Transition Games

January 13, 2009 at 2:11 pm Leave a comment

You thought this was the “offseason” for Penn State football?

Nittany Lions past and present are all over the news this week, and for PSU fans, no story is bigger than that of defensive line coach and ace recruiter Larry Johnson Sr. considering a job offer (including a raise and a promotion) from Big Ten rival Illinois. Harrisburg’s Dave Jones (an Ohio State alum, which I reluctantly overlook because he tends to write great columns) breaks down the factors that might influence the decision, both for Johnson and for Joe Paterno. It’s a decision that could have massive implications for Penn State’s short- and long-term football future.

Larry Johnson is Penn State's No. 1 recruiter

Larry Johnson is Penn State's No. 1 recruiter

Kerry Collins ’94 is weighing an offer, too, and he’s made it clear he’s got the ultimate leverage: Give him what he wants, or he’ll retire. Collins, an unexpected starter this season who led the Tennessee Titans to the best regular-season mark in the NFL, has made it clear he’d still like to play, but he has no desire to sit on anyone’s bench. If the Titans don’t want him to start next season, he’ll try to find a team that does. If he can’t, he’ll retire to his North Carolina farm.

Former Paterno assistant Jim Caldwell had no such choices to make. When Indianapolis Colts head coach Tony Dungy announced his retirement earlier today, Caldwell, the Colts’ associate head coach last season, was promoted to the top job.

Ryan Jones, senior editor

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