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Nittany Notebook

Nittany Notebook (11-30): Could Alli Campbell be starting sometime soon for Notre Dame?

Welcome to our daily Nittany Notebook. This post will be updated frequently throughout the day with news, notes and sometimes entertaining info. So be sure to check back often to stay on top of everything that’s going on with Penn State football and athletics, plus other sports of interest in central PA.

Update: 9:20 p.m.

**Penn State wasted no time jumping in and offering a 3-star DT who decommitted from Texas A&M today. Victory Vaka, a 6-foot-2, 350-pounder from California, had been committed to the Aggies but changed his mind Monday morning.

Not the time on that tweet — 11:11 a.m. Less than an hour later, Vaka tweeted this:

There will be a lot of competition for Vaka going forward in the recruiting process, but Penn State at least threw its hat in the ring with an offer.

**Also Monday, Penn State made the final five for 3-star LB Nyair Graham from New Jersey.

Update: 1:40 p.m.

**Alli Campbell played a ton of minutes once again and had a good game in Notre Dame’s 88-68 win over Miami, Ohio on Sunday. The Bellwood-Antis product scored 8 points while playing 28 minutes and 58 seconds. Campbell also had two rebounds, two blocks and one steal. She shot 3-for-5 from the field (1-of-2 from 3) and 1-of-2 from the FT line. She had a plus-minus of +10.

Campbell played more minutes than two of Notre Dame’s starters. Which begs the question: Could Campbell crack the starting lineup sometime soon? She’s only played two collegiate games, but the 3,000-point scorer in high school clearly has already made an impression with the Irish and new coach Niele Ivey, playing 28 minutes in both contests.

Here is how Campbell did in her college debut last week.

**Saint Francis’ huge upset at Pitt last week landed the Red Flash three individual awards from the Northeast Conference.

Center Mark Flagg was named NEC Player of the Week. Freshman Maxwell Land is co-Rookie of the Week. And Ramiir Dixon-Conover is the NEC’s Prime Performer. Details below.

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Update: 1:10 p.m.

**This is what we know so far about the COVID situation at Michigan. The Wolverines have had some presumptive positive tests and have stopped in-person team activities. All this comes two days after Penn State visited Michigan and won, 27-17.

Maryland had to deal with a COVID outbreak after playing Penn State a few weeks ago, but that did not affect the Nittany Lions to a degree where they had to stop team activities or cancel a game. We’ll see how things play out this week with regards to any potential spread from Michigan to Penn State.

Then there was this … ummm … interesting Q&A with Harbaugh.

Here’s the initial story on the situation, from The Michigan Insider:

Ann Arbor, MI — The Michigan Insider has learned that the Michigan Football program is pausing team activities effective today based on presumptive positive tests. The team was alerted to the shutdown earlier this morning. Whether this is a momentary stoppage or something lengthier will depend upon “confirmatory PCR test results.” All meetings planned for the day will commence virtually in order to continue the preparation for Saturday’s matchup with Maryland if it winds up not being canceled.

U-M head coach Jim Harbaugh has been a strong advocate for his team being able to play this season, penning an open letter earlier this year stating the case for his program to play after the Big Ten initially canceled the season. He’s also stated his case multiple times since.

“This isn’t easy. This is hard,” Harbaugh said in an open letter. “It is proven that the conduct, discipline and structure within our program have led to these stellar results. We respect the challenge that the virus has presented, however, we will not cower from it. We have developed a great prototype for how we can make this work and provide the opportunity for players to play.

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Cory Giger is a 15-year veteran of the Penn State beat and a journalist with 28 years of experience. He has won more than 100 state and national journalism awards during his career, plus he's a voter for the Heisman Trophy in football and Wooden Award in basketball.

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