Mark Dent: All right - I'm here! And ready to talk about anything re: Penn State.
James: Rumor has it they asked Troy Vincent Jr to take other visits and that he wasn't a fit in their system.
Mark Dent: Hey James - can't say I can substantiate any of that. If that is in fact the case, then that's not a good move for PSU. I think all coaches should hang on to committed recruits if they want to come to the school after a coaching change. Not fair to make them scramble this late in the process
Guest: Hey Mark, any word on Virginia coach West coming to PSU?
Laz: Hey Mark any new info on Chip West? Would be a great addition to make up for the loss of LJUBLJANA.
Mark Dent: Hey guest and Laz, that's certainly a possibility. I have not heard any confirmation at this point. But the defensive backs coach is a position that has still gone unfilled
Mark Dent: Also, West would bring more experience than the guys Franklin is already bringing on - the people from his Vandy staff. Most of them were at smaller colleges before Vandy
Mark Dent: Laz - what's with calling LJ Ljubljana - are you from Slovenia, ha?
me: Cage match, James Franklin vs Brady Hoke. Who wins? What about vs. Pat Fitz or Urban Meyer or Mark Dantoni or (for fun) Jerry Kill
Mark Dent: Aye, I would not put my money on Jerry Kill
Mark Dent: Brady Hoke wins vs Franklin. Not to disparage the new PSU guy, but my god Hoke is huge and really intense and honestly doesn't seem really bright. That would be good in a cage match, ha. And Urban Meyer defeats ALL. He is far too intense and scary
Bill: Mark do you think JF already has safety and CB lined up cause of transfer?
Mark Dent: Do you mean safety and CB coaches, or players?
Bryan518Psu: Hey Mark. We had 20 scholarships, please correct me if I'm wrong. Our 5 early enrollees count towards next year. Which means we should have 5 left right?
Mark Dent: Bryan - you're right. Those five early enrollees count towards last year. So it essentially means PSU can have a total of 25 and right now, after losing Vincent, is at 20
Mark Dent: So five more
Bill: actually i think they count for 2013 class
Mark Dent: Exactly Bill - for the 2013 class on those early enrollees
Mark Dent: And Bill re: defensive backs - I would guess PSU is pretty much done recruiting there. They have two good ones committed and the roster has some good young talent in the secondary - Davis, Lucas, Amos, Trevor Williams
Mark Dent: Did that answer your question right Bill?
Nik: How big of a loss do you think Larry Johnson is knowing that coach Franklin is such a good recruiter? Will LJ leaving for OSU be a long-term loss or will Franklin and the staff he has be able to compensate. I guess what I am asking is: How big of a blow was it for Penn State losing such a force on the recruiting trail and on the sidline?
Bill: Mark i was refering to players on CB a S
Bryan518Psu: Yes sorry my mistake I meant last year not next.
Bill: yes tks mark
Mark Dent: Nik - I think it is a loss that will matter. Right now, I can't say how much b/c I don't know exactly what Franklin can do. Clearly he is supposed to be excellent, particularly in the mid-Atlantic. But LJ was doing his thing in the mid-Atlantic for 15 plus years. Relationships matter in recruiting, and he will be missed. If anything it hurts that he went to OSU, which can now beef up its mid-Atlantic recruiting and PA recruiting vs PSU
PSU99: Will Penn State still have a top class this season even with the 2big decommits?
Mark Dent: PSU99 - unless more players de-commit, I'd say it's still a top 30 class, maybe just inside the top 25. Losing Holley has to bring you down a peg or three
Bill: Mark guess same goes for Holly. Seem to be ok for D lins as of now
Mark Dent: Bill - yeah - to an extent. Olaniyan and Deion Barnes are obviously back, same with Austin Johnson. But man, Holley, should be a special player.
PSU99: How well does this PSU team do in 14'?
Mark Dent: PSU99 - I think about the same as this past year - 7-5 or so. The non-con schedule is winnable, and the Big Ten schedule is about equal to 2013. Hackenberg will be better but without RObinson and getting used to a new offense it could be tough. The defense - let's see if the linebackers improve. That will be a big difference if they do
Bill: Boy LJ to OSU? thats a OUCH
Mark Dent: Bill - Damn right. That's a tough loss for Penn State. I don't blame LJ at all, though. If you get passed up twice for the head coaching spot, you gotta go
Bryan518Psu: Who are some of the names, that you think would be filling those spots? With the loss of Holley, I would like to see nandi or Coach Franklin try to make a late attempt at Ricky Walker.
Mark Dent: Bryan - would be tough. And PSU has two defensive ends and a DT already.
PSU99: Thanks for taking thr time to answer Bill. I do have one last question. Who is the one player that would be on PSU dream list to get to commit this year?
Mark Dent: PSU99 - Absolute dream - Damian Prince but no way. More realistic is pillaging a couple more recruits from Vandy, like one of their three DBs - Kyle Gibson, Trent Sherfeld etc
Bill: Mark agree but the guys not getting any younger? What did he really expect?
Mark Dent: Bill - Yeah that's true, but sometimes promoting assistants works - like David Shaw at Stanford. And either way, you just gotta make moves in life sometimes. My former professor in college is 70 and just took a job in Africa as a newspaper editor
Rb: Do you see any commits decommitting at this point? Anything you've heard? I know osu is pushing for gesicki hard
Mark Dent: I haven't heard anything concrete, but I wouldn't be surprised if 2 or 3 more de-committed. If Franklin keeps all but two of Penn State's previous 19 commits, it would be unprecedented in recent years to have a new coach keep so many
Jordan: I saw a tweet somewhere that Damian Prince is considering PSU, something about him being a fan of Franklin. You think there might be a chance we are a frontrunner?
Mark Dent: Exactly - that's why I mentioned Prince earlier. He's a dream but still a long shot. That guy could go to Florida State if he wanted. So many options. But he is supposedly considering Maryland strongly so why not give PSU a shot? Still, I doubt it. If I'm wrong, than awesome for PSU
Bill: Wow now thats what i call a move
Mark Dent: Bill - I know, right. Crazy
Bill: Well Mark as always you do a gr8 job with all of us. keep up the good work and dont tell Dave how much I miss him lol Sarcastic of course. (DAVE JONES)
Mark Dent: Thanks Bill for chatting!
E: What's are Franklin close to getting to commit and why would he bring over his offensive coordinator?
Mark Dent: E - I can't tell you exactly how close he is to some of the people still considering PSU. Legitimately tough to read the mind of a high school kid.
As for the offensive coordinator - I don't know why he did that. He needed to make a splash, a big move. Like Alabama and Michigan just did. I mean, he has Christian freaking Hackenberg. He should've gotten someone with better pedigree than his assistant from Vandy
Psublue: What are the chances that we get chip west? Anything you've heard concerning him?
Mark Dent: Hey PSUblue - I haven't heard anything concrete, but that's one of just a couple spots that hasn't been filled. Talk seems to be getting louder, though, which is a good sign.
Jordan: Michigan has no actual talent on the offensive side of the ball, I mean Gardner is just overrated. Alabama getting Kiffin is just as a bad move of Dallas picking is dad Monte. The name does not equate to results. Just my opinion.
Mark Dent: But Kiffin, as much as he sucks as a head coach, was a great coordinator in the past, granted with insane talent. Michigan is miserable on the offensive side. I'm just saying that hiring an offensive coordinator and a QB coach from a mediocre Vandy team - eighth in scoring in 14 team SEC - is not the best move when you have Christian Hackenberg, a top prospect who needs the best training.
mack_psu: what's going on with Strollo and McWhorter?
Mark Dent: Mack - I'm betting McWhorter retires. Strollo has a chance to stay on because he's tight end oriented and PSU has those great tight ends.
The offensive line players didn't say much about McWhorter when I spoke to them the other day. They said he's been in touch but not very much in the last few weeks as all this has been happening.
mack_psu: Any rumblings or reaction from PSU BoT related to the December interview of Bill O'Brien and the "paterno people"?
Mark Dent: They're pretty much in denial as you would expect. I think it's important to remember that O'Brien primarily went to the NFL because that was his main goal. But he didn't enjoy that distraction, all the lawsuits and such. He said this to the trustees over the summer.
Jordan: Roger that, I do think that it is a great thing getting him some new weapons i.e. Thompkins, Gesicki and Godwin. Those kids could easily have a great effect. As for Hackenberg half of being a qb is keeping a play afloat in other words mostly instinct.
Mark Dent: Yeah - excited to see Thompkins and Godwin and even Troy Apke, who is less heralded
mack_psu: any thoughts on who will be captains next year?
Mark Dent: I imagine Mike Hull, maybe CJ Olaniyan, Miles Dieffenbach
Mark Dent: Maybe Jordan Lucas even though he's still young. He's the best leader they have IMHO
Mark Dent: And everyone - that's it for me. I gotta run. Thanks for the time! Good chatting with ya