I will give you a few updates on some things. We did have a signifiant injury this summer. Jordan Lomax basically injured his shoulder last week. It was something we were monitoring and hoping to get through season but that isn’t going to work out. He had surgery on Monday and is doing well. The repair to his shoulder is one a lot of our guys have had through the years in January. Its most likely he will miss the year
Dakota Getz, it looks right now like Dakota continues to struggle. He has had a tough road back. I don’t anticipate him ready to go in camp.
The other two items, John Sawhill joined our team two months ago. He contacted us in May. Somewhere after the semester. He was looking at a few options and chose to come here and has been working with our guys all summer. He seems like a great young man and has done a great job academically at Drake and we are excited.
The last item, Greg Garmon. We visited about that back in June. I wanted to see what the legal system had to say about things. With his offense, that falls into one of the categories of our student athlete code of conduct will handle and we will treat it as such. We will give him some additional items and I expect him to fulfill those. That will be that and hope its a lesson learned and move forward and get his degree and have a good career
Q: No game suspensions?
Kirk Ferentz: I am not planning on that, the code of conduct doesn’t call for that. There was a lot of drama six weeks ago. We are comfortable with what it is.
Q: What is the likelihood of a freshman running back seeing significant time?
Ferentz: We have several positions where freshmen will have an opportunity and running back is one of the most obvious. We will see what happens. We will know more about him and Barkley Hill after August. We have a young football team. What it looks like today will be different by September first and a fair chance that it will look different by October 1st. Every camp is exciting, but this one is maybe a unique excitement in terms of seeing how players are progressing and how things develop.
Q: Change offense with RB situation, can you lean on James more?
Ferentz: Not necessarily. We have a veteran quarterback but we don;t have a lot of veteran pass catchers. We will play to our strengths. James is a proven veteran. When we had Shonn Greene it would have been silly not to feature him. We will see how it goes. We don’t anticipate throwing the ball 80 percent of the time. Our hope is whoever is in there can do the job the way we would hope. It depends on the back. Everyone has different strengths. Bullock is better in the passing game than the running game and DeAndre is the other way. It will all shake out as August goes along.
Q: Did a Penn State player or two contact you, is that how that started?
Ferentz: First of all, what is going on in that regard is complex and confusing. The best path for anyone is to make sure they are in compliance, which is fuzzy. You have to handle it whatever way you feel it’s appropriate and some are taking some different approaches. I am comfortable with the approach we are taking right now and we will continue to do so.
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Q: Is that taking calls or aggressively recruiting them?
Ferentz: We will do what we think is appropriate. There are a lot of different ways to do with it and what I am reading, people are looking at it differently. We live in the conference, we work in this conference, I have great respect for Bill O’Brien and his staff. that is important to us as well.
Q: You have talked about Paterno in past, what are your thoughts on him now?
Ferentz: The only thing I can say…driving in here last night puts things in perspective. You come in here and just think about a year ago how things look compared to now. It’s a life lesson that things can look very different. The whole thing is really one that is for me hard to comprehend. It’s complex as well. The only two things I know about Penn State now is they handled us with ease last fall and we expect a tough game this year, a team that will be focused and well coached in October
Q: Does this tarnish your image of Paterno?
Ferentz: The only thing I would say there is again, my guess is everyone looks at things differently than they did a year ago. I will leave it at that.
Q: Does it give you any pause or make you think about what happens with coaches or anyone when they are entrenched in a place for so long and in a position of power…to how you keep reality in check?
Ferentz: It’s not only true in coaching, but any facet of life. You can go back in history. Things repeat themselves. Stories are different and can be more extreme. But as a person in general, we all reflect on what we do in life. Hopefully you are learning as you move along.
Q: From a coaches standpoint, perspective of what PSU is up against and how difficult will it be for O’Brien to remain competitive with sanctions?
Ferentz: I couldn’t offer thoughts on that because I have not been in anything similar to that and I am not sure anyone has. I can tell you what it’s like to got 1-10 in your first year. I can speak with authority on that topic. They have a lot of good players over there and an excellent coaching staff and an excellent head coach. I can’t imagine anyone better than Bill O’Brien to lead that program. It will be difficult and challenging I can tell you that. Sometimes adversity brings the best out of people. When we play them on October 20th, I am guessing it will be a tough game.
Q: We don’t get a chance to see the defensive line the way you do, but on paper there are a lot of unknowns. What do you know that we don’t know?
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Ferentz: I know a little bit more. I am saying that in all sincerity. None of us have seen them play in games yet. The group really improved in the 15 days we had in March and April. The first guys that come to mind is Louis Trinca-Passat who was missing in action in December, He took a couple day hiatus as he was not sure he was going to stay in program. He went from that to a guy who was out there just in body during bowl prep to a guy who was one of most improved on the team in March and April. I have reason to think that he is going to play well in the years forward. I think a guy like Carl Davis who I have not seen on the field because he was rehabbing, I see him in our building and how his demeanor is different than last year and two years ago. I would compare him to Brandon Scherrf. Came in at the same time and are big and talented. They are approaching that point when they are ready to play at a successful level in our conference. That is the intriguing part of what happens here in August. I am anxious to see both of those guys on the field and see what they do in August and the real test is what happens in September moving forward. It’s like years past; we have a chance for some good stories and if we are going to have a good team, we will need those good stories.
Q: NW came in with a new jersey, sparkly or what ever. I know you have thought about the Nike combat, are you serious with those thoughts?
Ferentz: It’s like spread offenses or 4-6 defenses. It’s the sign of the times.
Q: The kids like it
Ferentz: Exactly. We are open to anything offensively, defensively, special teams and uniforms and recruiting. We will keep an open mind. We will try to figure what fits us, like we do with everything. It’s not unrealistic to think we are thinking about some things and maybe have a wrinkle or two up our sleeves. Not that it will impact the game. Maybe it will. If it does we are all for it.
Q: How are things academically?
Ferentz: I think we are in pretty good shape. The guys have worked hard since January and we had our best spring semester ever and that is encouraging. It won’t win a game for us, but it’s encouraging.
Q: Do you have anything to say thing about recruits that are committed to schools who get into trouble before they get into school?
Ferentz: Not really.