Nittany Notes: "Inside" Look

Get the lowdown on why Penn State's second session of the spring was indoors and more in this installment of our exclusive Nittany Notes.

Penn State continued to ease into spring practice Wednesday with its second session at Holuba Hall.

Though it was a spectacular day in Happy Valley, and the outdoor practice field started to dry up after being “wet and yucky” Monday, the second session of the spring remained indoors in part due a new piece of equipment the program is working with.

The practice lasted about two hours. Once again, the players were in helmets, shirts and shorts with no pads.

“It was a good, solid session,” one observer said. “We got a lot done.”

Read on for more from practice.

WAVE TO THE CAMERA

Penn State has installed a new “Wave Cam” in Holuba Hall, an overhead robotic camera that is operated by cables. PSU is the first major college program to use the system (Villanova also uses it), which allows practices to be filmed from unique overhead angles.

Typically, practice video is shot from static locations. The Wave Came allows the video staff to, in effect, be more mobile, shooting from multiple locations directly above the action.

LINEBACKER NEWS


Coach Vanderlinden

In the off-season, PSU head coach Joe Paterno thought about moving star outside linebacker Sean Lee to middle linebacker, continuing a trend started by Paul Posluszny and Dan Connor. But observers say position coach Ron Vanderlinden preferred to keep Lee outside.

For the time being, it looks like Lee is staying put. On the second day of spring ball, the LB depth chart looked like this, according to observers.

OLB: Sean Lee, Bani Gbadyu
MLB: Josh Hull, Chris Colasanti, Mike Mauti
OLB: Tyrell Sales, Andrew Dailey and Nate Stupar

Hull played outside linebacker last season.

Colasanti's reps have been limited in the first two sessions due to a tweaked hamstring he sustained at Penn State's “Pro Day” earlier this month.


Chris Colasanti

INJURY FRONT

Among some of the other players sustaining minor injuries early on are Nick Sukay, Bani Gbadyu and Jesse Alfreno, who have had their reps limited since they "are a little banged up." Also, linebacker Shaine Thompson has been held out of drills, but "it is nothing really serious."


Bani Gbadyu

AD IN THE HOUSE

Penn State athletic director Tim Curley stopped by practice Wednesday. Given that Paterno is in the final year of his contact and there has yet to be an announcement about his future, some heads were definitely turned.

Though Curley did not talk to Paterno for any length of time, "people definitely took notice to him being here," an observer said.

SNAP TO IT

With Chris Mauriello (punts) and Pat Weber (field goals) both departed, Penn State is in search of someone to handle the long snapping duties for special teams play. Through the first two practices, Stefen Wisniewski, Andrew Pitz and Larry Federoff have all participated in snap drills and gotten in work with punter Jeremy Boone.


Stefen Wisniewski

PASSING LANE

Through the early goings Daryll Clark and Pat Devlin have been splitting first-team route reps and Drill 6 snaps. "Yeah, they have pretty much been working them pretty even," one observer explained.


Daryll Clark

"Daryll looked sharp with his dropbacks," an observer said. "He's working on setting his feet and running his progression. Pat had some nice intermediate tosses. His approach relies on timing, so he's been talking a lot with the wideouts on their breaks and shifts to get a better read on their tendencies on a route."

POSITION SHIFTS

The coaches are already making some shifts with certain players. Tyrell Sales continues to see work at linebacker but could get a loook at defensive end. Despite a discussed shift to safety, Brent Carter has remained at running back through the early sessions. Also, as we previously reported, Cedric Jeffries has shifted from safety to linebacker and has been drilling with Vanderlinden's unit through the early goings of spring.


Cedric Jeffries

LAUNCHING PADS

With the team off from practice on Thursday, the players strap on the pads for the first time during spring practice on Friday. "They are so anxious," one observer said. "A few of the linebackers were asking in the locker room 'can't we just put them on today?' It was funny - like a bunch of kids whining about wanting to play with a new toy or something."

Stay tuned to FightOnState.com for unmatched, original, inside reports on Penn State football and spring practice. Like what we're giving you? Tell a friend!

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