Derek Levarse, Times Leader

Derek Levarse

Times Leader

Wilkes-Barre, PA, United States

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Past articles by Derek:

Penn State’s pipeline to Lackawanna College continues with latest commitment

Not even a pandemic and a brief spring season was going to stop Lackawanna College’s excellent track record of developing players. And it wasn’t going to stop… → Read More

Penn State pushes for strong finish to spring: Where to listen to updates from practice

It would have been easy enough for Jahan Dotson to leave. Same with Tariq Castro-Fields and Jaquan Brisker. → Read More

PSU notebook: Lions prepare for an unusual final spring practice Saturday

Another reminder that all is not back to normal in college football came Wednesday. → Read More

Linebacker U looks for rebound in 2021 with help of Smith, Jacobs

They were the highest-rated players in Penn State’s 2019 and 2020 recruiting classes. And in 2021, linebackers Brandon Smith and Curtis Jacobs may be the key to a Nittany Lions turnaround. → Read More

Penn State offense taking ‘aggressive’ and ‘accelerated’ approach under Yurcich

Add another title to Mike Yurcich’s resume at Penn State. Offensive coordinator. Quarterbacks coach. Mad scientist? → Read More

No traditional Blue-White Game for Penn State this spring

Penn State’s 15th and final spring practice this year will be a Saturday scrimmage inside Beaver Stadium. But it won’t be called the Blue-White Game, and the general public won’t be able to attend. → Read More

Penn State acknowledges sacrifices made by players, staff to play 2020 season

As an exhausting year winds to a close, James Franklin had to take a moment or two to consider a question he was asked Tuesday. → Read More

Penn State still staying clear of virus despite outbreak this week at Michigan

For the second time this season, Penn State’s most recent opponent is dealing with a serious COVID-19 outbreak. But as of Wednesday evening, the Nittany Lions have managed to stay clear of a similar… → Read More

RailRiders bow out in extras, lose to Charlotte in 10 innings

Each home run was countered immediately. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and Charlotte traded solo shots — five in all from the third inning through the eighth —… → Read More

Breaking down Penn State’s initial depth chart ahead of the opener

The starters, other than one or two spots, are set.The players, other than one or two who are “dinged up,” are ready to go.The Nittany Lions, James Franklin said, are “healthier and… → Read More

RailRiders game called off amid wet weather; flash-flood watch in effect

Back from a week-long road trip, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders had to wait another day to play at PNC Field in Moosic.The weather forced a quick postponement to the RailRiders’ game… → Read More

PSU Notebook: Connor McGovern, O-line make major statement in victory

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Anchored by the Pac-12’s best defensive player, Washington finished the regular season leading the nation in rushing defense, allowing just 92 yards per game on the ground. Penn State matched that in one play in the second quarter of Saturday’s Fiesta Bowl, springing Saquon Barkley loose for a 92-yard touchdown run, a … → Read More

Penn State approves contract extension for James Franklin

It was halftime of the fifth game of the 2016 season, and James Franklin heard the boos. The Penn State coach heard the chants, too. The ones from the Beaver Stadium crowd that called for him to be fired as the Nittany Lions headed to the locker room trailing Minnesota last October, facing a possible … → Read More

Decommitments part of the challenge in college football recruiting

The Q&A session had begun. It didn’t take long for someone from the crowd to ask James Franklin about recruiting — specifically how the Penn State football coach handles decommitments. Franklin grinned. “Interesting that I’m getting this question in Harrisburg,” Franklin said during this past spring’s Coaches Caravan event, which tours the Northeast interacting with … → Read More

The recruiting game: WVW’s Bleich, other top prospects face heavy pressure

The lesson, as usual in the recruiting game, was about patience. Chris Bleich’s first impression of Los Angeles wasn’t ideal. The standout offensive lineman from Wyoming Valley West High School was flying in to check out UCLA in June, but after being picked up at the airport by his uncle, he ran into one of … → Read More

PSU media day notes: Barkley, Franklin and position battles

STATE COLLEGE — It took only one question on Saturday for Saquon Barkley to hear the word “Heisman.” Yeah, the expectations for Penn State’s star running back are just a bit high right now. The Nittany Lions wrapped up their first week of preseason practice with their annual media day at Beaver Stadium. And Barkley … → Read More

Former assistant Bob Shoop files counterclaim vs. Penn State

Once celebrated at Penn State for being one of the nation’s top defensive coordinators, Bob Shoop is claiming in a court filing that he “experienced a hostile, negative work environment” while with the Nittany Lions. Penn State filed a breach of contract lawsuit against Shoop in June for not paying a buyout clause triggered when … → Read More

Dallas baseball wins 4A state championship

STATE COLLEGE — It started with a long drive back from Hazleton. It was April 28 and Dallas had just lost again, a 7-0 thumping by the Cougars, to fall to 2-6 in league play. The Mountaineers had plenty of time to think heading back home. “Long bus ride back home. Silent bus ride back,” … → Read More

Penn State signing day central: Recruit info, video highlights and more

STATE COLLEGE — It’s national signing day for Penn State and the Nittany Lions have → Read More

Penn State narrowly misses Playoff berth, will head to the Rose Bowl

INDIANAPOLIS — Saquon Barkley had to repeat the question to give himself more time to → Read More