According to a report from Mike Poorman and Ben Jones on StateCollege.com, Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano could now be the leading candidate to replace Joe Paterno at Penn State. Poorman and Jones cite conversations with NFL agents, flight activity of official Penn State aircraft, and additional sources in their speculation that Schiano is now a prime candidate in Happy Valley. The article is admittedly speculative, but Jones has not been one to simply make up rumors from nothing, so the story is at least worth paying attention to at this point.
According to Poorman and Jones, there is sufficient chatter and movement to at least make one think Schiano is a Penn State target:
A review of recent public activity logs for a Penn State University aircraft, as well as chatter among NFL players' agents may be indications that Penn State is targeting Rutgers coach Greg Schiano to be the next Nittany Lions head football coach.
Schiano, who has a 68-67 record as Rutgers’ head coach since 2001, was a Penn State assistant for six seasons, including the Nittany Lions’ 12-0 Rose Bowl championship campaign in 1994.
Schiano, 45, was a graduate assistant in 1990, his first season at Penn State, then coached the defensive backs from 1991-95.
"I’ve been hearing a lot of talk throughout the agent community that something is going on with Schiano," said the agent, who handles both NFL players and coaches, and is familiar with Penn State football. "His name keeps on popping up in conjunction with Penn State among people I know."
The article also cites Schiano's teams' performance off the field and in the classroom as reasons he'd likely be a target for Penn State at this time. While it remains speculation, it's surprising that it has taken this long for Schiano's name to come up at Penn State and it is worth paying attention as it appears the Nittany Lions are increasingly eager to name a coach in the near future to allow him to recruit before the early February national signing day. Were Schiano to leave Rutgers, most believe the school would hire current Florida International head coach Mario Cristobal.
Update: Schiano is not interested in the Penn State job and will not interview.