NITTANY NOTES: Personnel Updates

Get another in-depth review of Penn State football's progress this week. See how the coaching staff used the bye week to get the team back on track.

As we reported earlier, this week has seen the coaches "opening up competition across the squad." The staff stripped the players of their standard first- and second-team colored jerseys and has everyone back in the standard blue (defense) and white (offense) shirts Tuesday through Thursday.

The team has Friday, Saturday and Sunday off before getting into game-week prep for Minnesota.

"[The coaches] are making shifts and trying things out, but they have no other option in a lot of cases with all of the injuries and the way some guys have played," one observer explained.

However, not every position seems to be open at this point. Observers point to quarterback, saying, "Rob Bolden's been getting most of the primary reps. I think they're committed to him."

Here are how some key areas looked this week:

Quarterback: As we noted, Bolden is the starter and observers feel that the coaches are committed to him keeping the job.

Offensive Line: The line has probably seen the most movement early this week. Center Doug Klopacz and right guard Stefen Wisniewski seem to be the "most stable" at their positions. Miles Dieffenbach has seen second-team reps at center with Mark Arcidiacono at right guard. The other positions are splitting reps with left tackle seeing time between primarily DeOn'tae Pannel and Quinn Barham, left guard between Matt Stankiewitch and Johnnie Troutman, and right tackle between Chima Okoli and Mike Farrell.

Wide Receiver: There have been no significant changes here.

Running Backs: The backfield has seen little change with Evan Royster remaining the primary back and Stephfon Green seeing some first-team reps. Silas Redd is also in the mix, but he has not seen an increase in carries as some observers expected. Joe Suhey is at first-team fullback with Michael Zordich seeing action in there as well.

Tight End: Kevin Haplea continues to see first-team work at tight end. The tight end work has been "trimmed down some." though. Redshirt freshman Frank Figueroa, an offensive lineman, has reportedly seen some reps at tight end.

Defensive End: With Jack Crawford and Eric Latimore still out due to injuries, the first-team has been Pete Massaro and Kevion Latham, with a rotation that includes DaQuan Jones and a recently returned Sean Stanley to the unit.

Defensive Tackle: Devon Still continues to start with Jordan Hill back in action and seeing first-team work. Most of the reps have gone to these two early this week.

Linebacker: The good news is Mike Mauti is back seeing some first-team work, although the coaches are "easing him in." Chris Colasanti has remained in the middle with Nate Stupar seeing outside work with Mauti. Bani Gbadyu and Gerald Hodges are suited back up, but both have seen limited work so far. Mike Yancich and Mike Hull are both seeing second-team reps.

Safety: Drew Astorino, Mike Wallace and Stephen Obeng-Agyapong are seeing safety snaps with Nick Sukay out and Andrew Dailey sidelined.

Cornerback: With Derrick Thomas still suspended, Chaz Powell has shifted back to corner this week and is seeing first-team reps with Stephen Morris and D'Anton Lynn.

Although the squad had an easier session in shells on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday were "much more physical." As one observer said, "They're trying to fills some holes fast and are looking to see who the hell wants the job."

The staff will use the weekend to figure out where everyone stands going into game-week prep for the Gophers. On Monday, the Lions are expected to return to the color-coded jerseys that denote first, second and scout teams. is your source for the BEST content and community covering Penn State football.


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