THE ASSESSMENT: Physically, he looks the part. Scott's off-season conditioning has paid dividends as he dropped about 10 pounds since the spring, increasing his upper-body strength in particular. As one observer shared, "Austin's physical build is balanced more."
Although questions still swirl about his durability, given that last spring practice was the first in four years from which he emerged healthy, he has focused on enhancing this aspect of his game. "He's always had lower body strength, drawing power from his thighs and mid-section," an observer told us. "But with added upper-body strength in his shoulders, chest and back, he'll be that much harder to take down and ultimately more durable when it comes to taking hits."
The area most observers are focused is his ability to play through the "scrapes and bruises." While Scott has had a few significant injuries in the past, some observers believe he has allowed more minor physical issues to knock him off his game, so several observers are watching to see how he reacts to those inevitable bumps and bruises running backs sustain.
"His endurance is way up," according to another observer. "He's stronger and moves more smoothly on runs now that he's a bit lighter."
In terms of his attitude, Scott "is more on" out of the gate. His approach to practice is more "reserved" this time around. "He knows this is it and guys are telling him — (A.Q.) Shipley reminds him, (Anthony) Morelli reminds him, (Deon) Butler reminds him. Although I am not sure he needs to be reminded."
It's day three of practice and here are all of the preseason reports we've featured already:
In Focus: Derrick Williams
Nittany Notes: Power Line (OL)
Follow Up OL Player Notes
Nittany Notes: Position Battles
Nittany Notes: Opening Day Notes
Preseason Kickoff (Schedule, Plan)
Stay tuned to FOS for continuing exclusive reports on PSU's preseason practices.