Blue White Illustrated

June-July 2022

Penn State Sports Magazine

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Page 18 of 67

J U N E / J U L Y 2 0 2 2 19 W W W . B L U E W H I T E O N L I N E . C O M FIVE YEARS AGO, 2017 It was a rough month on the recruit- ing trail for James Franklin and his staff. The Nittany Lions lost Justin Fields on June 6, with the coveted Georgia quar- terback decommitting just two weeks after he had been upgraded from a four- to a five-star prospect. Recounting his conversation with Franklin, Fields said the Penn State coach was "speechless" when he heard the news. "He didn't know what to say," Fields said. "He told me he was disappointed. I know some coaches get mad at guys, but Coach Franklin wasn't like that. He wished me the best." Franklin would likely have been even more disappointed if he'd known at the time what the future held for Fields. Af- ter starting his college career at Georgia, he moved on to Ohio State and threw for 506 yards and six touchdowns in his two games against PSU, both Buckeye victo- ries, before being selected 11th overall by Chicago in the 2021 NFL Draft. The Lions did enjoy an apparent suc- cess in June 2017 when they landed four-star defensive end Dorian Hardy of Paramus, N.J. But that didn't work out, either. Hardy had his offer pulled that fall after he was involved in a fight at practice that left a teammate with a concussion. He ended up signing with East Carolina. 10 YEARS AGO, 2012 It was the darkest chapter in Penn State history, and while Jerry San- dusky's conviction on June 22 didn't bring an end to the scandal that had rocked the university, it did bring some measure of justice to victims of the for- mer Nittany Lion defensive coordinator. At the conclusion of the two-week trial, which took place at the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte, San- dusky was convicted on 45 of the 48 criminal counts he faced. "I just looked at him during the read- ing of the verdict," juror Joshua Harper told NBC's Today Show. "The look on his face with no real emotion — he was just accepting it because it was true." Eight of Sandusky's victims had tes- tified in the trial, as had former Penn State quarterbacks coach Mike Mc- Queary. Harper described their testi- mony as "very credible." "It was very convincing," he con- cluded. Ever since charges were first brought against him in November 2011, San- dusky has maintained his innocence, most recently in a phone interview with ESPN for a documentary about Joe Pa- terno's legacy. But his four requests for a new trial have all been turned down by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Now 78, he is serving a 30- to 60-year sentence at the State Correctional In- stitute at Laurel Highlands in Somerset County. 25 YEARS AGO, 1997 Penn State had four All-America per- formances at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Bloom- ington, Ind. Kim McGreevy finished seventh in the 1,500-meter race, while Donna Fidler was seventh in the 10,000 meters. On the men's side, John Gorham was 11th in the long jump, while James Cook was 13th in the decathlon. McGreevy, who had started her colle- giate career at Navy before transferring to Penn State ahead of her junior year, was a four-time All-American during her two years in State College. As a se- nior, she received All-America honors in cross country and the indoor mile in addition to her finish at outdoor nation- als. She was later named Penn State's Female Student-Athlete of the Year. — Matt Herb This Month in Penn State Athletics History Justin Fields decommitted from Penn State in June 2017 for Georgia, and later went on to play against the Nittany Lions twice as Ohio State's starting quarterback. Fields threw for 318 yards and four touchdowns in the Buckeyes' 38-25 vic- tory over PSU in 2020. PHOTO BY STEVE MANUEL

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