Penn State stockpiling standout defensive line prospects, Tim Bream under fire and more

aeneas hawkins-penn state-recruiting

We hope you’ll start your day with us here at the Landof10.com as we work to prepare you for everything that you need to know — Monday through Friday — around the world of Penn State sports. Whether it’s football, basketball, wrestling, hockey, baseball or just a wild story we hope you’ll find interesting, we’re here to share it all with you.

This is your Penn State Wake-Up Call for Friday, Aug. 11. Let’s get started.

Lining up linemen

The commitment of defensive tackle Aeneas Hawkins to Penn State on Thursday — something noted by Land of 10’s Tyler Donohue, among others — makes the D-line one of the strong points of the Nittany Lions’ 2018 recruiting class, which now numbers 23.

That was noted by Andrew Callahan of Lions247 and in a Pennlive.com report, which mentioned the 4-star status of not only Hawkins but fellow tackle PJ Mustipher, and the 3-star ranking of yet another tackle, Judge Culpepper.

And the thing is, the Lions — who have also drawn top-notch talent at other spots, notably receiver — might not be done stockpiling defensive linemen. As mentioned in the Pennlive story, end Micah Parsons is still in play, despite de-committing from PSU earlier in this recruiting cycle. So too is another end, Jayson Oweh.

Athletic trainer catches heat

Penn State head athletic trainer Tim Bream, who served as an in-house advisor to the shuttered Beta Theta Pi fraternity, has not been charged with any crime in connection with the death of a pledge named Tim Piazza earlier this year. But according to a report by Pennlive.com’s Christine Vendel, an attorney for one of the members charged in the case alleged at a preliminary hearing Thursday that Bream “personally approved” the major drinking activity that took place the night Piazza died.

(Phil) Steele-y vision

David Jones of Pennlive.com discusses one of Phil Steele’s signature stats, yards per point, with the publisher of one of college football’s most exhaustive preseason publications. The 2016 Lions, Jones writes, averaged 11.5 yards per point, far better than the national average of 14.5. And while precious few of the teams to reach that number since 1990 improved the following year — just 28.4 percent, by Jones’ calculations — Steele tells him that he believes Penn State is an “outlier.”

Open Mike … season (?)

Tight end Mike Gesicki, coming off a strong season, is striving to be even better this year, according to Omar Sankofa II of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “He’s still working the exact same way, that he still has a lot to prove,” tight ends coach Ricky Rahne tells Sankofa. “In his mind, he wants to prove to everybody that he is still the same tight end, that he is a dominant blocker and that he is the best tight end in the country.”

Crowded bandwagon

Mike Poorman of Statecollege.com discusses the come-one, come-all nature of Penn State’s practices with James Franklin, something accentuated Wednesday when the Big Ten Network’s road show rolled through Happy Valley. “I want people to come and experience it,” Franklin tells Poorman. “I want our players to get that type of support.”

’Cat trap fever

Mark Harrington of Fightonstate.com tabulates the results of a poll asking which is the most likely “trap game” on the Nittany Lions’ schedule, and finds that more than 54 percent of those who responded believe the Oct. 7 visit to Northwestern most fits that description. The Wildcats are among the favorites in the Big Ten West.

Also in the Land of 10

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