In Focus: Brett Brackett

At 6-foot-6, Brett Brackett has the potential to "add a completely different dimension" to PSU's passing attack, as one practice observer put it. How is he adjusting to the position? How are his hands? How is PSU using him? Get a preseason progress report on the redshirt freshman receiver.

THE PLAYER: Described by some as "a freak," "a hoss," and "Goliath," observers have conveyed reserved enthusiasm over what 6-foot-6, 240-pound Brett Brackett could bring to the passing game. Brackett was recruited as a quarterback but has since moved to wide receiver.

"Brack has the ability to add a completely different dimension to air attack," one observer said. "There is definitely size in the [wide receiver] unit — Chris [Bell] and Terrell [Golden] are 6-[foot]-2-ish.

"[James] McDonald and [Graham] Zug are about the same size, too. But this guy is just gargantuan, plus he's added some size. He came in his first year at around 230 [pounds]."

THE ASSESSMENT: Brackett's size provides a "pretty regular mismatch" in practice. He's also added impressive upper-body strength to his frame. "Last year he didn't fit into his frame too well, but now he's filled into it and has the strength to shed a defender," another observer explained.

Through the first two weeks of preseason practice Brackett has seen his time in the slot and primarily runs intermediate routes like curls, hitches and post-flat runs.

"Playing out of the slot, he's tough on defenders," and observer said. "There hasn't been a guy who has consistently handled him. (Dan) Connor (at middle linebacker) probably did the best the few times they have matched up by jamming him at the line."

Brackett has shown he has consistency with his hands and has worked all off-season getting used to Anthony Morelli's velocity on passes. This preseason he has focused on getting "off the snap more cleanly — he needs to burst off the line." He needs to avoid "locking up" when he's jammed at the line.

He is also working on "maintaining a visual connection with the QB" since he typically runs very shot, quick routes. As one observer said, he needs to "look, look, look at the quarterback — you're only running 5, 10, 15 yards out most times and if the ball's coming, it's coming fast."

Brackett, who changed his number this year from 5 to 83, has had some impressive plays in the first two scrimmages of the preseason, held last Saturday and Tuesday. In the first scrimmage he caught a swing pass out of the slot position and "collided with Sean [Lee], but managed to stay upright and had a nice first-down pickup." During Tuesday's scrimmage, Morelli was getting in some check-down work, so Brackett caught a variety of balls. "He made a nice one-handed grab out of the backfield and side-stepped the 'backer and picked up a good eight yards. I like his fight."

Here is a rundown of the reports we have run so far this preseason.

Nittany Notes: Lead Dogs
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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