Big 33: Coach Impressions

After the final Big 33 practice, Fight On State intern Aaron Myers was able to catch up with Big 33 Pennsylvania head coach Tom Loghran. Read what the Keystone State's Big 33 head coach had to say about the Nittany Lions' incoming recruits.

"Sleeper" Awakes

Drew Astorino was not highly recruited as a high school senior last fall. After leading his team to the state championship, people began to take notice. Penn State finally extended an offer late in the fall and Astorino jumped on it. Since then, he has been considered a "sleeper" of the class.

Loghran disagrees with that statement. "Astorino does not have the measurables or the looks you'd expect from a great football player, but once you watch him play you'll see it," Loghran says. "You want the ball in his hands – he is a football player. He'll make things happen."

Astorino was reportedly offered as a defensive back, but the former high school quarterback was used as a prominent role in the offense on Saturday.

"We'll move him around a lot between receiver and running back," Loghran said. "I really like him in the slot. He's also one of our best cover guys on defense as well."

Tremendously Gifted

Penn State signed one true wide receiver last year, and that was Derek Moye. A towering 6-foot-5, 195-pounder, Moye has sure hands and deceptive quickness – he starred on the track team as well. "Moye played a hybrid role of running back and receiver in high school," Loghran said. "We'll use him as a receiver primarily for this game."

While many Penn State fans expect Moye to redshirt, Coach Loghran isn't so sure. "He definitely has play-right away capability. He needs to mature a bit physically, but he is capable of making an impact right away."

Leader of Men

State College product Nathan Stupar is an exciting talent. What many are now learning is he is an excellent leader as well. "Stupar is a great character and a quality young man," Loghran explained. "He's been the leader of our defense during the week."

Stupar was practicing as a stand-up DE/OLB, similar to the role that Tim Shaw played at Penn State last year.

"I'm not sure what the coaches up there (at Penn State) are looking at him as, but we'll use him as an OLB, maybe a little DE during the game."

Practice Notes

  • The offense worked on some gimmick plays in the morning session, and a bunch of them revolved around Astorino and Moye. The staff seems to be looking for ways to get the balls into their hands (and WR/KR Tony Clemons) as much as possible.
  • Don't be shocked if Clemons plays right away at Michigan. He is a supreme athlete and has the body of a junior in college right now.
  • QB Dan Persa doesn't have the strongest arm, but you can see him use his smarts on the field. The Northwestern recruit seems to fit in perfectly with the schemes the Wildcat coaching staff likes to use.
  • Just one mans opinion, but look for Astorino to get a serious look at WR next fall.


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