Nov. 8, 2008 was the day the Daryll Clark and the Nittany Lions would never forget. The very second then-sophomore Hawkeye kicker Daniel Murray made the field goal for the one-point win, Clark and the rest of the team knew what had to be done.
The Iowa loss has haunted Penn State ever since. As the Nittany Lions take on the Iowa Hawkeyes, they hope to make Sept. 26, 2009 a day the Hawkeyes will remember.
This battle of the BigTen game doesn’t just bring in students, fans, parents, media, and ESPN’s College Gameday, it also brings in recruits who may play "For the glory of Ole State" someday. Here's a list of the high school players Penn State has its eyes on:
Mike Hull: We are…Linebacker U. Mike Hull is said by Scout.com to be one “Hull” of a linebacker. This four-star middle linebacker’s strong areas include hitting ability, instincts, and toughness. Hull attends Canon-Mcmillan SHS in Canonsburg, PA. Hopefully, linebackers Sean Lee and Navarro Bowman will be back on the field so Hull can get a feel for how we do things at Linebacker U.
Evan Hailes: No. 8 defensive tackle Evan Hailes comes to Happy Valley from Oscar F. Smith HS in Chesapeake, VA. As a junior, Hails had 81 tackles, 21 tackles for loss, and nine sacks. Hails is clearly a talented prospect. Hopefully we will get to see him in action.
Miles Dieffenbach: From what I’ve seen, our o-line has been struggling. Daryll Clark is continually pressured on nearly every passing play. A center from Fox Chapel Area SHS in Pittsburgh, PA., Dieffenbach is ranked sixth in his position. He's a four-star offensive lineman who also does extremely well in the classroom with a 3.6 core GPA.
Tom Rickett: Another Pennsylvania native, Rickett is a 6'6", 266 pound offensive tackle coming out of North Allegheny SHS in Wexford. With a four-star position ranking, he would be another great addition to the offensive line.
Luke Graham: The Lions are clearly building their line. No. 11 guard from Penn Trafford HS in Harrison City, PA., Graham has a serious upside and will soon add to this 2010 class.
Alex Kenney: Scout.com said that this wide receiver shows the ability to give the Nittany Lion offense a spark as a freshman. Kenny is a hometown hero coming out of State College Area HS here in State College, PA.
As a sophomore, he caught 13 touchdown passes and was named honorable mention All-State and second-team All-Conference. Kenny also runs track for his high school.
Kevin Haplea: Haplea is a No. 5 tight end from North Hunterdon HS in Annandale, NJ. Scout.com lists blocking ability, route-running skills, and toughness as his strengths. He is very good in the red zone and catches every ball at its highest point. As a four-star end, Haplea can pretty much do it all.
All of these prospects have verbally committed to Penn State. Following the Iowa game, I’ll be able to give readers some insight to their personal thoughts of the game.
Let's go State!
*All player stats and profiles from Scout.com*