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FOS Penn State Practice Quick Hitters

Learn what and who stood out to us as No. 12 Penn State entered the home stretch of its preparations for this week's visit to Indiana. Get the latest on the offensive tackles, a key player who has been shifted to QB on the scout and a former Nittany Lion who was in the house.

Our Quick Hitters from the open portion of Penn State’s Wednesday practice, as the No. 12 Nittany Lions prepared for this week’s road trip to Indiana.

• Head coach James Franklin declined to give any further update on OT Brendan Mahon. On Tuesday, the program announced that Mahon had been admitted to Hershey (Pa.) Medical Center and was in stable condition. There has been no information on Mahon’s injury, but he did leave last weekend’s win vs. Iowa after only three snaps.

• With Mahon and fellow starting tackle Andrew Nelson (season-ending knee injury) out, the starting tackles are now Paris Palmer on the left and Chasz “Big Bacon” Wright on the right. They go 6-foot-7, 300 pounds and 6-7, 343, respectively. They are getting a great look from redshirting defensive ends Shaka Toney and Shane Simmons, Franklin said. Toney is light (maybe 200 pounds) but super quick. 

• To get the OTs ready for Indiana’s defensive speed, the scout team defense is also sending DBs quite a bit.

• They are going to do everything they can to redshirt true freshman OT Will Fries, who has been practicing with the second team all year but has yet to play. So starting OG Ryan Bates (a redshirt freshman) was getting some reps at LT this week. They threw Bates in there with the second-team O-line at OT Wednesday (see photo above). I only saw a few snaps, but he seemed comfortable enough. Bates played OT in high school.

• Remember, they repped current starting OG Connor McGovern at OT in the spring, too. So if one of the current starting OTs is hurt or has to leave the field due to an equipment issue, Bates or McGovern will slide outside. The domino effect would likely mean Derek Dowrey returning to the first team at OG.

• Speaking of OTs, Brendan Brosnan was with the second team at RT. I had not see him there all year before this. He is not even listed on the depth chart. 

• Someone posted a video of backup QB Tommy Stevens running a jet sweep in practice last week, which clearly (and understandably) irked Franklin. The video was taken down and PSU actually used the play to score vs. the Hawkeyes. I think the staff was messing with us a bit today when it ran the play again Wednesday. I’ll leave it at that. ;)

• Franklin spent all of his time with the defense when we were there.

• They are using linebacker Von Walker to play the part of mobile Indiana QB Zander Diamont on the scout team. You might recall that Walker, a former walk-on, played running back and returned kicks earlier in his career. He broke off a nice run when we were there. He is PSU’s special team’s captain.

• Former PSU DT Anthony Zettel, whose Detroit Lions have a bye this week, was in the house.

• They were in Holuba Hall. Temps were in the 40s outside, which was not bad. But it was pretty windy. The turf in there is amazing.

• Typical Wednesday gear. Helmets, shoulder pads and shorts. It just occurred to me that the scout team is in full gear at these practices, though.

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