Nittany Notes: The Final Countdown

After a brief break for finals Wednesday and Thursday of last week, the Nittany Lions were back in action late Friday. Get the lowdown on their recent practices held since finals concluded, including updates on Andrew Quarless and Willie Harriott, the captains and more.

Incidental Contact

It's been a rough few days for the Nittany Lions with "the hammer coming down on the squad" due to the alcohol-related citations Andrew Quarless and Willie Harriott received late last week. As one observer shared, "[Joe] Paterno was [very upset] with these guys, but the entire team is feeling it."

In a story we broke on our TAP Forum early Tuesday, both Quarless and Harriott are back practicing with the team after having their lockers cleaned out late last week. The squad voted to allow them back on the team. As one observer said, "They made a mistake, but they are forgiven by their teammates."

Another observer explained, "Despite this, their punishment has yet to be determined. Although it is suspected that it will entail missing playing time early this season, the duration is unknown."

Knock Out Punch

Friday was a "knock out" session, where the team ran a lot and received "minimal breaks." A few observers said it was a session that illustrated who has impressive endurance. Among the guys who looked good were:

  • Derrick Williams "appears to be peaking. I am not sure if he is in better condition than he was as a freshman, but with his experience and maturity, coupled with his physical package, I think he is more dangerous."

  • Jordan Norwood "keeps his pace up on every drill." Observers feel that playing basketball has provided an edge with the wideout's conditioning. "Hoops really seems to have helped his game."

  • Maurice Evans "is flat out a phenominal athlete." One observer called the defensive end "probably the most coachable guy on the team." Another said, "He practices to impress. I think he feeds off the comments Larry [Johnson] gives him — good and bad. He just wants to get [Coach Johnson] focused on his play."

  • Navorro Bowman's athleticism "carried him," although "you could tell he was dog tired by the end." The linebacker is benefiting greatly from the recent move behind Sean Lee because he is getting "individual coaching" from Lee on how to play outside linebacker. Bowman is expected to be a backup this season at both outside positions.

  • Physically, defensive end Aaron Maybin "continues to impress, but the biggest impression he makes is with his mental game. Everyone is ready to collapse and he's there talking up guys and pushing guys to finish out. That's impressive since some of these guys couldn't even speak by the end."

    Schedule Update

    The team was scheduled to scrimmage Tuesday, but the session is being rescheduled due to inclement weather in State College and will likely take place Wednesday. Scrimmages are not always delayed due to bad weather. But in this instance, the coaches want to hold the scrimmage in Beaver Stadium, and they don't want to tear up a muddy field this close to the start of the regular season.

    As of now Wednesday is scheduled to be a two-a-day session, with the scrimmage serving as the second session of the day. Thursday is a one-a-day. However, whether Friday is a one- or two-a-day practice is up in the air.

    Captain's Quarters

    The eleection of Dan Connor, Terrell Golden and Anthony Morelli as captains was "a formality." As one observer said, "These guys have been great out of the gate. They demand attention and are embracing the job. They seem to have the respect of the squad top to bottom."

    Snap to It

    Some FOS members have asked about the kicking situation. Currently there are two units getting work on field goals. The first team is Pat Weber (snapper), Jeremy Boone (holder) and Kevin Kelly (kicker).

    The second unit is A.Q. Shipley (snapper), Jason Ganter (holder) and Collin Wagner (kicker).


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