Penn State's new defensive coordinator, Bob Shoop, fielded questions about the progress of his defense, collectively and individually and discussed the upcoming clash with UCF.

• Freshman S Marcus Allen has “done a great job. He’s really picked up the defense well.” Also, “He’s in the mix, for sure.”

UCF WRs are formidable. He gave a scouting report on each one. Bottom line: “They’re very good players.”

• DEs C.J. Olaniyan and Deion Barnes have both stepped up as quiet leaders.

• Barnes has a “chip on his shoulder” after many viewed his 2013 season as a step backward from 2012. Shoop is OK with this. “I like that he he has a chip on his shoulder. I kind of remind him of that and stick it to him to keep him going.”

• OLBs Nyeem Wartman and Brandon Bell have both had “outstanding camps.” He likes their starting unit, which will also include MLB Mike Hull.

• Asked about backups who have played well at LB, he mentioned MLB Gary Wooten, field LB Von Walker, and freshmen Jason Cabinda and Troy Reeder.

• He expects to play as many as nine defensive backs Saturday (not counting special teams).

• He raved about S Adrian Amos. Said he can’t believe there is not more talk about him. He can play safety, nickel or even outside linebacker. They will move him around to keep him at the point of attack.

• He said Amos, Ryan Keiser and Jesse Della Valle give them three strong play-callers at safety. Add in Hull at MLB, and they are in great shape in the play-calling department.
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• CB Jordan Lucas had a great camp. He also plays nickel. “When Jordan plays with the proper fundamentals and technique, he can be an upper-level Big Ten cornerback.”

Trevor Williams and Da’Quan Davis have had good camps at the other CB spot. Davis asked for (and received) a clean slate from the new staff and has taken advantage of it.

• The fourth CB will be freshman Grant Haley. They are very high on him. “He’s been as good as we hoped for and then some.” He can play boundary corner, field corner, nickel or dime. He’ll also play on special teams.

• On the D-line, besides the aforementioned ends, he said Austin Johnson has had a great camp and is poised to be one of the better DTs in the Big Ten. Anthony Zettel is “explosive, has great twitch and can do some things.”

• He likes the backup D-linemen, too, especially Tyrone Smith, Parker Cothren, Carl Nassib and Garrett Sickels. “I think we’re good up front.”
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