Nittany news and notes: Rumored date for the Whiteout Game, summer recruiting visits, and more

With Penn State's home matchup against Ohio State likely slotted in as a noon kickoff on Fox, the Whiteout Game at Beaver Stadium may need to be against Illinois in late September.
Penn State Nittany Lions head coach James Franklins
Penn State Nittany Lions head coach James Franklins / Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

Instead of a primetime slot for Penn State’s season opener in Morgantown, the Nittany Lions kick off the 2024 campaign with a noon kickoff against the West Virginia Mountaineers. Fox’s Big Noon Kickoff will feature the matchup instead of NBC’s Big Ten Saturday Night which will have Michigan’s first game against Fresno State that night. 

Fox is also rumored to have another key matchup in Penn State’s season slated for the noon timeslot, the Ohio State game. It’s the biggest game on Penn State’s schedule and from the look of things this offseason, could be one of the biggest matchups of the entire college football season. However, if Fox takes the game instead of NBC, it almost certainly won’t be the Whiteout Game. 

As the major networks bid for the biggest games, NBC’s preferred primetime schedule was reported and it would give the Nittany Lions just one primetime game at Beaver Stadium, September 28th against Illinois. 

If that is Penn State’s lone night game, it will almost certainly be the Whiteout. 

Penn State offers a future quarterback’s former teammate

James Franklin’s summer football camps continue in Happy Valley and over the weekend, he welcomed 10 uncommitted 2025 recruits and multiple players in the 2026 high school class. One of those players participating in the camps was Kaden Gebhardt a four-star safety and one of 2023 four-star quarterback Ethan Grunkemeyer’s former teammates. 

Gebhardt and Grunkemeyer led Olentangy High School in Lewis Center Ohio to an 11-2 record in 2023, falling in the Regional semifinals to Springfield. 

Drew Allar is the presumptive starting quarterback in 2024 and both he and Beau Pribula will have eligibility left beyond next season, but once Allar moves on, either to the NFL or the transfer portal, Grunkemeyer will be in the mix to start for the Nittany Lions and by then his former high school teammate could be a key piece of the Nittany Lions’ defense. 

More: Flying Nittany Lions in Eugene Oregon

The Penn State men’s track and field team finished 12th out of 13 teams at the Big Ten outdoor championships in Ann Arbor, Michigan and eight of the team’s 31 points came from senior Cheickna Traore who finished second in the 200-meter to Purdue’s Cameron Miller. Then, Traore flipped a switch. 

At the NCAA East Regional First Round, Traore was the top qualifier in the region, running a career-best 19.93, achieving the Olympic Standard for the 200-meter. He followed that performance up with a 20.02 in the prelims at Hayward Field for the NCAA Championships before winning the national championship with a 19.95 in the finals. 

Even after his breakout run at the regional meet, Traore, who headed to Eugene, Oregon along with five other Nittany Lions on the men’s and women’s sides, was by no means the favorite to take home the 200-meter crown. Just one year ago, Traore took home the Division III national title for Ramapo College and hadn’t run faster than 20.23 until the Big Ten Championships. 

Traore was Penn State’s lone champion, but not the Nittany Lions’ only point scorer in Eugene. Sophomore Hayley Kitching placed fifth in the 800 meters with a 2:01.05.

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