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Staff Picks: College GameDay 2019 Guest Picker

College GameDay is coming back to our city, and with that, another guest picker will pick their winners for Saturday’s football games.

In 2017, Penn State football legend Ki-Jana Carter was tabbed to join the GameDay crew and make his picks, and actor/James Franklin doppëlganger Keegan Michael-Key was the guest picker during last year’s episode of College GameDay in Happy Valley.

Although both Carter and Michael-Key are excellent representatives of Penn State, we have some others ideas about who should appear on the show this time around.

Mikey Mandarino: Ali Krieger

I’m boycotting College GameDay if anyone other than Ali Krieger appears as this weekend’s guest picker. How can you not pick a two-time World Cup champion and a women’s soccer legend as your special guest for the morning? Krieger plays for the NWSL’s Orlando Pride, which wrapped up its 2019 season on Saturday. She won’t be busy on Saturday, so I’m not sure she has too many excuses not to show up in Happy Valley.

Krieger may not have been a regular starter, but she still helped the United States Women’s National Team win its second consecutive World Cup over the summer. Her journey from a college-level standout to a world champion is one of the most inspiring in all of sports, and it’d definitely be awesome for women’s soccer to have one of its most prominent stars on ESPN’s flagship Saturday morning show.

Jim Davidson: Alyssa Naeher

As a hero at this summer’s World Cup in France and one of Penn State women’s soccer’s most distinguished alumnae, Alyssa Naeher would make the perfect guest picker for ESPN’s College GameDay.

There are few games that match the pressure levels of a White Out at Beaver Stadium, and the guest picker needs to be familiar with the effects of a packed venue. World Cup semi-finals and finals are up there. Naeher pulled off this penalty stop to send the U.S. to the final, where it shutout the Netherlands with a 2-0 victory.

The Chicago Red Star recently finished international duty, but she has a crucial NWSL semifinal matchup against fellow Penn Staters Emily Ogle, Meghan Klingenberg. Maybe a quick trip back to Happy Valley will inspire her to win it all?

Michael Tauriello: Chris Godwin

Chris Godwin is in the midst of a career season, recording 43 catches for 652 yards and six touchdowns through just six games. The stars have aligned for College GameDay to bring Godwin on the show. The Buccaneers have a bye week, and what better way to spend it than to fly up to your alma mater for what will likely be the most electric game of the season?

Tampa Bay is a bit out of the way of State College, and Godwin probably wants to rest after making a trip to London with the Buccaneers, but he may be the best current Penn State football player in the NFL not named Saquon Barkley. That alone makes him a great choice for College GameDay.

Hope Damato: Joe Jonas

I think we’re all hoping for another Joe Jonas appearance in State College this weekend, and what better way to feature him than having him return College GameDay guest picker?

James Franklin already invited Jonas to watch the White Out game from the sidelines, so why not stop by the GameDay set, too? He’ll be on the west coast during the White Out game thanks to the JoBros’ “Happiness Begins” tour, but I think he could pull some strings to get to Happy Valley.

Sam Brungo: Lisa Salters

After graduating from Penn State’s College of Communications in 1988, Lisa Salters joined ESPN, where she’s worked for nearly two decades. Salters was honored as 2018’s Homecoming Grand Marshal. Although she never played on the turf of Beaver Stadium, she has reported on the sidelines, and she dominated the hardwood with Penn State women’s basketball.

Inviting Salters as College GameDay’s guest picker would be very ~meta~ of ESPN, but the network should definitely bring one of its own back home next Saturday.

Anthony Colucci: Bo Nickal

Bo Nickal proved the mic belongs in his hands last month during Penn State’s game against Pitt — provided he gets the pronunciation of “university” figured out. As college wrestling continues to gain popularity, namely through ESPN’s broadcast of the NCAA Championships, Nickal and whatever hair he’s sporting these days would be the perfect option to be the guest picker and #PromoteTheSport. In addition to being a three-time national champion and now-Olympic hopeful, Nickal even knows a thing or two about football. Just ask Micah Parsons, James Franklin, and Brent Pry about their one-time linebacker recruit.

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