We're redshirting Austin, the coach explained. He's got some family things. It wasn't necessary for him to be here.
Reserve safety Spencer Ridenhour is not in Tampa, either.
Spencer broke a team rule, Paterno said. I told the guys we have a long way to go and I can't put up with any nonsense. I don't have a curfew [in Tampa]. I tell them, you get in trouble, we're not going to baby you. Spencer got involved with something and he's home.
Paterno said Ridenhour is still on the team and he'll be all right next year.
Ridenhour is the second player from the team to be suspended. Starting defensive tackle Ed Johnson did not make the trip for breaking the dreaded team rules.
They're both good kids, center A.Q. Shipley said. It's a shame it had to go down that way. But other guys will just have to pick it up.
Another player not on the trip, according to a team source, is true freshman safety Travis McBride.
Thursday's practice was Penn State's fifth since arriving in Tampa last week. Two of the previous four sessions were full contact. Thursday's practice featured the players wearing helmets, shoulder pads and shorts.
The Nittany Lions are practicing at the University of Tampa's Pepin Stadium, which is only a few blocks from the team hotel (Hyatt Regency Downtown).
In his morning press conference, Paterno lauded PSU linebacker Paul Posluszny as being a great game and practice performer.
He's the first guy on the field in practice, Paterno said. He's out there working on shuffling, working on catching the ball. He takes a manager out there with him.
Posluszny was doing a mirror shuffle drill with a manager before Thursday's practice, and as the manager darted left, Posluszny slipped and fell, drawing a laugh from the players watching. The All-American scrambled to his feet with a smile on his face.
In related news, Posluszny has reportedly been spending most of his non-practice time in Tampa crunching film of the Volunteers.
Nittany Lion redshirt freshman quarterback Pat Devlin is playing the part of Tennessee starter Erik Ainge in practice. Not only is Devlin wearing a white jersey featuring Ainge's No. 10 (Tennessee will wear white in the bowl game), but his helmet has an Orange stripe down the middle.
Devlin reportedly painted the stripe himself just to have a bit of fun.