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Crumbling Cookies and Transfer Portals: Is there cause for concern at Penn State? // B1G 2019, Penn State Potluck #2

Tommy Stevens and Juwan Johnson should’ve bolstered the Nittany Lion offense in 2019. Now, they’re off to other pastures. What do we make of that?

NCAA FOOTBALL: JAN 02 Rose Bowl - USC v Penn State Photo by John Cordes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Here comes a second day of talking about your favorite team from your favorite state!

Question #1: Cookies

The chocolate chip cookie is the proposed state cookie.

I’m a fan of sweets. Littlest Townie is a great baker, lucky for me (but not my waist line). We talk about baking in the context of chemistry (how do you get chewy vs. crunchy cookies is an ongoing debate).

Here’s the single best discussion of cookie chemistry ever (sorry Alton…).

If you want thick, crunchy yummy chocolate chip cookies, replace brown sugar with white and shortening for butter. But it goes beyond that. I prefer thin, crisper cookies. So I actually keep the butter, but cook them longer. This give the cookies time to spread out and crisp up. Which is the perfect chocolate chip cookie for dipping in PA’s state drink...milk.

What’s your favorite cookie and style?

Candystripes: While I am always partial to the classic chocolate chip, the delectable snickerdoodle, and the good old standby sugar cookie, my favorite has to be oatmeal scotchies. When fresh out of the oven, they are soft and chewy, but once they’ve been allowed to stand, they crisp up just enough to give both a little chew and a lot of crunch. Perfect for people who aren’t into chocolate, and pretty good for everyone else as well.

Jesse: Gotta be the Monster Cookie. You get a mix of all the things, and if you make them at home, you can even start including things like butterscotch chips. I understand the crispiness factor, but I want them to be real chewy still. So… I dunno. Something like a really nice bite and then something to chew on for a while? This feels like a bad setup for a joke.

GF3: Chocolate chip wins, but my grandmother’s recipe that incorporates small amounts of oats and rice krispies for texture. Also, add a tsp of instant coffee to your chocolate chip recipe. Thank me later.

Thumpasaurus: The best cookie is whatever is left when you get to Mary’s Mountain Cookies in Fort Collins, Colorado.

LPW: I love Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Aaron Yorke: At my “real” job in the MLB Replay Center, we sometimes have to work well past dinner time. When late-night cravings hit, the go-to treat is Insomnia Cookies. Everyone gets grouchy as bedtime approaches, so ordering cookies, or “cooks” for short is a great way to boost morale. I always go for a peanut butter cookie because peanut butter is one food I never get tired of, and I love mixing salty with sweet.

Boilerman: I’m a sucker for a good chocolate chip cookie. That said, I’ve met very few cookies I didn’t like. I used to be a huge fan of super soft cookies but now, I’m all about cookies that have a nice crispness to them around the outside of the cookie with a firm but chewy center.

BrianB2: To avoid making this a chocolate chip cookie parade, I’ll list some other cookies that have had a big impact on my life. Snickerdoodles, molasses, peanut butter, thinmints/grasshoppers, chocolate crinkles...among others. One of my grandmothers fancied herself as a baker, so Christmases during my childhood were very cookie heavy. Oatmeal raisin cookies are the devil.

Beez: I like the ones that are sugar cookies with a Hershey’s kiss pressed into the top. Or anything with Reese’s mini pb cups in, on, or around the cookie. If you put oatmeal, raisin, or any other pretend garbage dessert item into my cookie, I will throw the cookie at you.

MNW: Good job, beez. I was worried we weren’t going to get to the correct answer of Peanut Blossoms (or whatever your Midwestern grandmother called them). That said, Boilerman has a very correct take on chocolate chip cookies. Crisp with a firm but moist center is the way to be with cookies. If I wanted dough, I would eat the dough.

WSR: I’ll also take a good chocolate chip cookie, but with a small amount of peanut butter chips mixed in just for a little contrast.


Favorite cookie?

This poll is closed

  • 5%
    Chocolate chip, crispy
    (9 votes)
  • 45%
    Chocolate chip, chewy
    (72 votes)
  • 13%
    Oatmeal raisin (I suck)
    (21 votes)
  • 7%
    Peanut butter
    (12 votes)
  • 3%
    Monster cookies
    (6 votes)
  • 5%
    (9 votes)
  • 6%
    Peanut blossoms
    (10 votes)
  • 6%
    Whatever I shovel into my face when I’m high
    (10 votes)
  • 6%
    Other (comments!)
    (11 votes)
160 votes total Vote Now

Question #2: Crumbling?

The 2018 PSU football team had some standout players on it. Many are now getting paid to play on Sundays—Trace McSorley, Miles Sanders, Shareef Miller, Amani Oruwariye, and Nick Scott. However, we also lost a lot of players through the new transfer portal. That flood started early...

Bleacher Report put out a “Biggest Winners and Losers of CFB’s Transfer Portal Thus Far” Back in February. James Franklin was listed as a loser…

Since then a series of copycat articles came out. They all list PSU among the biggest losers. Here’s a summary:

Key Acquisitions:

Jordan Stout (K, Virginia Tech)
Weston Carr (WR, Azusa Pacific)
(Carr WAS a D-II All-American, for what it’s worth.)

Key Departures:

Tommy Stevens (QB, Mississippi St.)
Juwan Johnson (WR, Oregon)
Mark Allen (RB, Duquesne)
Brandon Polk (WR, James Madison)
Irvin Charles (WR, ?)
Sterling Jenkins (OT, Duquesne)
Torrence Brown (DE, Southern Miss)
Jarvis Miller (LB, Massachusetts)
Manny Bowen (LB, Utah)
Dea’lun Darien (LB, Delaware)
Ayron Monroe (S, Temple)
Zeck McPhearson (CB, Texas Tech)

This actually sucks hard. Stephens, Johnson, and Bowen were almost surely starters. The rest may not be starters, but it’s still a bad look. We had 22 kids in the portal at one point. As 247 Sports pointed out, that’s an entire draft class looking to transfer. It’s a huge amount of turnover.

I’m not sure what it means for James Franklin’s coaching style, but I sure would like to know why it happened.

Who was your team’s biggest loss or gain from the transfer portal?

Jesse: Nebraska actually fared positively in the transfer game this year. We added Darrion Daniels, whose brother plays at Nebraska which obviously helped. He’s a 6’ 3” 320 lb NT who probably was starting for Oklahoma State this year. We also landed one of Cal’s best WRs in Kanawai Noa. He got hurt last year but was definitely primed for a big year before that point. He’s probably starting in 2019. We also got Travis Vokolek from Rutgers because when a 6’ 6” 225 lb TE that pretty much everyone wanted asks to leave NJ and come to Nebraska, you say yes.

GF3: Do I really need to Fields this question?

Thumpasaurus: Three receivers (could have been six!), a DE, a linebacker, a quarterback, a tight end and a guard. The transfer portal is the biggest piece of evidence that Lovie knows he has to win this year. We’ll see how it pans out...

LPW: Northwestern added 5 star quarterback Hunter Johnson from Clemson. Johnson will most likely start in Evanston for the next three years. Thank you very much Clemson!

Aaron Yorke: I think Tommy Stevens is the biggest loss for Penn State, even though Sean Clifford will be a much better quarterback. Stevens gave the PSU offense an extra wrinkle it could throw in when the going got tough last year. He was starting to develop as a Kordell Stewart-type threat with his ability to run, pass, and catch.

I can’t blame him for seeking out a starting job down south, but it would have been fun to see how Franklin used him in 2019.

Boilerman: Purdue has had a handful of players go into the portal including 3 receivers, 2 tight ends, a couple of D-Linemen, and a cornerback. Most of them were going to struggle to crack the two-deeps with Brohm bringing in more talented recruits. Probably most concerning would be areas where depth could be a concern like the D-Line and Secondary.

BrianB2: Well, while this technically isn’t a “loss”, the media declaring Jalen Hurts a lock to follow Locksley to Maryland turned out to be a big disappointment. The most notable loss via transfer would probably be QB Kasim Hill, but I am more torn about losing starting punter Wade Lees to UCLA.

Our biggest gain would either be former Virginia Tech QB Josh Jackson, who should easily be able to fill Kasim Hill’s shoes or former Clemson linebacker Shaq Smith. Just hoping Jackson strapped on two knee braces the minute he crossed the Virginia-Maryland border.

MNW: What I’m curious about is why all these players left, but I’m sure we won’t have answers beyond the “Don’t panic!” from various State outlets (BSD going so far as saying that it’s a good sign of recruiting for PSU), the understandable depth-chart and health-related dismissals, and James Franklin being “concerned” about the liberal use of transfers. Does it say something about the culture of the program, though? It’s something we surely won’t get an answer to unless someone leaves disgruntled or Franklin moves on, and it’s an alarmingly high number. I think Marty Leap from BSD hit it on the head that Franklin needs a bounceback year in 2019 to prevent the narrative around the portal from picking up steam--but I’ll be here with popcorn if State doesn’t and the narrative does.

LPW’s noted Hunter Johnson, but it bears repeating that Northwestern got its biggest QB transfer since Zak Kustok, and second five-star transfer under Pat Fitzgerald (though we need not talk about Kyle Prater unless it’s high A-plus blocking). The ‘Cats did lose one of their myriad white receivers who would make a 25-yard catch, prompting you to say “WHO?!” (Charlie Fessler, off to Richmond), and a linebacker (Nathan Fox) who battled injuries and transferred closer to home (Houston). If anything, the portal kind of works for Northwestern, given that NU is an appealing grad transfer route. More anonymous, scrappy receivers on a grad transfer for everyone!

Ultimately, I mean, shoutout to James Franklin for bringing in TRANSFER KICKER/PUNTER, something we at OTE always approve of. (Though should we cheer more for TRANSFER FULLBACK?) Good job to other TRANSFER PUNTER teams Iowa Hawkeyes for Michael Sleep-Dalton and Nebraska Cornhuskers for poaching Michigan State Spartans punter Michael Pryzstup.

Beez: Wisconsin lost Kyle Penniston, former highly-touted but rarely-productive pass catching tight end, to the transfer portal. Interestingly/hilarious, Wisconsin ALSO lost Skyler Meyers, an incoming freshman, to the transfer portal before the start of his first season. The extra ridiculous part of that loss is that Jesse Temple, excellent Wisconsin beat writer for The Atlantic, published a lengthy feature about Skyler and his journey to joining the Badgers like a week before Meyers entered the portal.

Despite this, the transfer portal is a good thing and all players should have immediate eligibility. And I’m open to negotiating a compromise on this.

WSR: We haven’t had too many adventures with the transfer portal yet. A few players that needed to get disappeared went in and never came back out as far as I care, and we brought in this year’s DT Micah Dew-Treadway from Notre Dame to replace the previous DT transfer O.J. Smith from Alabama (thanks for the great work recruiting the line, Jerry and Tracy!).


Should we be concerned by the transfer portal attrition under James Franklin?

This poll is closed

  • 57%
    Yes: rats, sinking ship, etc.
    (124 votes)
  • 42%
    No: it’s a normal process playing out
    (90 votes)
214 votes total Vote Now