Well, what a difference a year makes. I’m still not sure if 2019 was a re-build or a re-load, but either way, an 11-2 record far exceeded expectations. As Penn State entered their second bye-week coming off that first three-game gauntlet unscathed and boasting a spot in the first college football playoff poll, most of us were under the impression that Penn State was a year ahead of schedule. Two losses over the last four games did nothing to change that opinion. In fact, those tough losses have only served to propel us to where we are today. We have unfinished business. I don’t know if that’s the theme Dwight Galt began winter workouts with this week or not but it’s clear by their tone, rhetoric, and actions that this team is simply not satisfied with 11-2.
Instead of the mass exodus that had us barely hanging on one year ago, this off-season has been littered with Nittany Lions reaffirming their commitment to take us to heights we haven’t seen in decades. Shaka Toney and Lamont Wade did not need any fanfare or fancy statements on social media as the deadline to declare for the NFL Draft ended on January 20th. Those two were already back in class and taking care of unfinished business.
The transfer portal that caused so much angst and confusion a year ago? Nary a peep as just four are currently inside, including former 5-star wideout Justin Shorter who coincidently raised eyebrows this week on Instagram by posting a pic of himself all decked out in Penn State gear and a plain white helmet without the stripe. He’s on campus and still enrolled as a student. Could he have been bitten by the ‘unfinished business’ bug too? Only time will tell.
Will Fries, Michael Menet, and Tariq Castro-Fields? Unfinished business. Pat Freiermuth? Yikes! That beast of a tight end has unfinished business to tend to. Everybody’s All-American Micah Parsons, you ask? As crazy as it sounds, he’s almost been apologetic ever since that beat-down he leveled on Memphis in the Cotton Bowl and has promised more than once to do better. Now, that’s a scary thought if I were an offense in the Big Ten! Unfinished business I tell you.
In 1986, a handful of Nittany Lions who were eligible to move on after falling short to Oklahoma decided to come back and give it one more shot. Guess what they had: Unfinished business. Catch my drift? Several decades later, as we nestle into our long winter’s nap, we stand at those crossroads once again. So sleep well and get plenty of rest, Nittany Nation, as our Lions go to work. If 2019 was ahead of schedule as suspected then unfinished business is set to dominate in 2020!