Nittany Notes: Junior Day Revisited

Saturday, Penn State held its second Junior Day event of the year. Get an update on what happened during the event.

Junior Days are invitation-only opportunities for various members of the upcoming class of high school seniors to get a look at the Penn State football program and for the PSU coaching staff to see them in person.

The players and their families cover travel expenses. Some players make it a day trip. Others will arrive the night before and stay at a hotel. Still others arrive the day of the event and then stay in a hotel that night before heading home the following day.

Saturday's event, which started at 11:00 a.m., was the second Junior Day of the year, the first taking place on March 1. The structure of this Junior Day was similar to the previous event with a few twists. Here is an overview of the day:

  • The players met in the Squad Room in Lasch Building with recruiting coordinator Mike McQueary to watch highlight film of the team from recent years.

  • Once the players were assembled they brought them over to Beaver Stadium to take in a good portion of the team's scrimmage session.

  • After watching the scrimmage drills the prospects headed up to the stadium's suites for lunch where they got to meet each other and talk to some of the staff informally.

  • After lunch they went back to Lasch Building for a review of the academic program, including a discussion of PSU's commitment to academics, the programs and people who are in place to assist the student-athletes with their studies, and a tour of the program's academic support facilities.

  • The prospects them got a tour of the facilties throughout Lasch, including an information session with strength and conditioning coach John Thomas, a tour of Penn State's 13,000-square foot weight room (the largest single-sport collegiate conditioning facility in the United States) and other football facilities like the locker and equipment rooms and practice facilities.

  • The prospects then split up by position to meet with their respective position coach(es), review the coaching philosophy and approach, ask questions and review some film and highlights specific to the position and scheme the unit runs.

  • The players then had the opportunity to ask a panel of current players about their time at PSU. Among the participants were recent early enrollees Michael Mauti and Brandon Beachum. During this session the coaches left the room. The prospects asked a variety of questions from why they chose Penn State to how the transition is from high school to college on and off the field. The out-of-state players were also asked what attracted them to move so far from home and come to Happy Valley. Mauti and Beachum were both asked about the demands as a freshman and enrolling early. The players were also asked about balancing classes, workouts, practices and a social life. Some parents asked about the role the players' parents played in their college decisions.

  • Finally, Joe Paterno came in and talked to the players about the values of the program and what Penn State can do for them on and off the field. And that wrapped up the formal portion of the Junior Day.

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