Young cancer patient scores TD in Neb spring game
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Jack Hoffman just might go down as the biggest star of the Nebraska spring game.
And he’s only 7 years old.
Hoffman of Atkinson, Neb., has won the hearts of fans and everyone in the football program for his courageous bout with brain cancer. Star running back Rex Burkhead befriended the 7-year-old last year and is the captain of the support network known as “Team Jack.”
Wearing a miniature Burkhead uniform complete with a No. 22 jersey, Jack ran onto the field late in Saturday’s scrimmage.
On a fourth-and-1 play, he took a handoff from Taylor Martinez. As he went down the field, players from the Red and White squads left their sidelines and followed him into the end zone to mob him after his 69-yard touchdown.
The crowd of 60,174 at Memorial Stadium cheered as Jack celebrated — a moment that left his father, Andy, misty-eyed on the sideline.
Penn State recruit Issah won’t play for Nittany Lions
Penn State coach Bill O’Brien said that linebacker recruit Zayd Issah, who has been charged for his alleged role in a forgery scheme and with trying to pass counterfeit money, will not play football at Penn State in 2013.
Issah, 18, who starred at Central Dauphin High School in Harrisburg, was arrested March 10 after police said he tried to use counterfeit money to pay for food at a McDonald’s restaurant. He has been charged with four felonies among eight counts.
In an interview Wednesday with the Associated Press, O’Brien said he met over the weekend with Issah and his family. He said the door had been left open for him to come to Penn State at a later time.
“We want what’s best for Zayd,” he said. “We don’t think Zayd is a bad kid at all. We think he’s a young guy that’s made a couple of questionable decisions. His next move will be determined by him.
“He will not be here next year to play football at Penn State, but eventually he could end up at Penn State down the road.”
The 6-foot-3, 210-pound Issah was one of 12 players who signed a national letter of intent with Penn State on Feb. 6. He had been expected to provide depth at linebacker and contribute on special teams.
Roadblocks go up for star running back
Pitt has blocked running back Rushel Shell form transferring to Arizona or Arizona State, according to multiple sources.
Shell is eyeing a move to a Pac 12 school and requested to be released to California, UCLA, Arizona and Arizona State. Pitt blocked the latter two, mostly due to the presence of former Pitt coaches on the staffs at those schools. Arizona State’s head coach is former Pitt coach Todd Graham.
One concern is that if Pitt allows Shell to go to either Arizona school, it would become an easy destination for other Panthers seeking a transfer. Shell also is prohibited from transferring to another ACC school, as well as any schools on future Pitt schedules, including Penn State.
Shell can request an appeal to Pitt’s decision, which would be heard by the university’s NCAA faculty representative. One factor that might work in Shell’s favor on such an appeal is that Pitt allowed cornerback Lloyd Carrington to transfer to Arizona State in August.
Even if the appeal is denied, Shell could transfer to either school, but couldn’t be on scholarship for his first year. He would have to pay his own way while sitting out a year under NCAA regulations.