In terms of the freshmen one practice observer stated that "this class looks to be every bit as athletic, but a bit bigger, as the previous class from last year."
Jared Odrick: At 6-foot-5, 287 pounds, the consensus around Odrick is that he is "put together" and has a "solid frame." Observers have been impressed with his workouts and overall dedication and attitude out of the gate. "He isn't necessarily the vocal leader [Aaron] Maybin is, but the guys seem to respect him."
Odrick has a "good set of fundamentals," and has seen work in drills with both the offensive and the defensive lines. Observers "aren't sure exactly where he'll end up, but I think he'll be a leader wherever that is." Some observers feel his Big 33 performance on the offensive line opened the coaches' eyes, while others feel the immediate need at defensive end will force him into the position for depth.
Chris Bell: Bell is "either confident or cocky, depending on how you look at him," one observer shared. At 6-foot-3, 212 pounds, he has shown some good technique on receptions in basic Drill 6 sets early on. Granted, these sessions have been "light and laid back though, to get the players comfortable."
Bell is intense and is focused on competiting for significant playing time out of the gate. "He's not intimidated by the talent around him, which is impressive when you consider how good it is," according to one observer. An area he has to focus on is "running tighter routes instead of depending on his size to compensate against the coverage."
Evan Royster: Observers like Royster's build (6-foot, 205 pounds) and stride and think he can add some size. "He runs smooth - he glides and makes sharp cuts," one observer explained. Royster is working with the running backs, particularly with Tony Hunt, who has been reviewing what to look for with the blocking schemes.
"They'll have him focusing on sitting lower off the blocks and running with his pads more out and down - this will make him a challenge to take down," one observer explained. Royster has also shown he has good fundamentals on setting a block, "the key will be how he holds it in a game."
A.J. Wallace: Wallace has seen his drill reps with both the running backs and defensive backs. "Wallace plays like a defensive back. He is light on his feet and has great transition speed off the snap." He runs "crisp routes, but will have to get control of his speed against to good wideouts - they'll test him."
At 6-foot-1, 200 pounds, Wallace's speed is said to be his best asset, but like freshmen before him, like Willie Harriott and Devin Fentress, the staff is expected to have him focused on "taming the speed and controlling it." Without this he is likely to be thrown off his route easily by a "Derrick [Williams] shimmy or shake," as one practice observer put it.
Antonio Logan-El: Logan-El has been working on the offensive line, particularly with senior Levi Brown. "Levi and he hit it off, so Levi is showing him the ropes and how to effectively play the line - not a bad tutor."
Logan-El, at 6-foot-6, 315 pounds, is "quiet and focused." Despite his low-key demeanor, observers have noticed a "mean streak" in him, that "needs to come out more." He has shown good footwork, but has to extend his base and get up on his toes to pick up leverage off the line.
Maurice Evans: The consensus around Evans is that he has the ability to be make an early impact on the defensive line. "It's no secret the [defensive] end spot is wide open. [Jimmy] Shaw has looked good, but he needs someone to push him. Evans has a big opportunity here." In the early goings Evans' pass rush has been his strong suit.
At 6-foot-3, 260 pounds, he has a "tough, aggressive approach" to the game. He also sits low in his stance and sets a good base. He needs to work on the use of his hands in drills, but "that will come." As for speed, "he's deceptively quick" and "has nimble feet."
Stay tuned to Fight On State for regular updates on the freshmen and rest of the Penn State football team.