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Bill O'Brien reaching out to programs with history of good walk-ons

With his Nittany Lion squad having to deal with scholarship reductions over the next few years, Bill O'Brien and his staff are putting an emphasis on evaluating and targeting the right recruits and developing their non-scholarship players. 

When you think of traditionally strong walk on programs, teams like Wisconsin and Nebraska come to mind. O'Brien has started to make calls to staffs and athletic directors at programs around the country with a rich history of developing walk-ons in an effort to ensure that him and his staff get the most out of their "run-ons" over the next few years.

O'Brien started calling his non-scholarship players "run-ons" earlier in the season in an effort to give them credit for the hard work and hustle that they exhibit year round.

“Nebraska, Wisconsin, Iowa, those places have great traditions of run-on programs, and those guys they just have done an excellent job, whether it was Coach Pelini or Tom Osborne or Frank Solich when he was there. They've really been one of the pioneers for run-on-type programs in the history of college football.”

“I'm going to reach out to a few programs." O'Brien added in the Patriot News. "I'm going to leave that between myself and our staff right now but a few programs here in the off season. Personally I will reach out to some of those coaches or athletic directors and see how exactly they went about doing that. And I already have, I already have done that and will continue to do that.”

In the eyes of the staff at Penn State, developing their walk-ons into contributors will be the key to success in the immediate future.

Earlier in the year, secondary coach John Butler explained that the lower amount of scholarships is going to challenge the staff to evaluate talent like they never have before, and then ensure that they maximize that player's given abilities. They'll be looking for those scrappy overachievers, with a ton of Penn State pride, who have to work ethic to go from walk on to major contributor by sheer effort and will.

"The biggest thing about the sanctions is when we recruit over the next four years we’ve got to make sure that every kid we bring in we can maximize his ability. We as a coaching staff have got to be able to get every single ounce of talent from every single kid. There’s no room for error. In the past, if you missed on a guy, he transferred and you replaced him. We can’t do that."

The staff has done an outstanding job since their arrival of maxmizing the talent that they inherited in Happy Valley, and making the most out of a very challenging and unique situation. The next few off seasons will decide the shape of the program as they continue to move forward.

If the success that they've seen so far this season is any indication, the Penn State community has got the right staff (from top to bottom) for the challenge that lies ahead.

Good locker room footage from Cincinnati

After back to back losses to quality Toledo and Louisville squads, Cincinnati got back on track this past weekend with a win over Syracuse (35-24).

It seems that Cinci always does a great job of chronicling all of their behind the scenes stuff, and this past weekend the cameras were in the locker room to capture the pre and post game locker room environment, as well as a few words from head coach Butch Jones and his assistants at the half.

Another well done video here from the Bearcat staff that recruits, fans, and coaches can all enjoy.

Video that Ohio watched before kickoff last night

Here's the quick motivational video that Ohio watched before taking the field against Bowling Green last night.

The Falcons capitalized on some special teams mistakes from Ohio and escaped with a 26-14 victory, and their sixth straight win.

The guys in Athens put together some solid videos, and this one is no exception.

Thursday TV - Clear your schedules tonight

A handful of quality games are featured tonight. You'll want to make sure to clear your schedule and enjoy them.

Eastern time listed.

NFL:

Indianapolis at Jacksonville - 8:20 - NFL Network

College: 

Louisiana-Monroe at Arkansas State - 7 - EPSNU

Florida State at Virginia Tech - 7:30 - ESPN

North Alabama at West Alabama - 7:30 - CSS

High School:

No games

The Scoop on Bowling Green vs. Ohio

Having to follow up last night's conference match up of Toledo and Ball State will be no easy task, but tonight Bowling Green (6-3, 4-1) and Ohio (8-1, 4-1) will give it a shot in a meeting between two quality Mid American Conference teams.

Last season, this game went down to the wire, with Ohio escaping with a 29-28 win. However, over the past two weeks the Falcon defense has played lights out defensively, not allowing a single touchdown. In their past five wins, Ohio has scored at least 34 points. Something has to give.

Dave Clawson and his staff have the Bowling Green program hitting on all cylinders right nowl. The Falcons have won their past five straight games, and have ran for at least 200 yards in four of those five games. During that same span, they have also have not allowed an opponent to run for more than 100 yards, and their defense has scored just as many touchdowns as they have allowed as a defensive unit (3). 

Frank Solich and his Bobcats have won their last 14 out of 16 (and are undefeated at home this season). Solich's last five losses (dating back to the beginning of 2011) have come by a total of 22 points, or an average of just over 4 points per game. Ohio has also put together a 9-1 mark in midweek games dating back to 2009.

Weekday MACtion games rarely disappoint, and we don't see any disappointment on tap tonight. Be sure to tune in for some quality football

 

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