Big 33 Practice Notes

FOS has been taking in Big 33 practices for the Pennsylvania squad, featuring future nittany Lions Shawn Oakman and Jordan Kerner. Get an update here.

Today is "Buddy Day" in Hershey, which means that the teams put in a light workout this morning, and will spend the day with their special needs "buddies," for a period of bonding, and some of the more meaningful moments of Big 33 week.

The teams will go to Hersheypark this evening, weather permitting, so if you are at Hersheypark, don't be surprised to see it invaded by the Big 33 players.

A note, that after practicing very well this week, Shawn Oakman is not in Hershey today - his high school has a very unusual Thursday graduation, and he returned home to graduate. Shawn will return tomorrow. Shawn figures to play a lot, and the coaching staff obviously struggled this morning to fill for him while he was gone.

He has played very well this week, and has changed several minds of observers who felt he might be a bit soft. At 6'8", Shawn is the tallest member on the tallest Pennsylvania team in recent memory, and it's clear that the team is practicing with an eye toward using their height to their advantage.

Jordan Kerner has seen most of his action this week at right DE. He'll need to add some weight to reach his full potential on the line, he has plenty of speed off the corner, but struggles with the size of the larger offensive linemen. Jordan is very solid, dedicated, and a good example of what we tend to call a "Penn State," kid.

He's very intelligent and well spoken, and really related well to his "buddy," Cameron, who clearly idolized him. I have an audio clip from Jordan and Cameron that I'll put up with a story late tonight.

Even though Penn State representation is very limited this year, with only two players, it's been a good week. The team is preparing well. There seems to be a substantial talent gap between the Ohio and the PA kids, but given the special rules in place for the Big 33 game which favor passing, combined with the height advantage of the Pennsylvania kids, things could get interesting.

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