Sickels, Penn State’s 2013 recruiting class as of today includes Brandon Bell, Zach Bradshaw, Curtis Cothran, Ross Douglas, William Fuller, Zayd Issah, Dorian Johnson, Brendon Mahon, Andrew Nelson, and Neiko Robinson.

All of them are three and four-star recruits. All of them would be desired by other schools.

In addition, social media has been full of posts talking about college coaches getting ready to pick the Penn State roster like vultures.

Recruiting is a crazy business that is getting crazier all the time. Depending on what Emmert says tomorrow, we may be on the verge of the craziest recruiting story we’ve ever seen.

For more information on eastern football recruiting, follow @EastRecruiting on Twitter or email

Olsen having a good Elite 11 to this point

Through two days of the Elite 11 showcase in Redondo Beach, Cal. Kevin Olsen, according to multiple reports, is having the best showing of any of the quarterbacks from the East.

Along with Olsen, a Miami recruit from Wayne, N.J., Christian Hackenberg (Fork Union, Va. and Penn State recruit) and Shane Cockerille (Baltimore, Md. and Maryland recruit) are participating. They are three of 25 standout quarterbacks from around the country competing in the ESPN event.

For those looking to follow the event on a free site, check out 247Sports message board. It has continuous updates during all drills and competitions.

There are still two days of drills and competition left for Hackenberg, Cockerille or any of the other top quarterbacks and recruits in the country to improve.

The competition will also be televised as a show on ESPNU.

Other quarterbacks attending will be Max Browne (USC), Shane Morris (Michigan), Cooper Bateman (Alabama), Cody Thomas (Oklahoma), Tyrone Swoopes (Texas), Brice Ramsey (Georgia), Malik Zaire (Notre Dame), Troy Williams (Washington), J.T. Barrett (Ohio State), Asiantii Woulard (South Florida), Riley Ferguson (Tennessee), Jared Goff (Cal), Anthony Jennings (LSU), Johnny Stanton (Nebraska), Austin Allen (Arkansas), Davis Webb (Texas Tech), Zack Greenlee (undecided), DeVante Kincaid (Ole Miss), Joshua Dobbs (Arizona State), Luke Del Rio (Oklahoma State), Danny Etling (Purdue) and Zach Allen (Syracuse).

For more information on eastern football recruiting, follow @EastRecruiting on Twitter or email

Hackenberg, Olsen and Cockerille ready for Elite 11

Christian Hackenberg will compete in the Elite 11 finals in California.

Three of the nation’s top quarterback prospects are from the Mid-Atlantic region and all three will be at the national Elite 11 finals camp starting July 18 in Redondo Beach, Cal.

Christian Hackenberg (Fork Union, Va. and Penn State), Wayne Olsen (Wayne, N.J. and Miami) and Shane Cockerille (Baltimore and Maryland) will be competing with 22 other high school quarterbacks. All but one of the 25 has committed to a big-time college program The event, run by ESPN and coached by some recognizable names such as head coach Trent Dilfer, will be televised on ESPN.

The 25 participants won their way there by winning a regional competition or were selected because of their high performance (although not necessarily winning) at those regional competitions.

Regionals were held in Dallas, Atlanta, New York, Columbus, Oakland and Las Vegas. The competition at regionals consisted of quarterbacks throwing routes to receivers and accuracy competitions. The finals are a lot more intense with more drills and playbook knowledge coming into play.

Hackenberg is 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds from Fork Union, Va. and has committed to Penn State. He is the number one rated quarterback by ESPN while also being ranked highly by 247Sports, Rivals and Scout. Hackenberg is a pro style passer that runs a 4.8 40-yard dash.

He finished second in the Las Vegas regional and was the awarded the first wild card berth into the finals.

The playbook study is one of the biggest differences between Elite 11 and other camps as Hackenberg noted in an interview last month in which he had his Elite 11 playbook in hand.

“I just got the playbook and it’s not easy,” Hackenberg said at the time. “But that’s the biggest thing I have to do to get ready. I have to learn the playbook.”

He has also affirmed his commitment to Penn State to several outlets despite the media frenzy in wake of the Freeh report. He says he is looking forward to playing for new coach Bill O’Brien.

“There’s a new energy with the program,” said Hackenberg, who was born in Tamaqua, Pa. and grew up in northeastern Pennsylvania before moving to Virginia. “Coach O’Brien has brought that and he’s the biggest reason I’m going to Penn State.”

Olsen is a 6-2, 195 pounder that is headed to Miami. He is ranked as the seventh top quarterback prospect by ESPN but the fifth overall QB prospect by 247Sports and the first overall in the state of New Jersey. Olsen, whose brother played tight end at Miami, had offers from 19 schools total including the likes of Arkansas, Auburn, Michigan, Florida, Florida State and Wisconsin to name a few.

Olsen won the New York regional to earn is spot in the national finals.

Committed to Maryland, Cockerille is the 21st ranked quarterback by ESPN. He is 6-2, 207 and runs a 4.9 40. Cockerille also had scholarship offers from Michigan, Virginia, Navy and Temple.

The future Terrapin competed in the New York regional and reached the final six of the competition. He was awarded a wild card entry into the finals.

Other quarterbacks attending will be Max Browne (USC), Shane Morris (Michigan), Cooper Bateman (Alabama), Cody Thomas (Oklahoma), Tyrone Swoopes (Texas), Brice Ramsey (Georgia), Malik Zaire (Notre Dame), Troy Williams (Washington), J.T. Barrett (Ohio State), Asiantii Woulard (South Florida), Riley Ferguson (Tennessee), Jared Goff (Cal), Anthony Jennings (LSU), Johnny Stanton (Nebraska), Austin Allen (Arkansas), Davis Webb (Texas Tech), Zack Greenlee (undecided), DeVante Kincaid (Ole Miss), Joshua Dobbs (Arizona State), Luke Del Rio (Oklahoma State), Danny Etling (Purdue) and Zach Allen (Syracuse).

For more information on eastern football recruiting, follow @EastRecruiting on Twitter or email

Maryland Crab Bowl to hold evaluation camps

The Maryland Crab Bowl will be holding four tryout and evaluation camps for players in the 2013, 2014 and 2015 classes. The game is only for 2013 players but the sophomores and juniors to be are eligible to come to the camps for evaluation.

Top performers at the camp may have the opportunity to play in the 2012 Maryland Crab Bowl. The Maryland Crab Bowl is put on by the Maryland Football Foundation and  is a all-star game for seniors. The game is in its fifth year of existence. and is Maryland’s only statewide high school all-star football game.

This is the first year that the camp is open to underclassmen. While they will not be able to participate in the game, they will be eligible for the Maryland Football Foundation’s All-State Camp team and be invited to the banquet that kicks off game week in December.

The Maryland Crab Bowl Evaluation Camps will provide four opportunities throughout the state in an effort to make it convenient for all players to attend.  All camps will start at 6 pm and end around 8:30 pm.  Registration will start at 5 pm. Links are below.

West Camp – July 23rd Linganore HS, 12013 Old Annapolis Rd, Frederick, MD 21701

North Camp – July 24th Franklin HS, 12000 Reisterstown Rd, Reisterstown, MD 21136

East Camp – July 25th Cambridge-South Dorchester HS, 2475 Cambridge Bypass, Cambridge, MD 21613

South Camp – July 31st Riverdale Baptist, 1133 Largo Rd, Upper Marlboro, MD 20774

The cost for each camp is $40.00.  Walk-ups are $50.00

For more information on eastern football recruiting, follow @EastRecruiting on Twitter or email

Chesapeake Bowl North team tryout camp’s top players compete for spots

A steady five-hour rain held down attendance at the Chesapeake Bowl’s North team tryout camp Saturday at Cardinal O’Hara High in Springfield, Pa. but there was still a strong contingent of Division I prospects on hand.

The Chesapeake Bowl, run by the Mid-Atlantic Football Foundation, is in its third season and will be played Sunday, Dec. 30 in Prince Georges County, Md.

The majority of the top performers at the camp appear headed for the upper crust of FCS schools. Here’s a look at the top players on the day.

The team will be picked from the tryout camps as well as from a pool of other top players in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland.

CURTIS COTHRAN – 2013 class – Council Rock North (Pa.) Defensive End (committed to Penn State)

Cothran, a three-star prospect by all the recruiting services, has already committed to Penn State and remained solid with that commitment Saturday. He was easily the best player in the camp. He has great footwork, good speed and strength. He was clearly a notch above the other lineman. At 6-4, 235 pounds, he has a large frame that can hold more bulk and weight.

JORDYN BENNETT – 2013 class – Glen Mills (Pa.) Garnet Valley High – Running Back/Cornerback

Bennett is a two-star recruit out of Garnet Valley High. He is a 5-10, 160 pounder with 4.4 speed, that is one of the leading rushers in southeastern Pa. His speed is clearly his biggest asset and most coveted by FCS and FBS schools alike. They also would like to see him play cornerback, a position he hasn’t had a lot of time at so far. He is working on his defensive skills this summer and hopes to make an impact on that side of the ball in the fall. He is an outstanding student and has Ivy interest as well.

WESLEY HILLS – 2013 class – Wildwood (N.J.) Linebacker/Running Back

Hills could be a real sleeper and a great get for some FBS school. He’s a linebacker and running back at Wildwood but look for him to emerge as a safety at the next level. At 6-2, 195 pounds, he showed he could run with anybody. He also showed a willingness to play anywhere the coaches wanted. He said CAA schools like Old Dominion and Towson have showed interest as well as Bucknell and even Boston College.

MILEAK FORD – 2013 class – Monroeville (Pa.) Gateway High Tight End/Linebacker

Ford is a 6-3, 215-pound tight end/linebacker who will most likely be targeted for the offensive side of the ball at the next level. He has soft hands, runs great routes and a solid body. On a high school team filled with prospects, Ford is probably overlooked a little bit. An excellent student with a great attitude, look for CAA, Patriot and Ivy schools to come knocking.

TODD JETER – 2013 class – Monroeville (Pa.) Gateway High – Cornerback

Jeter is a 6-0, 170 pound defensive back that has FBS corner skills. He is physical enough to play press coverage and has great closing speed. He appears to be headed the JUCO route but don’t be surprised if he turns up at a FBS or an upper crust FCS school in two years.

XAVIER WILSON – 2013 class – Cinnaminson (N.J.) – Defensive End

Wilson is a 6-3, 250 pounder that plays both defensive end and tight end in high school. He will definitely be looked at more as a defensive end at the next level. He is quick off the ball with good feet and strength. He could make an impact on the FCS level.

RONALD WOMACK – 2013 class – Philadelphia West Catholic High – Wide Receiver

Womack, a 5-11, 180-pounder, was the top receiver in the camp. He has good speed and good hands. His routes were also strong. In addition, he has enough upper body strength to get off the ball and be physical when needed. Like many others at the tryout, he could be a help to a good FCS program.

RYAN AMMERMANN – 2013 class – Malvern Prep (Pa.) Wide Receiver/Safety

Ammermann is 6-2, 205 pounds and plays both wide receiver and safety. He played as a junior as wide receiver but not on the defensive side of the ball. It appears, though, as those his skills may have him  playing safety at the next level. Ammermann is quick with good hands and strong. He was very competitive throughout the day. Once colleges get tape of him at safety expect interest to increase. Currently, he is being looked at by CAA and Patriot League schools.

JOSEPH BARRETT – 2013 class – Malvern Prep (Pa.) Linebacker

At 6-1, 220 Barrett plays offensive line and defensive end at Malvern Prep. Look for him to be looked at as an outside linebacker at the next level. He has good strength and speed and a quick first step. Currently he is being looked at by Ivy League and CAA schools.



Penn State recruit stands by his commitment

Curtis Cothran reaffirmed his Penn State commitment.

Watching television and reading national sports outlets, one would think that Penn State is hemorrhaging recruits due to the Sandusky scandal and ensuing Freeh report.

The truth is, however, that it doesn’t seem the case with any of the recruits so far and, in fact, Curtis Cothran reiterated his commitment today while at Chesapeake Bowl North Team Tryout Camp at Cardinal O’Hara High in Springfield, Pa.

Cothran, a 6-5, 245-pound, three-star defensive end out of Council Rock (Pa.) North committed to Penn State in March and said, without a doubt, that he still plans on attending Penn State and that he’s looking forward to it.

“Once I visited there I knew that’s where I wanted to go,” Cothran said. “I think Coach O’Brien is a great coach and I can’t wait to get there.”

Cothran echoed what fellow recruits Adam Breneman and Christian Hackenberg said two weeks ago.

“We want to start a new legacy at Penn State,” he said. “We want to go in and prove everybody wrong. Those guys feel exactly how I feel. This whole thing has nothing to do with us or our coaching staff. We just want to go in there and show everybody.”

The standout defensive end is ranked as the 20th best defensive end in the country by Rivals and the tenth best recruit in the state of Pennsylvania. ranks him as the 54th best defensive end while 247Sports has Cothran ranked as the 45th best defensive end in the country.

Cothran said that even though the news has been terrible on air and in print, he has gotten great support locally.

“Around here, people are very supportive,” Cothran said. “They know that it’s a good school and that it’s a good place. This is something that is out of our control. We didn’t have anything to do with it.”

Cothran also says that he doesn’t feel any added pressure because of the scandal.

“I never really looked at it like we were going to save the school or anything,” he said. “It’s a great place and we just want to go up and turn the football program around.”

Cothran hopes to help lead Council Rock North to success during his senior season.

“I want to bulk up some and I want to do everything I can to help us get to the playoffs this year,” he said. “I want to enjoy my last high school season.”


For more information on eastern football recruiting, follow @EastRecruiting on Twitter or email


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