2008 Penn State Nittany Lions Season
Penn State WR Derrick Williams
Penn State WR Derrick Williams
Posted Feb 4, 2009

2008 Penn State Nittany Lions Season, Game Recaps, Scores and Reviews

2008 Penn State Nittany Lions

Jan. 1
2009 Rose Bowl
USC 38 … Penn State 24

USC took advantage of Penn State mistakes to take a 31-7 halftime lead. Mark Sanchez threw four touchdown passes on the day starting out with a 27-yard throw to Damian Williams, but Penn State answered right back with a nine-play, 80-yard drive finishing with a nine-yard Daryll Clark touchdown run. And then it was all USC scoring 24 straight points including a six-yard Sanchez touchdown run and scoring strikes from 19 yards out to Ronald Johnson and a 20-yarder to C.J. Gable in the final minute following a Stephfon Green fumble. Penn State kept fighting in the second half with two Daryll Clark touchdown passes, but USC stayed comfortably ahead with a 45-yard touchdown catch from a wide-open Johnson. A USC punt snap snafu gave the ball to Penn State deep in Trojan territory in the final moments with a chance to cut the lead to seven, but Clark's last second pass was picked off.
Player of the Game: USC QB Mark Sanchez completed 28-of-35 passes for 413 yards and four touchdowns and he ran seven times for 16 yards and a score.
Stat Leaders: Penn State - Passing: Daryll Clark, 21-36, 273 yds, 2 TD, 2 INT,
Rushing: Stephfon Green, 10-57. Receiving: Stephon Green, 5-67
USC - Passing: Mark Sanchez, 28-35, 413 yds, 4 TD
Stafon Johnson, 15-63. Receiving: Damian Williams, 10-162, 1 TD
Inside The Box Score ... ... 5 Thoughts on the Rose Bowl Fiu's Quarter-by-Quarter, Play-by-Play Game Notes …Penn State LB Navarro Bowman made eight tackles, a sack, and five tackles for loss … Total yards: USC 474 – Penn State 410 … Penalties: Penn State 9-for-72 – USC 6-for-60 … Average yards per carry: Penn State 4.7 – USC 1.7 … Third down conversions: USC 7-of-14 – Penn State 5-of-12.

- 2008 PSU Preview
2007 PSU Season

2008 Schedule
CFN Prediction:
2008 Record: 11-2

Aug. 30 Coast. Carolina W 66-10
Sept. 6 Oregon State W 45-14
Sept. 13 at Syracuse W 55-13
Sept. 20 Temple W 45-3
Sept. 27 Illinois W 38-24
Oct. 4 at Purdue W 20-6
Oct. 11 at Wisconsin W 48-7
Oct. 18 Michigan W 46-17
Oct. 25 at Ohio State W 13-6
Nov. 8 at Iowa L 24-23
Nov. 15 Indiana W 38-7
Nov. 22 Michigan State W 49-18
Rose Bowl
Jan. 1 USC L 38-24

2007 Schedule
CFN Prediction:
2007 Record: 9-4

Sept. 1 FIU W 59-0
Sept. 8 Notre Dame W 31-10
Sept. 15 Buffalo W 45-24
Sept. 22 at Michigan L 14-9
Sept. 29
at Illinois L 27-20
Oct. 6 Iowa W 27-7
Oct. 13 Wisconsin W 38-7
Oct. 20
at Indiana W 36-31
Oct. 27 Ohio State L 37-17
Nov. 3 Purdue W 26-19
Nov. 10 at Temple W 31-0
Nov. 17 at Michigan St L 35-31
Alamo Bowl
Dec. 29 Texas A&M W 24-17

Nov. 22
Penn State 49 … Michigan State 18
Penn State dominated throughout with the defense holding MSU to 35 rushing yards while the offense rolled at will. Daryll Clark threw two touchdowns passes, and ran for another, as Penn State jumped out to a 28-0 lead before MSU finally got on the board with a one-yard Javon Ringer touchdown run. And then it was all Deon Butler in the second half as he caught three passes for three touchdowns scoring from four, 70, and 59 yards out to make the game a laugher. MSU came up with 11 late points highlighted by a 23-ard Mark Dell catch with just over a minute to go.
Player of the game: Penn State QB Daryll Clark completed 16-of-26 passes for 341 yards and four touchdowns, and he ran four times for four yards and a touchdown
Stat Leaders: Michigan State - Passing: Brian Hoyer, 25-40, 206 yds, 2 INT
Rushing: Javon Ringer, 17-42, 1 TD. Receiving: Blair White, 8-71
Penn State - Passing: Daryll Clark, 16-26, 341 yds, 4 TD
Rushing: Evan Royster, 12-79. Receiving: Jordan Norwood, 5-127
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... For all the talk of Penn State going off to Pasadena, with a dominant performance like the one against Michigan State, there might still be a desperate shot at the BCS Championship. If Penn State had played with this sort of consistency and execution on both lines, and if Daryll Clark was as sharp on third downs, it would be a shoo-in for the national championship. There's no way that this team would've lost to Iowa. Converting 13-of-17 third down chances was key, and the O will have to do more of the same to get by …. USC?

Nov. 15
Penn State 34 … Indiana 7
Penn State struggled early on with turnovers and inefficiency, but it still went into the locker room with a 10-7 lead on a 32-yard Kevin Kelly field goal with four seconds to play. And then it was all Nittany Lions as Evan Royster ran for a 19-yard score and Daryll Clark hit Deon Butler with a six-yard touchdown pass. Derrick Williams caught a 39-yard touchdown pass to start the scoring, and finished off the day with a 36-yard touchdown run. IU's only points came on a 57-yard Marcus Thigpen run in the second quarter.
Player of the game: Penn State QB Daryll Clark completed 20-of-36 passes for 240 yards and two touchdowns with an interception, and he ran for 26 yards
Stat Leaders: Indiana - Passing: Kellen Lewis, 9-21, 57 yds, 1 INT
Rushing: Marcus Thigpen, 8-72, 1 TD. Receiving: Ray Fisher & Andrew Means, 3-17
Penn State - Passing: Daryll Clark, 20-36, 240 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Evan Royster, 12-63, 1 TD. Receiving: Jordan Norwood, 7-69
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Talk about coming out sluggish, Penn State didn't wake up out of the Iowa malaise until the second half, but it still beat Indiana with ease. The defense held the punchless Hoosiers in check, allowing just 180 yards of total offense and 57 yards passing. It took a while, but Daryll Clark played well in the second half to shake off the issues against the Hawkeyes. He'll have to be sharper throughout for the Nittany Lions to get by Michigan State in what amounts to the Big Ten championship next week. Win, and go to the Rose Bowl.

Nov. 8
Iowa 24 … Penn State 23
Penn State's Darryl Clark threw a late interception, and Iowa took advantage going 57 yards in 3:46 leading to a 31-yard Daniel Murray field goal with one second to play. The Nittany Lions took a 23-14 lead on a nine-yard run from Derrick Williams, who lined up at times at quarterback, and Kevin Kelly hit three field goals. But Iowa hung around on a 27-yard Derrell Johnson-Koulianos touchdown catch late in the third quarter and pulled within two late in the fourth on a six-yard Shonn Greene touchdown, his second score of the game. Penn State held on to the ball for 35:52.
Player of the game: Iowa RB Shonn Greene ran 28 times for 117 yards and two touchdowns.
Stat Leaders: Penn State - Passing: Daryll Clark, 9-23, 86 yds, 1 INT
Rushing: Evan Royster, 26-90, 1 TD. Receiving: Derrick Williams, 4-43
Iowa - Passing: Ricky Stanzi, 15-25, 171 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Shonn Greene, 28-117, 2 TD. Receiving: Derrell Johnson-Koulianos, 7-89, 1 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... The big question mark remaining about Penn State was Daryll Clark's ability to come through in a big game, and more specifically, how he'd do in the fourth quarter of a tight contest. He completed 9-of-23 passes for a mere 86 yards and threw an awful pick just as the team was looking to put the game away. However, the defense didn't do its job, either. A national title team comes up with a stop when a mediocre offense like Iowa's that started out on its own 29. Can the team refocus? Fortunately, getting Indiana up next will make up for it before hosting Michigan State. Going to Pasadena isn't a bad second prize.

Oct. 25
Penn State 13 … Ohio State 6
In a tough defensive battle, Penn State replaced Daryll Clark late in the fourth quarter with Pat Devlin, who ran for a one-yard touchdown with just over six minutes to go, with the drive sparked by a Terrelle Pryor fumble, to give the Nittany Lions the lead, and Kevin Kelly made it a seven point margin with a 35-yard field goal. Ohio State still had a chance in the final moments, but Pryor, who threw for a career-high 226 yards, was picked off in the end zone by Lydell Sargeant. The Buckeyes managed just two Aaron Pettrey field goals, but outgained the Nittany Lions 287 yards to 281.
Player of the game: Penn State LB Navorro Bowman made 10 tackles, a tackle for loss, broke up a pass and recovered a fumble.
Stat Leaders: Ohio State - Passing: Terrelle Pryor, 16-25, 226 yds, 1 INT
Rushing: Chris Wells, 22-55. Receiving: Dane Sanzenbacher, 6-82
Penn State - Passing: Daryll Clark, 12-20, 121 yds
Rushing: Evan Royster, 19-77. Receiving: Evan Royster, 3-20
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Penn State might have gotten over the hump against Ohio State and now appears to be in a great position to play for the national title, but there are still big questions about the offense. Did Daryll Clark really have a concussion, or was he pulled for Pat Devlin because he was ineffective? Devlin is going to be the No. 2, but Clark still hasn't been able to show he can come through late with everything on the line. For now, just getting the win over the Buckeyes should be enough. But there will be a lot to talk about over the next two weeks before going to Iowa.

Oct. 18
Penn State 46 … Michigan 17
Michigan was fantastic in the first half getting out to a 17-7 lead on two Brandon Minor touchdown runs and a 27-yard K.C. Lopata field goal, and then Penn State woke up. Jordan Norwood caught a three-yard touchdown pass with 23 seconds left in the half to spark a run of 39 unanswered points. Daryll Clark ran for two one-yard scores and Stephfon Green took a pass from Pat Devlin 80 yards for a score. Penn State ended up with 482 yards to Michigan's 291.
Player of the game: Penn State RB Evan Royster ran 18 times for 174 yards and a touchdown and caught three passes for 13 yards
Stat Leaders: Michigan - Passing: Steven Threet, 9-13, 84 yds
Rushing: Brandon Minor, 23-117, 2 TD. Receiving: Martavious Odoms, 3-34
Penn State - Passing: Daryll Clark, 18-31, 171 yds, 1 TD
Rushing: Evan Royster, 18-174 , 1 TD. Receiving: Deon Butler, 8-105

Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Penn State showed it could handle a little bit of adversity. Michigan had everything going its way and looked like it was ready to play at another level, but the Nittany Lions settled down, trusted the lines, didn't ignore the ground game, and came away with the win. However, the team can't do this against Ohio State, Iowa or Michigan State. The team needs to be focused and effective from the start against those three. The win over Michigan might have been a bit of a struggle, but it did break a nine-game losing streak in the series.

Oct. 11
Penn State 48 … Wisconsin 7
Penn State got up 17-0 early highlighted by a 63-yard Derrick Williams punt return for a touchdown, but Daryll Clark killed any chance for the game to become interesting. Wisconsin went on one good drive going 85 yards in ten plays with Allan Evridge running for a five-yard score, and there was a chance late in the first half to turn things around. A lost fumble led to a two-yard Clark run, and a four-yard Clark run on the opening drive of the second half opened it up to 31-7. Clark connected with Deon Butler for a 44-yard touchdown as part of a run of 31 unanswered points.
Player of the game: Penn State QB Daryll Clark completed 16-of-25 passes for 244 yards and a touchdown with an interception, and ran six times for 12 yards and two scores
Stat Leaders: Wisconsin - Passing: Dustin Sherer, 9-17, 115 yds, 1 INT
Rushing: P.J. Hill, 15-58. Receiving: Travis Beckum, 5-79
Penn State - Passing: Daryll Clark, 16-25, 244 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Evan Royster, 14-60, 1 TD. Receiving: Derrick Williams, 4-26

Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Yeah, Wisconsin appeared to be defeated even before the game began, but Penn State helped make a bad situation for the Badgers far worse. The offense was good when it had to be, even if it didn't get too much of a push from the running game. Derrick Williams was his normal explosive self, while Daryll Clark was brilliant. Aaron Maybin is a total unknown, but he could turn out to be the Big Ten defensive player of the year if he keeps getting into the backfield like he has over the first seven games.

Oct. 4
Penn State 20 ... Purdue 6
Darryll Clark ran for a one-yard score and Kevin Kelly kicked the first of two field goals to close out 72 yard drives in the second quarter, and Evan Royster ran for a four-yard score in the third, as Penn State jumped out to a 24-0 lead. Halfway through the fourth quarter, Purdue went on a 14-play, 82-yard drive finishing with a one-yard Kory Sheets touchdown run, but that would be it for the Boilermaker offense. Penn State outgained Purdue 422 yards to 241.
Player of the game: Penn State RB Evan Royster ran 18 times for 141 yards and a touchdowns
Stat Leaders: Purdue - Passing: Curtis Painter, 13-22, 112 yds, 1 INT
Rushing: Kory Sheets, 18-59, 1 TD. Receiving: Greg Orton, 5-43
Penn State
- Passing: Darryl Clark, 18-26, 220 yds
Evan Royster, 18-141, 1 TD. Receiving: Derrick Williams, 5-52
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Another game, another dominant performance by the Penn State lines. Purdue couldn't get its running game going and QB Curtis Painter was under pressure all game long. The Boilermakers weren't able to get anything going deep thanks to the Penn State pass rush. The running game was terrific. Evan Royster continues to shine, while Darryl Clark remains flawless, but not flashy, throwing the ball. Again, it's all about the lines, and they'll need to be even better next week at Wisconsin.

Sept. 27
Penn State 38 ... Illinois 24
Derrick Williams was the first player under Joe Paterno to run for a touchdown, catch a touchdown pass, and return a kick for a score in the same game. Illinois hung around with two touchdown catches from Arrelious Benn, the first a twisting, brilliant 33-yard grab which was ruled incomplete, and then reversed, and the second a 54-yard pass play to pull the Illini within seven in the fourth quarter. But Penn State always had an answer with Daryll Clark leading a seven play, 77-yard drive culminating with a 17-yard Andrew Quarless touchdown catch to put the game away. Navorro Bowman and Mark Rubin each made ten tackles for Penn State.
Player of the game: Penn State WR Derrick Williams caught six passes for 75 yards and a touchdown, ran six times for 33 yards and a score, and returned three kickoffs for 133 yards and a touchdown.
Stat Leaders: Illinois - Passing: Juice Williams, 13-24, 183 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Daniel Dufrene, 14-96. Receiving: Arrelious Benn, 4-110, 2 TD
Penn State
- Passing: Darryl Clark, 14-20, 181 yds, 2 TD
Evan Royster, 19-139. Receiving: Derrick Williams, 6-75, 1 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Penn State got tested for the first time all season long, and it came through when it had to. It's a little disturbing that the offense rolled without much of a problem and it took a full sixty minutes to put the game away. The defense had a few breakdowns, especially on the 54-yard touchdown catch from Arrelious Benn, but the offense, and Derrick Williams, made up for the problems. Illinois was able to run and throw equally well, and while the Nittany Lion defense won't have a problem with Purdue next week, the D needs to be tighter in upcoming road games at Wisconsin and Ohio State. On the plus side, Darryl Clark proved he's the team-leader to keep the offense moving. He was terrific.

Sept. 20
Penn State 45 ... Temple 3
Penn State started out slowly, failing to score in the first quarter. And then the floodgates opened with a 31-point second quarter with Daryll Clark throwing two touchdown passes, running for an 11-yard score, and Evan Royster running for a 32-yard touchdown. The Nittany Lions coasted from there with Stephfon Green tearing off a 69-yard scoring dash and Chaz Powell adding a seven-yard touchdown run. Temple was outgained 546 yards to 138 and only managed a 25-yard Jake Brownell field goal.
Player of the game: Penn State LB Navorro Bowman had 11 tackles, five tackles for loss, three sacks, an interception, and a forced fumble.
Stat Leaders: Temple - Passing: Chester Stewart, 16-30, 116 yds, 3 INTs
Rushing: Chester Stewart, 18-15. Receiving: Jason Harper, 3-40
Penn State
- Passing: Darryl Clark, 13-20, 196 yds, 2 TDs, 1 INT
Stephon Green, 9-132, 1 TD. Receiving: Deon Butler, 4-66
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Temple isn't that bad. It's not LSU, but it's not as bad as it has been in past years, but it didn't have an answer for anything the Nittany Lions wanted to do. So far, Penn State has been able to use its great offensive line to pound away with the running game, getting 303 yards on the ground, but eventually, the passing game will have to start doing a bit more. Darryl Clark has been fantastic, and completed 13-of-20 passes for 196 yards and two touchdowns with an interception, but he hasn't had to make a meaningful throw yet.

Sept. 13
Penn State 55 … Syracuse 13
Penn State scored 28 points in the first 18 minutes with Jordan Norwood scoring on a 55-yard pass play and Deon Butler catching touchdown passes from 17 and 15 yards out. Norwood added a 24-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter. Syracuse was never in the game, managing two field goals in the first half and an 11-yard Marcus Sales catch in the third. The Nittany Lions outgained the Orange 560 yards 159 and allowed SU to convert just 2-of-15 third down chances.
Player of the game:
Penn State WR Deon Butler caught seven passes for 110 yards and two touchdowns.
Stat Leaders: Syracuse
- Passing: Cameron Dantley, 13-32, 110 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Curtis Brinkley, 14-21. Receiving: Donte Davis, 3-40
Penn State - Passing: Daryll Clark, 10-21, 163 yds, 2 TD
Rushing: Evan Royster, 13-101 Receiving: Deon Butler, 7-110, 2 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... The machine keeps on rolling. Penn State's schedule might not seem that nasty, but Oregon State and Syracuse are BCS league teams and they got blown away. The Nittany Lion offense has exploded while the defense isn't blinking despite the suspensions up front. 560 yards to 159. Everything is clicking as the JoePa's bunch is flying under the radar. This team is good. Really good.

Sept. 6
Penn State 45 ... Oregon State 14
The suspensions and off-the-field drama didn't appear to be a big deal as Penn State ripped off a 28-0 lead and never looked back. Evan Royster ran for scores from 15, 28 and 4 yards out and Daryll Clark threw a five-yard touchdown pass to Mickey Shuler, a 22-yarder to Jordan Norwood, and ran for an 18-yard score. Oregon State got two touchdown runs from Jacquizz Rodgers from 12 and 4 yards out.
Player of the game: Penn State RB Evan Royster ran 17 times for 141 yards and thee touchdowns
Stat Leaders: Coastal Carolina - Passing: Will Richardson, 13-22, 131 yds
Rushing: Zack MacDowall, 6-21. Receiving: Trent Usher, 3-50, 1 TD
Penn State - Passing: Daryll Clark, 11-14, 146 yds, 1 TD
Rushing: Stephfon Green, 10-89, 2 TD. Receiving: Jordan Norwood, 4-74, 1 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Penn State always bands together when problems strike. Oregon State might not be as good as last year, but it's still a decent team with good speed ad athleticism. The Nittany Lions ripped through the Beavers like they weren't there with a near-perfect offensive balance and enough big plays to throw a scare into the rest of the Big Ten. While defensive tackle will be an issue thanks to the suspensions, the rest of the team is playing really, really well. The one concern might be backup QB Pat Devlin, who hasn't shown much and went 0-for-3 this week. Fortunately, Daryll Clark has taken to the starting role. Syracuse and Temple don't have a prayer over the next two weeks.

Aug. 30
Penn State 66 ... Coastal Carolina 10
Evan Royster ran for scores from seven, two, and ten yards out and Stephfon Green ran for two seven-yard touchdowns as the Nittany Lions won in a rout. Even when Coastal Carolina came up with something positive, making it 14-7 with a 33-yard Trent Usher touchdown catch in the second quarter, Penn State had an answer. Derrick Williams returned the ensuing kickoff 89 yards for a touchdown. PSU finished with 594 total yards of offense including 334 on the ground.
Player of the game: Penn State RB Evan Royster ran eight times for 64 yards and three touchdowns and caught a pass for five yards
Stat Leaders: Coastal Carolina - Passing: Will Richardson, 13-22, 131 yds
Rushing: Zack MacDowall, 6-21. Receiving: Trent Usher, 3-50, 1 TD
Penn State - Passing: Daryll Clark, 11-14, 146 yds, 1 TD
Rushing: Stephfon Green, 10-89, 2 TD. Receiving: Jordan Norwood, 4-74, 1 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Penn State was never going to be threatened by Coastal Carolina, so this game was all about seeing what the offense could do through the air. CCU spent the game trying to stop the ground game, with no success, so the Nittany Lion quarterbacks had all day to throw, but even so, give Daryll Clark credit for playing well completing 11 of 14 passes and not making any mistakes. The Oregon State game will be a better test, obviously, and Clark will have to show that he can succeed against a far more aggressive D. The lines were in midseason form against CCU.

2008 Early Lookahead
Why to get excited: The team might fly under the radar, but it could be the sleeper in the Big Ten race if the quarterback situation comes together. It's not like Anthony Morrelli was the reason for last year's nine-win season, and it's not a stretch to think the QB play can't be improved a bit if Daryll Clark or Pat Devlin works well with the fantastic receiving corps right off the bat. The D line, led by pass rushing terror Maurice Evans, will be a killer, while Sean Lee will be this year's Greatest Penn State Linebacker Ever. 
Why to be grouchy: There's a ton of experience, but is the team really that good? You'll hear some say the receivers (Deon Butler, Derrick Williams, Jordan Norwood and TE Andrew Quarless) are among the best in the country, but they've been fine, not special, and they certainly aren't going to blow up if Clark, a runner, is under center. The D put up great stats, but when push came to shove against the good teams, other than the Wisconsin game, it got shoved.
The number one thing to work on is: The quarterbacks. Everything else is in place with nine starters returning on offense and nine on defense, but if teams load up against the run, the offense will be inconsistent. With a fantastic offensive line in place, the running game will rock if Penn State's passers offer the mere hint of a deep ball to keep the safeties deep. The passing game doesn't have to throw for 300 yards a game, but it has to be more efficient.
Biggest offensive loss: RB Rodney Kinlaw
Biggest defensive loss: LB Dan Connor
Best returning offensive player: OG Rich Ohrnberger, Sr.
Best returning defensive player: LB Sean Lee, Sr.

2007 Recap
2007 Recap: The Nittany Lions closed out the 2007 season with an Alamo Bowl win over Texas A&M, an indication that this year's goals were not met.  With a senior quarterback and a loaded defense, Penn State was thinking Pasadena before losing to Michigan, Illinois, and Ohio State, the Big Ten's top three programs, and finishing in a fifth place tie with Iowa.  While the defense carried its weight most Saturdays, the offense was unreliable, getting a mediocre season from QB Anthony Morelli in his last hurrah in State College.      

Offensive Player of the Year: RB Rodney Kinlaw

Defensive Player of the Year: LB Dan Conner

Biggest Surprise: Kinlaw.  A career backup that had never rushed for more than 199 yards in a season, Kinlaw stepped up and bailed out the Penn State running game after Austin Scott was suspended from the team.  The fifth-year senior delivered 1,329 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground, including the first six 100-yard days of his career. 

Biggest Disappointment: The passing game.  With Morelli back for a final year, and Derrick Williams, Jordan Norwood, Deon Butler, and Andrew Quarless running patterns, the Lions had the ingredients for their best vertical game in years.  Instead, the offense got a little too conservative, and Morelli managed just seven touchdown passes and seven picks in eight league games.

Looking Ahead: The Lions are touting their new Spread HD offense, but will it really be revolutionary, or just another stale offense with a fancy nickname?  Beginning in the spring, senior Daryll Clark and sophomore Pat Devlin will battle for a chance to run the offense in 2008.  Even without LB Dan Connor, the formidable defense has a potential All-American at each level, DE Maurice Evans, LB Sean Lee, and CB Justin King.

2008 Recruiting Class

Star of the Class

Mike Yancich  LB 6-3  225 Trinity/Washington, Pa.
Anticipates well, reads keys quickly, seldom takes false steps and can beat blockers to the point of attack. Takes good angles, gets through traffic quickly and pursues hard. Shows good instincts and a solid finishing burst when blitzing.
As a senior, Yancich ran for 1,616 yards and 21 touchdowns on 212 carries. He was named to the "Fabulous 22" team by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Potential Instant Impact Players

Brandon Beachum RB 6-1  220  Cardinal Mooney/Youngstown, Ohio
Beachum is exceptional in coverage, probably rates as the best coverage backer in the state. Father played D-I ball and Brandon has had it bred into him to succeed. Beachum has good lateral quickness and sideline-to-sideline range. Moves well through traffic. He is an explosive hitter and tackler who plays with a mean streak.
Beachum benches 345 pounds, squats 565, power cleans 260 and has a 31" vertical jump.

Michael Zordich  LB  6-2  225  Cardinal Mooney/Youngstown, Ohio
Zordich is an intense competitor whose motor is full bore all the time. He has superior read and recognition skills. He is very explosive getting through the whole and making contact. He has very good lateral range from sideline-to-sideline. Solid, form tackler and he uses his hands well to shed blocks. Also excels in coverage.

Rest of the Class

Jack Crawford DE 6-6 240 St. Augustine Prep/Richland, N.J.
Mike Farrell OL 6-5 265 Shady Side Academy/Pittsburgh, Pa.
D'Anton Lynn DB 6-1 180 Celina/Celina, Texas
Peter Massaro DE 6-4 235 Marple Newtown/Newtown Square, Pa.
Michael Mauti LB 6-1 225 Mandeville/Mandeville, La.
DeOn'tae Pannell OL 6-5 305 Wylie E. Groves/Beverly Hills, Mich.
A.J. Price WR 6-4 175 South Lakes/Reston, Va.
Matt Stankiewitch OL 6-4 290 Blue Mountain/Schuylkill Haven, Pa.
James Terry DT 6-3 300 Brandywine/Wilmington, Del.
Brandon Ware DT 6-4 320 Harrisburg/Harrisburg, Pa.
Mark Wedderburn TE 6-5 235 Cardinal O'Hara/Springfield, Pa.


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