Fielder Makes Early Visit to PSU

The Nittany Lions' run-on offensive lineman arrived on campus in plenty of time to see Saturday morning's scrimmage. See what he had to say about his trip.

Austin Fiedler left his Turbotville, Pa., home early Saturday morning. How early?

The pledged run-on from Warrior Run High arrived at University Park at 7:30 a.m., ahead of State's scheduled workout at Beaver Stadium, early enough to be sure that he wouldn't miss any of the action.

“I like getting up there as much as I can so I get to know everybody,” Fiedler said. “I knew they were going to have a scrimmage, and I had be wanting to get up and watch practice.”

At 6-foot-6, 285 pounds, the offensive lineman said he feels thinner but more muscular in the early stages of Penn State strength and conditioning coach Craig Fitzgerald's weight program, one he's been doing since the end of the high school wrestling season.

There's no question that the linemen he watched, and their teammates, feel the same way as official Lions, too. And the senior was able to speak, and observe, a number of them Saturday.

“I was talking to [John] Urschel and [Eric] Shrive, and I talked to pretty much all the offensive linemen,” Fiedler said. “I know everybody now, and it's about getting to know some of the players more personally.

“It definitely helps so it's not like I'm the new kid; at least we're already friends and hopefully they'll be quicker to take me under their wings.”

Fiedler has quickly spread his workout wings since learning precisely what Fitzgerald wanted out of each lift from an earlier winter visit, and has begun squatting past a 90-degree angle per Fitzgerald's direction.

It helps him get stronger from a deeper position, a fitting fact considering his presence could help Mac McWhorter's offensive line become deeper, too. Still, the unit has plenty of faces eager to step in and mesh, and that was something he picked up on, as well.

“I was watching my position, mainly left and right tackle, and comparing guys like Shrive and Urschel to the younger guys,” Fiedler said. “Everyone is just bigger, faster and more athletic.

“It was a lot of fun watching the players, and they were a bit excited with the hitting,” he continued. “It was cool watching the offense and defense getting rowed up for a big sack or block. It was really cool, and I was getting a little worked up myself, and ready to put the pads on.”

Which is something he'll do in due time.

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