Nittany Notes: On-The-Field Update

It's been such a topsy-turvy 24 hours or so for the program that it's almost easy to forget that Penn State is in the middle of spring drills. Get an update on the program in this edition of our exclusive Nittany Notes.

With breaking the news on the Chris Bell incident at training table Monday night, nearly all attention has shifted away from the team's spring practice. But now that the Bell situation has been properly addressed, we're going to move back to other news from spring ball.

Schedule Review

Monday the Penn State football team held its session outdoors on the team's practice field and got some fundamental and 1v1 reps in. The players were in helmets, shoulder pads and shorts.

Here is how the rest of the week's practice schedule breaks down:

Tuesday: Players Off

Wednesday: Practice (weather will dictate location)

Thursday: Players Off

Friday: Coaches Clinic (stadium*)

Saturday: Coaches Clinic Scrimmage (stadium*)

*Locations subject to change due to weather.

Wallace Return?

Many fan have been wondering about the extent of A.J. Wallace's injury from Friday's practice. The cornerback had three teeth knocked out during a collision with a received.

Wallace did not participate in drills during Monday's practice. Observers say that the staff is watching Wallace closely and has not made a decision on his return yet. "The good news is that he wasn't seriously injured. It's bad losing teeth, but it could have been really bad," according to one observer. "He looks like he's OK, but [the coaches] are being cautious."

A.J. Wallace.

Drill Work

One interesting development is with the offensive line. As of this past Saturday the coaches made a fairly significant shift, giving the first-team reps to Stefen Wisniewski at right guard. Mike Lucian, who previously saw the bulk of the first-team snaps at right guard, saw most of his work as the second-team center.

Stefen Wisniewski.

As one observer explained, "Wiz can flat out play and I think the [offensive line coaches] realize what he brings to the table. He really helps to provide a solid pocket, which has helped the young quarterbacks a lot with their deliveries [of passes]."

The coaches are assessing Lucian's progress at center. As another observer said, "Wisniewski is probably better suited for center than Mike [Lucian], but [Lucian] should hold his own there. The issue is Wisniewski is just too good to have taking backup reps and I think people are starting to realize that."

Chris Bell.

Bell's Departure

With Bell kicked off the team, most observers we spoke to didn't even seem to flinch. "Honestly, I never expect him back in the first place," one observer said. According to another, "When Joe [Paterno] told him he should transfer that wasn't one of those cute motivational techniques. He was serious. Bell's ego has gotten in his way since day one."

Derek Moye.

In terms of replacements, observers point to a variety of possibilities but doubt any position changes will happen in the immediate future because PSU returns its three leading receivers from last season in Derrick Williams, Deon Butler and Jordan Norwood.

"I do think it's a huge opportunity for Derek Moye. He's really worked his tail off and could really contribute. He got the size and a good step," one observer said.

As another observer explained, "It depends on how they approach it. You have Moye, you can get Brett Brackett more involved [in the scheme]. You could even move [safety] Mark Rubin over. We'll have to see what [the staff] decides to do. It certainly hurts to lose a guy with promise, but it's not as if Bell was the team's leading receiver. The good news is [the wideouts] have been working without Bell and making progress without him."

Stay tuned to for continuing exclusive, original coverage of Penn State football and spring practice.


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