Nittany Notes: Bowl Prep

Get an update on the Penn State football team as it begins to focus in on Alamo Bowl opponent Texas A&M.

Holding Pattern

It's been a relatively quiet week for the Penn State football players. With Joe Paterno and the entire coaching staff in New York City for his Monday evening reception and Tuesday evening Hall of Fame induction, the players will not see practices until later this week.

"The guys saw some light work last week, but they won't get any reps in until Friday and Saturday," one observer told us. Many of the assistant coaches will be on the road from Wednesday to Friday visiting recruits.

That doesn't mean the players will have an easy week, though. According to another observer, "J.T. (PSU strength coach John Thomas) has a special week planned for them with some extra work. He figures they'll have some time to rest with practices on hold, so why not take advantage?" The players will also take in some extra film sessions of their latter games of the season and of Texas A&M on both sides of the ball.

On the Road Again

Several assistants have been on the road recently making visits to prospects and commitments. Among the recent trips:

  • Larry Johnson was down in Maryland to see prospects like Zach Kerr. He is also expected to swing over to New Jersey and Delaware to visit prospects like Jack Crawford and James Terry.

  • Ron Vanderlinden recently visited Mark Wedderburn to close the deal on his commitment and Pete Massaro.

  • Bill Kenney was recently down South visiting Deon Walker, Marcus Davis and Dalton Freeman.

  • Brian Norwood has also been down South visiting Michael Mauti and Robby Green.

  • Tom Bradley was out in western Pennsylvania to see Terrelle Pryor and several junior prospects.

    In For A Visit

    The assistants are expected to be back on campus this coming Friday to host visitors and conduct practices. Among the players expected on campus are:

  • Jack Crawford
  • Marcus Davis
  • Michael Mauti
  • Deon'tae Pannell
  • Matt Stankiewitch
  • James Terry
  • Mark Wedderburn
  • Mike Yancich
  • Michael Zordich

    The list above is not comprehensive and may have changes as the weekend approaches. "It's a great opportunity for the committed guys to get to know one one another and talk to a few undecided prospects — show them what they can be part of," one observer said.

    Injury News

    As we reported last week, TE Brennan Coakley blew out an ACL in light one-on-one drills.

    Recovering from a broken ankle sustained in late October, DT Jared Odrick is now wearing a boot and is working on putting weight on the ankle and walking without the crutches. It is highly unlikely he will play in the bowl game.

    OG Lou Eliades is currently recovering from a foot injury and is required to not put weight on his foot, using a motorized cart to get around campus.

    DE Jerome Hayes is recovering from an ACL tear sustained against Wisconsin in mid-October. "'Rome is on track. He is hitting his [physical therapy] hard and doing what he has to do.

    Senior FB Matt Hahn is still sidelined with an ACL tear in his right knee which was sustained against Indiana. Although "frustrated, he is in relatively good spirits." Hahn is disappointed that he ended his career with an injury.


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