Penn State has names to know in 2017 College Football Playoff race, former Lions find NFL homes, and more –

Today’s Penn State news takes an early look at the 2017 College Football Playoff race and recaps the Lions’ season on the basketball court.

Writing for ESPN, Heather Dinich rattled off the 10 most important people to know well ahead of this season’s postseason, and one of them was a group of people: “Penn State’s playmakers.”

“The duo of quarterback Trace McSorley and running back Saquon Barkley was a major reason the Nittany Lions won the Big Ten, and it’s why they have a chance to be CFP contenders again,” Dinich writes.

Elsewhere around the Penn State universe, former end Jack Crawford inked a new deal and changed teams, moving from the Dallas Cowboys to the Atlanta Falcons. His reward? A three-year, $10.3 million deal, per ESPN. Former Lions kicker Robbie Gould is heading back to the NFL, as well, and former center A.Q. Shipley is heading back to Arizona. 

Lions247 previews the wide receiver group entering spring practice, while Fight On State looks back at PSU’s basketball season, which came to an end at the hands of Michigan State in a blowout on Thursday at the NCAA tournament.

Those stories and more highlight Friday’s Lions links.

The most important people in the 2017 playoff chase: Dinich [ESPN]

Is Bryce Jordan Center renovation part of Penn State facilities masterplan?: Jones [PennLive]

Spring-ball position preview: Wide receiver: Callahan [Lions247]

Ohio State spring practice gets started, Minnesota reports NCAA violation and more Big Ten news: Gallen [PennLive]

49ers add kicker Robbie Gould: David Smith [Pro Football Talk]

How does Penn State compare to Ohio State, Michigan, other Big Ten foes when it comes to spending, making money?: Kasinitz [PennLive]

Cardinals keep offensive line core intact by re-signing A.Q. Shipley: Weinfuss [ESPN]

Penn State preps for spring drills: Examining the wideouts, tight ends in the post-Chris Godwin era: Flounders [PennLive]

5 questions with new Falcons defensive end Jack Crawford: Ledbetter [AJC]

Penn State’s Chambers To “Evaluate The Entire Program”: Brennan [Fight On State]

Carr, Stevens explain technical fouls at end of Penn State’s Big Ten tourney loss: ‘Losing kills me’: Gallen [PennLive]