WhiteOut Weekly: Manny Diaz Hire | National Signing Day Recap
It certainly felt strange as we took a one week hiatus, however we are back in full force as there seemed to be Penn State news a plenty within that time span. Episode 15 is live and we breakdown everything from the Manny Diaz hire that surfaced Saturday morning, to Wednesday’s early NSD that ushered in many new, talented faces to Happy Valley.
Manny Diaz hired as new DC:
This one seemed to come out of the shadows of Mt. Nittany as most of the attention seemed to be on a potential Elijah Robinson (Texas A&M DLine Coach) and a potential homecoming, however Penn State Football Twitter broke the news as most of the Penn State faithful was just pouring their first cup of Saturday morning coffee. Here’s the skinny on Manny Diaz:
Miami HC (2018-2021) – Three seasons as the man in charge in Coral Gables, 21-15 record.
Miami DC (2016-2018) – Broyles Award nominee in inaugural season (top assistant coach) as his defense ranked #20 in total defense, #9 in YPP (yards per play), #12 in scoring defense, #5 in TFL (tackles for loss). Brought the world renowned “Turnover Chain” to life which has expanded in some form to many teams across the country. During his final season as DC, his defense ranked #4 in total defense and #1 in TFL, 3rd down % and passing yards allowed.
Mississippi State DC (2015-2016) – Held opponents to 23.2 PPG and finished in the Top 10 in RZ defense + TFL
Louisiana Tech DC (2014-2015) – Defense led the nation in turnovers created (42 total)
Texas DC (2011-2014) – In Diaz’ first season, Texas finished #1 in the BIG 12 in Total Defense, Passing Defense and Rushing Defense.
All in all, I think Diaz is a perfect fit for this team…Franklin has mentioned previously that he was searching for a “head coach of the defense” to succeed Brent Pry and he certainly found that with the former Hurricane’s head coach. Diaz will bring a system that is not too different from the one that Pry had installed over the last 8 seasons, and in fact may bring a sense of freshness and a new tenacity in regards to getting after the quarterback that Beaver Stadium can bump Zombie Nation to during the 2022 season.
National Signing Day Recap:
There’s a lot to like about this Penn State 2022 class that currently ranks 6th and 7th nationally with 247 Sports & ESPN respectively. The Nittany Lions “drafted” 23 total commits during the early signing day period, with Lackawana C.C safety Tyrece Mills expected to make 24 during February’s now late National Signing Day extravaganza. The class is headlined with two quarterbacks (one being ranked #1 nationally), the nation’s #1 running back, and a ton of defensive talent that is enough to get you EXCITED. Here are some of the key additions to the 2022 Penn State squad:
Drew Allar (6″5, 225 LBS – Medina HS/Medina, OH)
The #1 QB in the country and #3 overall prospect, and quite frankly James Franklins best signing of his Penn State career….there is a LOT to love about the potential of Penn State’s QB Room. Drew was a 3 star QB from the state of Ohio at the time Penn State had offered, and since his senior season has concluded he has ascended to the top quarterback in the land, a five star rating (247 Sports) and a 99 247 Sports rating.
Allar finished his final HS season with 48 passing touchdowns, nearly 4500 passing yards and a 60% completion percentage…not to mention he also rushed for 400 yards and 9 more scores. He is the total package and has a chance to become one of the greatest quarterbacks in Penn State history. He will be enrolling early in January to get a jump start on that path.
Nicholas Singleton (6″0, 215 LBS -Governor Mifflin HS/Reading, PA)
The 2021 Gatorade National Player of the Year, the nation’s #1 RB decided to stay home and remain committed to Penn State after being courted by the likes of Notre Dame, Alabama and Texas A&M to name a few. Singleton on average scored once per 3.89 touches which is certifiably INSANE, rushed for 2,043 yards and 44 rushing touchdowns during his senior campaign.
Drawing a ton of comparisons, as expected to former Penn State RB great Saquon Barkley (who funny enough awarded Singleton with the Gatorade POY award via video call), as some pretty big shoes to fill but has all the talent in the world to make it happen. With him being an early January enrollee with an opportunity to go through winter workouts, spring camp, Blue/White game and fall camp….expect him to hit the ground “running” and push for #1 on the depth chart in early September.
Zane Durant (6″1, 260 LBS – Lake Nona HS/Orlando, FL)
Penn State may need to create their own rendition of the turnover chain as the potential of Durant (a native Floridian) now being coached by turnover guru and former Miami HC/DC Diaz is higher than a Penn State freshman walking into Jamaica Junction.
Durant finished his junior season with 6.5 sacks and 16 TFL, but then EXPLODED during his senior season tallying 15 sacks and 28 TFL, to pair with 4 forced fumbles and 5 TDs. He may need a year in Dwight Galt’s strength/conditioning program, but he is a “generational talent” that will be wreaking havoc in opponent’s backfields for years to come.
Tune into White Out Weekly Episode 15 for the rest of our thoughts on Diaz, the remaining Penn State commits and our inaugural Bowl Mania Special where Matt and I pick against the spread for five bowl games of our liking and give our CFP predictions.
If you thought our B1G Betting Bonanza picks were locks, you’re going to want to fire away on the Parx Sportsbook App with our bowl predictions, because who doesn’t want to wager the $25 they got in their grandmom’s Christmas card on the Duke’s Mayo Bowl?