Penn State players feel free to b a Part of BullDogs Nation!!!— Jarvis Jones (@SacManJones_29) July 24, 2012
Though he reminds us that we are "not exactly talking about two schools that overlap in recruiting," Seth Emerson reports that Georgia is considering recruiting some current Penn State players. This is a good idea for the Bulldogs, who enter the 2012 campaign with the fewest recruited scholarship players in the conference, but is it really that much of a stretch for the Red and Black to recruit the Keystone State?
As MaconDawg noted yesterday, there are two Penn St. Nittany Lions who considered the Classic City in the recruitment process (Deion Barnes and Khairi Fortt), and there are two members of the Georgia Bulldogs staff with ties to that school or region (Scott Lakatos and John Thomas). There are, however, connections between the two states that go even deeper than that.
The fact that Pennsylvania is one of the top ten states in population and in NFL talent production is reason enough to look to our neighbor to the north for prospective players, and Wally Butts did just that, taking advantage of the presence in the vicinity of former Red and Black player Harold Ketron, who worked as a Coca-Cola bottler and high school football official in the Keystone State. Among the Pennsylvanians who came to Athens to play for Coach Butts were John Rauch (Philadelphia), Frank Sinkwich (McKees Rock), Joe Tereshinski, Sr. (Wilkes-Barre), and Charley Trippi (Pittstown), the latter of whom was quoted as follows in What It Means to be a Bulldog:
Growing up in Pennsylvania, I basically had two choices in life. I could find a way to go to college or I could work in the coal mines like my dad.
I saw what the coal mines did to my dad as he tried to support five children. Some days when he got home he would have to lay on the couch for an hour before he could eat dinner. I decided that was never going to happen to me.
The University of Georgia gave me the opportunity to play football and get an education, and it completely changed my life. . . .
[W]hen my [professional football] playing days were over I came back to Athens, where I had always had a home, and I was able to enjoy some success in real estate.
It's simple, really. My time at Georgia was the best thing that ever happened to me. That's why I'm still here.
During one of the heydays of Georgia football in the 1940s, the Bulldogs’ roster was stocked with so many Pennsylvanians that Coach Butts scheduled a road game against the Temple Owls in 1946 in order to allow his players to take the field in front of their families. In short, Jarvis Jones is right; any player who wants to escape the smoking crater the NCAA left in State College should cast his gaze away from the spot where Joe Paterno’s statue once stood and affix his vision upon the Arch, which still stands, serving as a beacon and a reminder that there is nothing in the least unusual about football prospects from the Keystone State taking advantage of the opportunity to don the silver britches and take the field between the hedges.