SHORT REPORT: Preseason Kickoff

The Penn State football team gathers Wednesday in anticipation of the start of preseason drills.

Penn State players report to Lasch Building Wednesday in preparation for Thursday's kickoff of preseason drills. The Nittany Lions will have 29 total practices prior to the season opener against Indiana State Sept. 3.

The players moved into their preseason dorm accommodations this week in Nittany Hall. This is a preseason tradition that "allows the guys to bunk with players they may not normally hang out with."

There's a squad meeting Wednesday where head coach Joe Paterno and the staff will discuss the preseason approach and expectations. There are also unit reviews expected to discuss details and expectations of each coach with their unit(s).

Paterno is expected to to tell the players that this will be the most intense preseason the program will have had in years.

Drills are scheduled to kick off Thursday.

The days of major college football programs kicking off preseason practice with grueling two-a-days are long gone. Now the NCAA mandates a five-day "Acclimatization Period."

No on-field practice during the period can be more than three hours long. And there are strict guidelines on the equipment that can be worn during the sessions. During the first two days, only helmets are allowed. On the third and fourth days, helmets and shoulder pads are allowed. From the fifth day on, full pads are allowed.

The Lions have not had contact since the Blue-White Game in April.

"The first five (days) are always hard because everyone is ready to get back into it, but you have to go half speed with no pads (initially)," one observer said.

"I think it's a good rule. It lets guys get adjusted and in the right frame of mind," according to another observer.

During the 29 sessions, Penn State (and all other major-college programs) are limited to a 105-man roster (including walk-ons). The roster can expand beyond 105 the first week of classes.

Penn State football media day is tentatively slated for August 11.

Stay tuned to for continuing coverage of Penn State football's preseason.


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