Spring Big Ten Revisited (Part 1)

At the start of spring practice we revealed 10 players we were focusing on (as best we can, considering most practices are closed). Some are being asked to be impact players in 2007. Others are young guns who are getting a chance to show their stuff. Get a review of how these players are progressing this spring.

Now that we are basically halfway through spring practice, we figured we would revisit the progress of these players who are of particular interest to us this spring. Here is a review of five of them.

When it came to picking these 10 players, there was not necessarily any rhyme or reason. They are just players who are of interest to us ... and many Penn State fans this spring judging by the requests rolling into FOS since drills kicked off. Let's get a quick update on each of these players and why they are on the list.

Austin Scott

Pat Devlin (QB): An "all-around sharp quarterback," Devlin has, by all accounts, had a solid spring practice so far. "There were high expectations for him and he hasn't disappointed," one observer explained. Devlin has shown good "versatility with his passes" and "can put different gears on the ball."

He is working on his footwork on dropbacks (on three-step and five-step drops), his progression and breakdowns. He is a "faily mobile" player, although he "tends to hesitate on breakdowns waiting for things to develop, which has led to some sacks." As one observer said, "He can't forget his legs."

Navorro Bowman (LB): Bowman continues to see second-team linebacker reps behind Sean Lee. "He's shown good quickness off the snap — he a heady, alert player." Bowman has learned a lot working with Lee in practice. "Sean has helped him with his reads and play anticipation," one observer explained. "He's up on his toes and constantly moves, which is so important at the position."

Playing behind Lee has "taught him a lot in terms of fundamentals — it has really helped him to raise his game." He is still focusing on his reactions "related to stepping up in a lane and dropping into coverage," but is a "very physical player with great endurance."

Austin Scott (RB): A "powerful runner out of the backfield," Scott has shown "consistency seeing and hitting holes in drills." As one observer shared, "He's broken open some big runs and has exhibited strength in off-tackle lanes."

He major focus has been running between the tackles. "He picks up a hole well, but needs to shift with it," another observer said. "He's tap dancing less in traffic, but he tends to sidestep when the lane is busy — he needs to surge forward and just move his legs. He has the power and sits low, but getting those shoulders square and low is key."

Gerald Cadogan

Gerald Cadogan (T): Cadogan "is much more comfortable at tackle than guard," and "has the space to extend his arms out." Seeing most of his time at first-team left tackle, or QB Anthony Morelli's blindside, "he has been consistently quick off the line." Cadogan's footwork has improved although "he has to keep it coming against the end rush [Coach] Larry [Johnson] throws out there."

He's been pushed hard by Dennis Landolt, who has been backing him up. Defensive ends Josh Gaines and Aaron Maybin have also helped Cadogan. "The rush come fast and hard. It's great experience for him, but it all has to come together like second nature — feet, hands, technique, communication. These matchups will help him in the long run." He has improved "setting his base and holding onto his technique off the snap."

Willie Harriott (CB): Harriott, who continues to backup Justin King at corner, has been "tight in coverage ... although he bites on fakes the wideouts throw at times." He continues to show better control on his speed and a better understanding of reads between the receiver and quarterback.

"He's a fast straight-ahead guy, but if the wideout hits a post or curl, that speed still tends to get loose on him. He's improved, but still has to have a sharp focus on what the assignment is doing."

Stay tuned to FOS for the second half of this two-part report.


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