Penn State has sustained its share of injuries this preseason, particularly on the defensive line with Phillip Taylor recovering from a knee sprain, Jed Hill being sidelined with an ankle injury and freshman defensive lineman Devon Still sustaining an ACL tear, which is expected to force him to redshirt.
Unfortunately, Larry Johnson's unit sustained another blow in Wednesday's practice as multiple observers said Abe Koroma was spotted on crutches at the end of the day's scrimmage session and he remained on them Thursday morning. We are working to confirm the exact nature and extent of the issue.
Other injuries of impact include center Ross Muir (knee) and rookie tight end Jon Ditto (shoulder).
Wednesday's scrimmage session saw "the guys putting more into it" to make up for the "ragged" morning practice of the two-a-day session which upset head coach Joe Paterno.
The first-team offense "put together some good drives." In fact, on the opening drive it scored a touchdown in a mere five plays. "They came out sharp," one observer said.
The offense seemed to focus on establishing the ground game in the scrimmage. As one observer told us, "We ran the ball a good amount yesterday," with Austin Scott and Rodney Kinlaw splitting the bulk of the first-team backfield reps. "Austin and Rod looked sharp. Rod came out better than he has looked in other practices." Redshirt freshman Evan Royster also saw a handful of first-team snaps.
Observers are split on who the leading freshman tailback is at this point with some feeling Royster's size allows him to run more consistently between the tackles. But true freshman Stephfon Green's pure speed has others pointing squarely at him. As one observer said, "Steph is fast — his top gear is out of control. But you need more to be the lead guy. You can't expect to just outrun everybody down after down."
Another freshman back who had a few observers buzzing was Joe Suhey. As one observer shared, "Joe Suhey is pretty good, he had a few good runs out there. I didn't expect for him to be as quick or shifty. He's not small though. He looks about 6-[foot]-1 and moved. I am not sure he can do that against the first team, but he got me interested in seeing what he can do down the road."
Back to the anticipated starters, a few observers feel that Scott and Kinlaw will both see a consistent set of reps in games. "I can't predict the split [of carries] well into the year, although Austin is built for more carries," one observer explained. "But I think in the first game they will get close to equal reps so they can each have their shot to show they should be the guy."