Nittany Notes: Lead Dogs

One of the key intangibles integral to a team's success is leadership. With the 2007 season quickly approaching, read more about which players are emerging as the leaders of the program on both sides of the ball.

FOS STAFF NOTE: For this report we have gathered the opinions and observations of a wide range of practice observers. We asked observers to vote for their impression of leaders of the team.

THE SCENE: With Penn State yet to select the captains for the 2007 season, fans may be wondering about a lack of leadership on this team. But from what we've been told, that is not an issue. Here is a review of the players on both sides of the ball who are stepping into the leadership roles.

We also asked observers their opinion about the delay of the team's selection of captains. After all, the 2006 captains [Paul Posluszny and Levi Brown] were selected in late July. "Who knows? You'd have to ask Joe [Paterno] that," one observer said. "It's probably one of those tactics to motivate guys. But honestly, it's just a formality. The leaders of this team are pretty apparent."


Each observer voted for three leaders on offense. We also included quotes from different observers as to why they made their selections:

A.Q. Shipley - C (11 votes)

"Ship is what you want in that [leader] guy. He takes care of his own business, he helps everyone around him to get better."

"His ego doesn't get in the way. He knows it's not about him. There's something bigger that he contributes to."

"He's the man. Everyone looks to him, so it's fitting that he's the nose of the offensive unit out there — he leads the charge."

"You know what I like most about Q is that he takes guys under his wing that could potentially take his job. OK, is that likely? Maybe not. But those are the guys who are special because they are helping to build the future of the program by developing talent."

Anthony Morelli - QB (9 votes)

"Everyone thinks about the QB as the team leader, so it basically comes with the job. That doesn't mean every guy can lead just because he can throw a ball. But Tony's grown into the role. He has a better presence in the huddle, and that came on late last year."

"He's emerged since the [Outback] bowl. Being the front man takes confidence, and he's gotten a boost which has done wonders for him."

"Morelli has gone through a maturation process and that's given him perspective."

Terrell Golden - WR (8 votes)

"T may be the most vocal guy around. He talks guys up and gives off that positive vibe."

"He's playing an important role for the wideouts. That is still a relatively young unit, although more guys are embracing the role. It's interesting though that Terrell is in the middle of the pack in terms of the depth chart, but is looked to for guidance. That's pretty rare."

Austin Scott - RB (3 votes)

"He's quiet, but this is his fifth year in the program, and based on the limelight role he's in, I'll give him a vote."

"He's not that vocal guy — he's pretty low key — but he's confident, which carries over to other players. You need that in battle."

Gerald Cadogan - LT (2 votes)

"Cad's well-spoken. He's a good spokesman. I am not sure he's the one to get you fired up in the tunnel, but he could be the one who calms guys down in the huddle."


Each observer selected their three leaders from the defensive side of the ball. We also included quotes from different observers as to why they made their selections:

Dan Connor - LB (11 votes)

"I'd like to to talk to anyone who doesn't pick Danny."

"The guy has been immersed in this for years. He saw Paul Posluszny in action. Now he has a much different style, but those guys will follow him pretty much anywhere."

"Of course I have to go with Dan."

"No question Connor's the guy. I don't think people will really wonder why."

Justin King - CB (11 votes)

"[Justin] is another guy who is first in, last out and telling guys how to get it done. If you don't listen to him you're just dumb."

"On skills alone he's a leader, but he's got the quiet confidence and the respect of the guys. All three are a great package to have. I know some will point to that fight garbage, but you have to see how he operates."

"He lives up to being "King of the Defense," but what continually surprises me is the humility. I am not saying there isn't an ego there — he wants to win and he fights, but he keeps his ego in check."

Sean Lee - LB (5 votes)

"You don't hear a lot about Sean because of Dan [Connor]. This guy is spending a lot of time working with the younger guys like Nate Stupar, Chris Colasanti and Andrew Dailey. He's a behind-the-scenes guy."

"I think Lee is going to step in nicely when Connor leaves. He's got the ear of his teammates and he's tough. He's in that mold of 'watch me, I'll show you how to do it right.'"

Tony Davis - S (2 votes)

"He has a lot of experience and he's one of those patient guys who has kept his nose to the grindstone. Guys listen him. I keep forgetting he's a junior."

"I like Tony a lot. He's consistent and focused and leads by example."

Josh Gaines - DE (2 votes)

"Josh is one of those coachable guys, which is important for the inexperienced players to see."

"He's not one of those in-your-face leaders, but he'll work with guys to pick up the playbook and understand their role in the scheme."

Aaron Maybin - DE (2 votes)

"You should see this guy in action — I'd be surprised if he's not a captain at some point."

"Maybin's only knock is his inexperience. He's got the confidence and approach down, he just needs the credibility, which comes with a few big plays."

The preseason practice content continues to fly around here at FOS. To help you keep track of it all here is a running list of the practice reports we have around the site:

In Focus: A.Q. Shipley
FOS TV: Jared Odrick
Nittany Notes: Defense
Tackling Weighty Issues (Roster & Weights)
Inury Report: Hill, Phil and Still
FOS TV: JUCO Transfers
In Focus: JUCO Players
FOS TV: Jay Paterno
Nittany Notes: Rookie Report
Nittany Notes: Starting Lineups
FOS TV: Chris Bell
Nitany Notes: Scrimmage Report
FOS TV: War of the Words
FOS TV: Scirrotto One-on-One
Photo Gallery: Team Group Shots
First Look: Meet the Rookies
FOS Audio: Paterno's Media Day PC
Nittany Notes: Kickin' It
In Focus: Dan Connor
In Focus: Austin Scott
Nittany Notes: Drill 6 WR Report
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.


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