NITTANY NOTES: Leading the Pack

FOS goes to practice observers to discover who is providing leadership for Penn State as the regular season rapidly approaches.

FOS STAFF NOTE: For this report we have gathered the opinions of a wide range of practice observers. We asked them to select two players each on offense and defense wo they would vote for as captains for the 2011 squad.

We also included quotes from different observers as to why they made their selections. The percentage number next to each name reflects the percentage of observers we spoke with who named the player in question among their top three leaders..


Derek Moye, WR: 100 percent - Moye received votes from 50 percent of the voters a year ago. Now he moves into the top spot with 100 percent. Moye has "been a strong leader this off-season." He is said to be respected and well-liked and "has a fire" and "strong work ethic" that helps him lead. Moye represented PSU at Big Ten Media Days in Chicago in July.

Chima Okoli, OT: 44 percent - Not widely considered a vocal leader, but a strong advocate for the offensive line, Okoli "can be fun, but also very serious." As one observer said, "He's not the guy to necessarily get the team amped up, but he's got a quiet confidence that helps the younger guys."

Joey Suhey, FB: 33 percent - Suhey's "played a ton" and "is a calming force in the huddle." Althuogh he's not thought of as a "front man" for the offense "he is fun to be around" and "connects with a lot of guys." Suhey was also a Big Ten Media Days rep for PSU.

Quinn Barham, OT: 22 percent - Barham is said to be "pretty quiet," but has veteran experience "the team needs in the huddle."


Devon Still, DT: 55 percent - Still has "stepped up and taken charge of the defensive line." He's described as "intense" and "passionate." As one observer said, "He's matured and become comfortable in a lead role, which has made him and those around him better."

D'Anton Lynn, CB: 44 percent - Lynn is "sharp and pragmatic" and a player who "really focuses on helping the guys around him improve." Lynn is not said to be vocal, but "can be when needed."

Michael Mauti, LB: 44 percent - The redshirt junior represented the team at Big Ten Media Days in Chicago in late July. "He's a lead-by-example guy who is well liked, but more importantly well respected." It's rare that PSU would have a junior captain as there have been only four over Joe Paterno's tenure (Mike Reid, Steve Smear, Paul Posluszny and Sean Lee), but "Mike's a guy who fits that mold."

Nick Sukay, S: 33 percent - Observers point to the role Sukay played when he was injured last season. "Guys who step up and keep engaged when they can't play really show their leadership." Sukay played an important role with the secondary while out with a pectoral muscle tear, and he's been praised for that.

Drew Astorino, Saf: 22 percent - Astorino is another veteran with "a ton of experience , which brings credibility with it." He's described as "methodical" in his play and "a guy who looks out for the team over himself." is your source for the best content and community covering Penn State football.


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