Chat with Josh Moyer
Welcome to NittanyNation! On Friday, reporter Josh Moyer stops by to chat about the state of Penn State football.
Moyer joined ESPN.com in 2012 after previously working for The Citizens' Voice in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
Send your questions now and join Moyer Friday at 1 p.m. ET!
Josh Moyer (Nittany Nation) (12:59 PM)
Hey guys! Thanks for joining us this week, and welcome to another Penn State chat. We'll get started in a minute here.
Josh Moyer (Nittany Nation) (1:00 PM)
... and we're off! Who's got the first question this week?
hey Josh, do you expect all commits to sign?
Josh Moyer (Nittany Nation) (1:01 PM)
Absolutely. I've spoken to all these guys, and they're not going anywhere. Neiko Robinson absolutely loved his official visit to PSU, Kasey Gaines has reiterated his commitment and Parker Cothren (and his mother and brother) have gone on the record to say he's staying. To me, those were the three guys to keep an eye on -- and they're all sticking with PSU. You won't see any decommitments from here on out.
do you expect any players to bolt to other programs??
Josh Moyer (Nittany Nation) (1:03 PM)
Honestly, Jim, I'd be a little surprised if some didn't. But I'm sure some guys are going to wait to see until the depth chart comes out for the spring. Nine guys left last year, but most of those departures (Kevin Haplea, Tim Buckley, Rob Bolden, etc.) weren't felt a whole lot. I think it'll be less severe this offseason. You might see a handful of guys head elsewhere for playing time -- but it shouldn't affect this team's overall chances at winning.
Hey-o.... Looks like the NCAA and Emmert's Stooges are more dysfunctional than we thought as they have decided to now attack themselves before bringing the hammer down Miami and Al Golden (another example of punishing those who had nothing to do with the actual problem)... how does this effect the lawsuit PA vs. NCAA...I'm thinking it all but assures this pushes the suit forward and over the hurdle of legitimacy...?
Josh Moyer (Nittany Nation) (1:06 PM)
Hey TK! Yeah, I didn't think it would have been possible for Emmert and Co. to show us they're even more incapable of running the NCAA. But, hey, Emmert's full of surprises. As far as Penn State's lawsuit, though, I don't think this gives it a better chance to move past the first step. It definitely shows the NCAA is fundamentally flawed. But the first issue this lawsuit has to get past is whether the state even has standing to file. HOWEVER, if the lawsuit moves past that first step, I think this has to at least help a little bit. If for no other reason, it should make the NCAA want to settle quickly because it certainly doesn't look good. USC, Miami and UNC didn't exactly cooperate and they got off with basically a slap on the wrist so far. PSU fully cooperates and nearly gets the death penalty? I don't think you'll see many investigative reports in the future if that's what we're shown ...
How do you sleep at night?
Josh Moyer (Nittany Nation) (1:06 PM)
Usually with my right arm underneath my pillow.
Any kickers part of this recruiting class or "run-ons" class that will compete with Ficken?
Josh Moyer (Nittany Nation) (1:07 PM)
Right now, there is one committed preferred walk-on -- and that's Chris Gulla out of Toms River in New Jersey. He had several other invitations to walk-on elsewhere, so he's a good kicker and he's been told he'll immediately compete for the starting job. He punts a little bit, too, but he still needs to improve in that department. I think he might be able to unseat Ficken -- but probably not Butterworth. Gulla told me his goal, obviously, is to start in 2013.
do you know if Brenaman will participate in spring drill?
Josh Moyer (Nittany Nation) (1:10 PM)
I spoke to Breneman's HS coach last week, and he said Adam's coming along pretty quickly -- but I don't think you'll see him compete in contact drills. Adam really wants to be ready in time for the Blue-White Game, but I don't think they'll want to put him in that contact situation so quickly. He should be good for the preseason, but I think they'll bring him along slowly. PSU fans might have to wait a little while longer to see him play in person. But I really do think he's going to be something special, NFL special.
do you think McGloin will get drafted? I mean I think he can play if system is right. he can't be worse than Blaine Gabbert right?
Josh Moyer (Nittany Nation) (1:12 PM)
Haha ... yeah, Gabbert's a mess. McGloin is actually training for 10 weeks in L.A. right now at Performance Gaines, where Andrew Luck trained last year in preparation for the NFL draft. Maybe someone takes a chance at him as like a seventh-rounder, but I think he's still likely an undrafted free agent. He'll definitely get an opportunity somewhere. And, if I'm the Patriots, I have to be a little tempted to take McGloin. I believe they only had Brady and Mallett on the active roster last year, and why not bring in a young guy who already knows a lot of the offense?
With the 2013 recruiting class about finished, what are the chances of the Nittany Lions landing Rod Crayton or Brian Lemelle?
Josh Moyer (Nittany Nation) (1:14 PM)
Basically zero chance. Penn State isn't really interested in those two guys anymore. Once Cothren committed, it basically halted contact with Crayton. And I don't think PSU is interested in Lemelle anymore, although I can't remember if that came immediately after DaeSean Hamilton committed. PSU's visiting another LB today in George Vinson, so keep an eye on what happens there. If he gets an offer, there's a great chance he commits. Rutgers is also visiting him today, too.
can NCAA give Death Penalty to NCAA?
Josh Moyer (Nittany Nation) (1:15 PM)
Haha. I saw one columnist write that. Emmert basically showed a lack of institutional control ... so maybe PSU should decide on his punishment. Right?
Matt (Enola, PA)
Any word on the UVA game next year? Is it still happening? Seem to be lots of rumors about it. Thanks
Josh Moyer (Nittany Nation) (1:17 PM)
Hey Matt, let me know if I'm missing something here because I haven't heard anything new in the past couple weeks. But the rumors were basically that Rhode Island was going to take Virginia's spot. That rumor's since been debunked; maybe PSU was thinking about it before. But URI players ran their mouths, and it later came out PSU wasn't interested in scheduling URI then. So UVa's still on the schedule
would you give us your proposal for division split?
Josh Moyer (Nittany Nation) (1:18 PM)
The Big Ten guys, Rittenberg and Bennett, had a poll earlier this week ... so I don't think my proposal is going to be very popular. (It was the least-popular choice, actually.) But I like the idea of an inner-outer set-up to kind of keep a competitive balance. Division A: Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, Penn State, Rutgers, Wisconsin. Division B: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Northwestern, Ohio State, Purdue
Golden (Philadelphia, PA)
Have you heard any information about how Rutgers will handle home games against schools like PSU? 60K is great for the Big East, but we are talking B1G football here.
Josh Moyer (Nittany Nation) (1:21 PM)
Nothing yet, but they still have quite awhile to prepare. The Maryland games might be a little more painful; I think those games will be a little like Phillies fans when they play the Nats.
Derek (NC )
What's chances David Williams switches commitment to PSU?
Josh Moyer (Nittany Nation) (1:23 PM)
No. I do know PSU's targeting another tailback right now -- no offer yet -- so taking another RB isn't out of the question. It just won't be for Williams, who committed to South Carolina and had been leaning toward the Gamecocks since at least October.
Jasmeet Chawla (Domdtown, NJ)
Josh, after what we have seen from Christian at qb in high school, do you see him starting from day one? Or redshirt. I think I would prefer redshirting. What are your thoughts?
Josh Moyer (Nittany Nation) (1:25 PM)
He definitely won't start from Day 1. His school doesn't allow students to graduate early -- if he enrolled early, I think he'd be the starter. But he can't come in over the summer, digest a complicated offense and succeed from the get-go. Even Matt Stafford struggled in his rookie campaign, throwing twice as many INTs to TDs, and he enrolled early. I think Hackenberg redshirts this season (his dad prefers that) but 2014 and on, it's got to be his job to lose.
Two questions pertaining to Mauti. What officially was his knee injury? I've heard Knee Sprain but have been hard pressed to find it anywhere. And, what round is he likely to get drafted in?
Josh Moyer (Nittany Nation) (1:28 PM)
Officially, there's been no word. Mauti wants to try to keep it out of the public for whatever reason. (NFL teams will find out ... so I don't understand his reasoning.) He gave an interview last week and refused to talk about the injury. I talked to him in December, I think, and he wouldn't talk about it then either. From my understanding, it appears to be a torn ACL. Even if he's lost for a year, teams will take a late-round flier on him. But I think he's likely a fifth- or sixth-round guy now. If he's healthy, he's probably a second-rounder.
psat (New York, NY)
3 more scholarships left for the year...are we going to save them or use them? If so, on who? Thanks Josh !
Josh Moyer (Nittany Nation) (1:30 PM)
Well, Penn State's definitely going to use at least one. I know of three targets they were after. One of those was Tyler Boyd, who they tried to visit TWICE this week ... but he wouldn't see them. So Boyd's out of the equation. Another is an RB who wanted to stay out of the headlines for now, but I think fans would be happy with the pick-up. He's a three-star guy and is still waiting word on an offer, but he's been talking a lot with PSU. And the other guy is LB George Vinson out of Damascus (Md.), who's being visited today by Rutgers and Penn State. He doesn't have a PSU or RU offer yet ... but that could happen, oh, in about two hours. We should know soon.
josh..thanks for the time..what's the biggest issue facing the nittany lion going into '13?..what's the scouting report on top qb recruit coming in..can he step right in and start?
Josh Moyer (Nittany Nation) (1:33 PM)
The biggest issue, I think, is replacing Matt McGloin. He threw 24 touchdowns to 5 interceptions, and at least three of those picks bounced off his receivers. PSU's going to commit more turnovers this season, and I think the success of this season is going to be pinned a lot on whoever the QB is. (I think Bench.) As far as Hackenberg, he's kind of like a rich man's Anthony Morelli coming out of high school. He's succeed at a lot of camps and combines, and he can make all the throws. He has an incredible arm. Basically, he just has to get more accustomed to reading defenses. Opposing coaches told me they were often able to confuse him when they disguised blitzes and coverages.
Will Derek Day be the feature back for PSU this season?
Josh Moyer (Nittany Nation) (1:35 PM)
He's graduating. The three RBs are Zwinak, Belton and Lynch. Zwinak has to have earned the starting job after his performance last season; it's just a matter of who the No. 2 is. Belton was a bust last year, but PSU needs a home-run threat here and Lynch is a great prospect. Richy Anderson is coming in, but I don't think he'll play as long as there are no injuries.
Josh, I just read an article claiming UCF has replaced Virginia on the schedule this year and is on the schedule for 2014. Have you heard anything?
Josh Moyer (Nittany Nation) (1:36 PM)
Honestly, no. I'll try looking into it after the chat. Been chasing a few things this morning.
What about Fergeson as QB, or is he primarily in a back up role?
Josh Moyer (Nittany Nation) (1:38 PM)
Well, he'll definitely compete for the starting job. He almost has to. But I think he's more back-up material. I spoke with one coach who squared off against him earlier this year, and he told me that Ferguson was a project QB with a lot of potential. When I told that coach he would immediately compete for the starting job, he was very surprised.
What will the defensive line look like next year? Makes me most nervous other than QB.
Josh Moyer (Nittany Nation) (1:40 PM)
Hmmm ... well, I kind of see what you're saying. But I think it should be fine. Deion Barnes is returning, and DaQuan Jones is a good DT. Anthony Zettel and C.J. Olaniyan are strong, and I don't think you'll see much of a drop-off at all when it comes to taking over for Sean Stanley. The biggest question mark, in my opinion, is that other DT spot. It's not the strength it's been the last few years, but I still don't think it'll be a glaring weakness. O'Brien was really high on Austin Johnson, and Baublitz has some experience, so I guess we'll see. But, as far as the DL, I really don't think you have to worry about the DEs. Just that one DT spot; that's the key.
is Hack the highest rated recruit since Derrick Williams?
Josh Moyer (Nittany Nation) (1:41 PM)
For ESPN, which goes back to 2006, Hack is the highest-rated recruit since Maurice Evans. So he's got some big shoes to fill when it comes to meeting high expectations.
Golden (Philadelphia, PA)
Is PSU allowed to roll over 3 scholarships to next year's class based on the sanctions?
Josh Moyer (Nittany Nation) (1:42 PM)
Basically, yes. It would have to find three early enrollees because those three scholarships would technically count against the 2013 class ... even if they were 2014 recruits.
Is the running back they are after committed to another school right now?
Josh Moyer (Nittany Nation) (1:43 PM)
Yeah, that's why I didn't use his name. Wouldn't talk to me on the record, and I wanted to respect his wishes there.
Dave (Apex, NC)
So what happens if Bench starts this year and has a great season, like McGloin did last year ... it could be quite the QB controversy between him and Hack in 2014
Josh Moyer (Nittany Nation) (1:45 PM)
Yeah, Dave. I've been wondering that myself. That would be a good problem to have for PSU fans, but I would be very surprised if Bench has such a good season that Hackenberg would see absolutely no time. Bench is good, but he just doesn't have the arm that Hackenberg does. There's a lot of different things that could play out there since Bench is a rising sophomore. If, for whatever reason, it turns out he's the second coming of Kerry Collins, Hack would then have two years (if he redshirts) as the starting QB. But 2014 should be interesting.
I just read on the Orlando Sentinel website that UCF is set to play PSU in Happy Valley 9/14/13
Golden (Philadelphia, PA)
Josh Moyer (Nittany Nation) (1:46 PM)
Sometimes I learn more from you guys! That's what I get for not checking Twitter for a couple hours.
What is the scope on George Vinson? Scouting report ? Stars?
Josh Moyer (Nittany Nation) (1:48 PM)
Vinson is a two-star guy. He's committed to Appalachian State, but he did have smaller FBS schools offering him scholarships. The main reason he's not a high-level three-star guy is just because of his size. He's about 5-foot-11, so that's why teams haven't really taken a chance on him. But he's a heck of a player, and he'll at least be a good special teams player/backup player. Seemed to work out OK for former Dolphins LB Zach Thomas.
Do you think that Wendy Laurent can start this year. They like to mention his name from time to time
Josh Moyer (Nittany Nation) (1:50 PM)
I've heard good things about Laurent, but I don't think a starting position is in his immediate future. Ty Howle and Angelo Mangiro should compete for the spot left open by Stank. (Or if Dieffenbach slides over, they'll compete for the starting guard spot.) Laurent should see considerable time this season, though. And I think he should be in line for a starting position in 2014.
TJ (North Central PA)
I was just reading lunchtime links and see there are as many as 5 incoming QB's competeing (excluding Bench) and at least 3 are "run-ons". Does this have anything to do with BOB's coaching resume? I mean these guys are turning down scholarships at other schools to come to PSU.
Josh Moyer (Nittany Nation) (1:52 PM)
Absolutely; a lot of it has to do with O'Brien. Jack Seymour turned down 'ships from schools like Ball State and Western Michigan to walk-on at PSU. He just announced that yesterday. He told me he did that because PSU just had better football and academics than Western Michigan. (He's a business major.) So he felt like he wanted to be at a more well-rounded place. Austin Whipple's dad coaches the Browns and knows O'Brien, and DJ Crook sent Charlie Fisher an email to get his recruitment started. And they just loved his film. Hack told me O'Brien was the deciding factor in his recruitment, and Ferguson told me Fisher was the reason he felt so comfortable.
Eric (New York City)
Josh - How do you feel now that Ted Roof has left Penn State? How about John Butler being promoted? What do we really know about him other than he's full of energy?
Josh Moyer (Nittany Nation) (1:54 PM)
Well, I don't think there'll be much of a drop-off on defense with Roof's departure. He'll be more missed as a recruiter. What we do know about John Butler: He's a player's coach, and guys like Stephon Morris really did like him. And he doesn't want to change much with the defense. He wants to keep it simple, but he wants to throw around a lot of different personnel packages to keep offenses guessing. Maybe Barnes is the left end on this play but the right end on this play. He's going to keep more offenses on their toes; he wants to be aggressive -- and I think it'll be fun to watch.
Who do you think will be the starter - Kline or Wartman?
Josh Moyer (Nittany Nation) (1:56 PM)
That's a very good question. I haven't seen enough of Wartman so I'm going to have to go with Ben Kline. He has more seasoning, but whoever's the backup should still see considerable time. Mike Hull was the No. 4, and you guys know how much playing time he saw. Wartman, who was recently granted a medical redshirt, could end up being the next big thing at Linebacker U. But I'm still going with Kline until I see more of Wartman.
Dave (Apex, NC)
How much will the prospect of Bill O'Brien leaving for an NFL job hurt Penn State's chances with recruits in 2014 and beyond?
Josh Moyer (Nittany Nation) (1:58 PM)
I've spoken to a lot of 2014 recruits, and I don't think it's really hurt at all. Now, those same 2014 recruits do tell me, however, that if he interviews with NFL clubs again next year -- that's when they'll kind of hit the panic button. Because then, all of a sudden, it's not just a one-time thing. It's something they'd have to worry about every year.
hey! one of PSU's best linebacker last decade will play in Super Bowl! do you think Bowman and SF defense can lead them to victory?
Josh Moyer (Nittany Nation) (1:59 PM)
Well, the 49ers are the four-point favorites and they're the team I think is going to win. So I think Bowman should be submitting his ring size in a little more than a week. Flacco's really hit or miss, and San Francisco's on a roll. Baltimore's defense is obviously great, but it's hard to account for a guy like Kaepernick, who runs once for about every four times he throws.
I love Glenn Carson but I think Mike Hull will be the best LB this year.. he always make plays.
Josh Moyer (Nittany Nation) (2:01 PM)
I'm with you on that one. Carson's better at stuffing the run, and Hull's better at defending the pass ... but Hull has a knack for the big play. And I think he'll be the best linebacker on the team. He was so fast that Tom Bradley once wanted to try him out at safety, and he had a better bench-press than anyone else on the team -- including those 300-plus pound linemen. So he's got a lot going for him and is really unique in that respect.
What potential recruit or position would you label as most important for the 2014 class?
Josh Moyer (Nittany Nation) (2:03 PM)
I think at this point PSU still needs to build up the secondary. Malcolm Willis and Stephen Obeng-Agyapong will both be fifth-year seniors, so I think you'll see PSU focus on DBs again this class. They got four in this class, and I wouldn't be surprised to see them grab another 3-4 in 2014.
Phil (The Ville)
Who gets drafted first. Hodges or Mauti?
Josh Moyer (Nittany Nation) (2:04 PM)
Definitely Hodges. If Mauti were healthy, it would likely be him. But, at this point, teams aren't going to take a chance on Mauti in the early rounds -- which is a shame because he's a great player. I'm really interested to see where Hill goes; he could go before Hodges.
Ryan (Fairfax VA)
Who are some big targets in the 2014 class?
Josh Moyer (Nittany Nation) (2:06 PM)
I think 2014 guys that Penn State should keep an eye on are LB Troy Reeder (who wants to make a decision around the summer), DB Troy Vincent Jr., OL Quenton Nelson (or Mike Grimm, who doesn't yet hold an offer), RB Dravon Henry (or Robert Martin, who doesn't yet hold an offer), and DB D'Andre Payne. Those are the guys off the top of my head that I know PSU has a lot of interest in. So I'd watch those guys.
Josh Moyer (Nittany Nation) (2:06 PM)
All right, guys. Well, that's all the time we have for this week! Thanks for joining us -- and hopefully we'll see you again in two weeks. We're alternating between a mailbag and a chat, so email questions this week to email@example.com. I'll pick three to answer in-depth for a Friday mailbag.
Josh Moyer (Nittany Nation) (2:07 PM)
Have a good weekend everybody!