Penn State focuses on physical play; where did WR Saeed Blacknall go?

penn-state-physical play-rutgers

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Let’s get physical

Penn State coach James Franklin likes what he sees of his team heading into the Homecoming game against Rutgers on Saturday.

More importantly, per Greg Pickel of Pennlive, Franklin reiterated his team will be ready for the Scarlet Knights.

From Pickel:

“I think we got a few little wrinkles on defense, a few little wrinkles on offense, and I like where we’re at.”

Pickel also notes that the Nittany Lions hosted ROTC cadets at practice on Wednesday.

Disappearing act

Since he torched Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship game last season, Penn State wide receiver Saeed Blacknall has been a man of mystery.

Suspended for the Rose Bowl, Blacknall has become an offensive enigma, writes the Centre Daily Times’ John McGonigal.

Blacknall has just 12 receptions for 214 yards this season.

Just say no to Rutgers

Blacknall also recalled his decision to spurn his home-state Scarlet Knights when it came time to make a decision on which school to sign with, writes Jill Beckman of

From Beckman:

“It was tough,” he said, “but I saw what they had going on here, even with what happened with the sanctions, and I still felt like it would be a better fit to come here than to just stay home.”

Blacknall and Penn State teammate Saquon Barkley were both targets of Rutgers and both initially verbally committed to play for the Scarlet Knights before changing their minds prior to signing day.

A little extra work

Shareef Miller has seen an increase in his snaps for Penn State’s defense in the last two weeks, thanks to injuries along the defensive front.

Miller isn’t complaining about the extra workload, writes Joe Juliano of

Hitting the mat

Penn State’s wrestling team will take to the mat for the first regular-season dual meet against Army at 7 p.m. on Thursday night, writes Mark Harrington from 247 Sports.

The Nittany Lions enter the season No. 1 according to InterMat and will also host Bucknell on Sunday at 2 p.m.

On the hardwood

The Penn State men’s basketball team is also getting ready for its season opener, 4 p.m. Friday against Campbell.

Ryne Gery of the Centre Daily Times writes that one of the main areas the Nittany Lions are focusing on this preseason is mental toughness. Coach Patrick Chambers has been preaching a consistent effort beyond 8-10 minute stretches on the floor this season.

From Gery:

Right now, the Nittany Lions can put together a solid run for 8-10 minutes, only to see a drop-off in their play at other times. To find that consistency this season, Chambers has challenged his team to be ready to go mentally.

Penn State’s nonconference schedule includes a pair of dates in Brooklyn on Thanksgiving week: the first against Pittsburgh and the second against either Oklahoma State or Texas A&M.

Miss previous editions of the Wakeup Call? They can be found here.

The post Penn State focuses on physical play; where did WR Saeed Blacknall go? appeared first on Land of 10.

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