July 20, 2010

Linkbacker U takes a trip down memory lane

Oh Canada!

Well, we can now chalk up Canada's positive contributions to society to...one. As the CFL's Calgary Stampeders signed Daryll Clark to a contract.

It's a shame that Clark wasn't able to catch on with the Redskins, but this is just the latest in a long list of PSU quarterbacks that couldn't make it at the next level at that position. I've learned not to count out Clark though, and would not be surprised to find him on an NFL sideline in the coming years. Congratulations to Captain Clark on starting his professional football career, and I am sure he is happy to move far away from Iowa City.

Aren't the former Lions just so much more fun to talk about?

While we're on the topic of departed Penn Staters from last year's team (and the reason why I'm not too excited for this year's team) Navorro Bowman is turning some heads at 49ers camp
“It’s an ongoing process. So far, from what’s been given to him, he’s doing a pretty decent job, as far as understanding what he’s supposed to be doing,” Spikes said of Bowman. “And at this point, that’s what you want of a rookie right now. It all changes when you slip the pads on. Everybody can be swimsuit champions.”
Well Takeo Spikes may be a tough critic, but the reports are positive, but hey with Bowman, you gotta at least be happy that he's doing what he's supposed to be doing.

Past Meets Present on the D-Line

Just can't get enough of these Big Ten Champion Penn Staters today. This one, though, from the 2005 team. That's right, defensive end Tamba Hali makes his debut on Linkbacker-U. The former All-American is doing everything he can to help the current occupant of his former position, defensive end, do the same. This summer Hali spent the off season working with freak of nature Jack Crawford, along with the rest of the defensive line, says Pennlive.com.
“The most important thing is not to slow down, not to lose focus, and he teaches me that. That’s the hardest thing to do; it’s the simplest thing to do but the hardest at the same time.”
Now if Hali is able to teach Crawford how to force a fumble against Ohio State, then I may have to change my answer to the Lions' best chance at an upset.

Where does Royster rank?

Regardless of how badly this season goes, there will be one bright spot that fans can walk away with: Evan Royster surpassing Curt Warner to break the school rushing record. But is Royster the best back every to play for PSU? Cory Giger of the Altoona Mirror (shockingly) says not quite.
"Consider for yourself: Using the eye test, has Royster been better than any of these backs?: Curt Warner, Ki-Jana Carter, Curtis Enis, Blair Thomas, D.J. Dozier, Larry Johnson, John Cappelletti, Lydell Mitchell, Lenny Moore, Tony Hunt or Matt Suhey?

If not, that means Royster isn't even in the top 10 at PSU. Depending on personal preferences and/or memories, fans may pull two or three former stars out of that list, but that still only leaves the school's soon-to-be rushing leader at the back end of the top 10."
Now is it surprising that Giger provides the pessimistic perspective? No, but he does have a point. I may not have seen all those guys play, but Royster never had a year like Johnson's 2000 yard season, nor did he have a Heisman Trophy like Cappelletti. I'd give Royster the edge over Tony Hunt, especially as a more complete back, but Royster needs a lot more than just those 481 yards to crack into the PSU halfback elite.

Overcoming the Odds: Adam Taliaferro

From having a 3% chance at ever walking to leading Penn State out of the Beaver Stadium tunnel, you all know the story. Jim Weber of LostLetterman.com sat down with Taliaferro to take a look back at that career ending hit, his recovery, and where he is today.

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