Where did Penn State finish in the preseason poll?

By Audrey Snyder/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 1 day ago

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The stacked Big Ten East division with Ohio State and Michigan State has one clear favorite.

Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer accepts an award from the Reds honoring the Buckeyes during the offseason. (Gary Landers/Associated Press)

That much is certain after’s fifth annual Big Ten preseason football poll, which used responses from 40 beat writers around the conference to pick their order of finish in the Big Ten’s East and West division as well as preseason Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year honorees. The Big Ten doesn’t do an official preseason media poll so this is as close as it gets.

Ohio State is a unanimous pick to win the Big Ten and Wisconsin, with 32 first place votes is the favorite to win the West. 

Below are the complete poll results, with the Nittany Lions picked to finish third in the East, behind Ohio State and Michigan State. Point totals follow each school along with first-place votes.


1. Ohio State 280 (40)

2. Michigan State 240

3. Penn State 186.5

4. Michigan 163.5

5. Maryland 95.5

6. Rutgers 78

7. Indiana 76.5


1. Wisconsin 272 (32)

2. Nebraska 231.5 (5)

3. Minnesota 197 (3)

4. Iowa 158.5

5. Northwestern 125

6. Illinois 77

7. Purdue 59

For those wondering, here’s what my ballot looked like:


1) Ohio State

2) Michigan State

3) Penn State

4) Michigan

5) Maryland

6) Rutgers

7) Indiana


1) Wisconsin

2) Nebraska

3) Iowa

4) Minnesota

5) Northwestern

6) Illinois

7) Purdue

You’ll notice there’s not much difference between the two, except for me placing Iowa ahead of Minnesota. I did pick Ohio State to beat Wisconsin in the Big Ten championship game and predicted Ohio State would be the only team from the conference in the College Football Playoff. 

Also in the poll, no surprise that Ohio State standout Joey Bosa was picked as the conference’s preseason Defensive Player of the Year. He secured the first-place vote from me too and I also had Michigan State’s Shilique Calhoun coming in next followed by Nittany Lion tackle Anthony Zettel.

Zettel garnered 25 votes, good enough for third place, and given his rare combination of speed and athleticism for an end-turned tackle -- plus the eye popping stats he put up last season with a team best 17 tackles for loss, eight sacks, three interceptions and a touchdown-- he’ll be one to keep an eye on. The full preseason Defensive Player of the Year votes can be found here.

Ohio State’s Ezekiel Elliott is the preseason Offensive Player of the Year, picking up 31 first-place votes (and 150 votes overall), including a first-place one from me. Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook is second with 57 votes and Ohio State’s Cardale Jones is third with 19 votes. Who knows what Urban Meyer does at quarterback, but Jones certainly showed last year what he’s capable of. I gave Jones the second place nod over Cook.

Penn State’s Christian Hackenberg was sixth with nine votes. Hackenberg’s spot also tied him with the voters who simply selected “Ohio State quarterbacks” in the same slot. All of the preseason Offensive Player of the Year votes can be found here.

Audrey Snyder: and Twitter @audsnyder4

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Lavert Hill, Alex Gellerstedt and more: Recruiting camp gallery

By Audrey Snyder/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 1 week ago

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State’s final prospect camp of the summer was also the hottest. Players lined the indoor and outdoor practice fields Sunday afternoon for their chance to impress the staff and learn a thing or two before readying for their own Fall camps to begin. 

Penn State verbal pledges Alex Gellerstedt and Lavert Hill were both on hand for the camp, with Gellerstedt participating while Hill watched some of Michigan’s better underclassmen go through drills. Quarterbacks Kirk Bowman (2018, Grapevine, TX) and Kasim Hill (2017, Gilman School in Baltimore) were among the standouts.

Class of 2017 defensive end Yetur Matos, who picked up a Penn State scholarship offer after the satellite camp at Old Dominion University last month, was also on hand. Matos didn’t camp, but was in town to watch and also attended Saturday’s Lasch Bash BBQ, a gathering of committed and the top uncommitted prospects. 

Audrey Snyder: and Twitter @audsnyder4

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Penn State football prospect camp: Photo Gallery

By Audrey Snyder/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 1 week ago

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Prior to Penn State’s Saturday Lasch Bash recruiting BBQ that resulted in two verbal pledges as of Saturday at 6 pm, the Nittany Lions held their second evening prospect camp of the summer. 

The Friday camp featured verbal pledges Michal Menet, Connor McGovern, Quinn Nordin, Danny DaltonEllison Jordan and Sean Clifford. Four-star Gateway offensive tackle Robert Hainsey was among the standouts in attendance. Penn State will hold another camp Sunday afternoon.

Audrey Snyder: and Twitter @audsnyder4

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Three-star Shaka Toney gives Penn State his verbal pledge

By Audrey Snyder/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 1 week ago

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Sometimes verbal commitments come in waves and Saturday’s Lasch Bash in Happy Valley is the perfect example.

Penn State’s 2016 class added another member Saturday evening when three-star linebacker Shaka Toney gave James Franklin his verbal pledge. Toney is the 18th member of the 2016 recruiting class and the fourth in-state prospect in the cycle. Earlier Saturday four-star linebacker Cameron Brown verbally committed to Penn State, giving the class another defensive boost for the coming years.

Toney, a 6-foot-3, 210-pound Imhotep Charter standout, chose Penn State over scholarship offers from North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Vanderbilt, Temple and West Virginia, among others. Much like what happened when Penn State went on a run with defensive tackles earlier this summer, Brown and Toney are the only two linebackers in this class. However, if Toney gets bigger he could project as a defensive end, just depending where the staff wants to put him.

Penn State’s 2016 class is ranked No. 8 in the nation according to Rivals, putting the Nittany Lions one spot ahead of Alabama and one behind Michigan. Ohio State and Michigan State are also ahead of Penn State, coming in at No. 3 and No. 6 in the Rivals rankings.

Audrey Snyder: and Twitter @audsnyder4.

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Penn State secures verbal pledge from LB Cameron Brown

By Audrey Snyder/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 1 week ago

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Penn State football’s Lasch Bash celebration started in a big way Saturday when four-star outside linebacker Cameron Brown gave the Nittany Lions his verbal pledge.

The 2016, Potomac, Md. prospect is visiting Penn State this weekend for the team’s busiest recruiting weekend of the summer. Between prospect camps Friday and Sunday, Saturday’s Lasch Bash is a chance for the top committed and uncommitted prospects to meet with the staff and become more familiar with Penn State.

Some of Brown’s classmates, including offensive lineman Michael Menet, center Connor McGovern, kicker Quinn Nordin, tight end Danny Dalton, defensive tackle Ellison Jordan and 2017 quarterback Sean Clifford were on hand for the Friday night camp. Several other pledges, including Miles Sanders, Christian Colon and Shane Simmons were slated to be on hand Saturday. The 2016 class is ranked No. 9 in the country by Rivals and No. 7 by 247Sports.

Brown is the 17th member of the 2016 recruiting class and the fourth prospect from Maryland. He was high school teammates with freshman tight end Jonathan Holland at the Bullis School.

At 6-foot-5, 210 lbs. Brown could fill a few different needs for the defense, but for now he’s the first linebacker in the class.

Audrey Snyder: and Twitter @audsnyder4.

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