Derek Moye, WR (6-foot-5, 196 pounds)
With the scheduled departure of Deon Butler, Jordan Norwood and Derrick Williams after the 2008 season, many Nittany Lion fans are wondering who the likely candidates will be to step in at wideout. At the top of the list is redshirt freshman Derek Moye.
Last season the praise about Moye revolved around his consistency in practice. In fact, he impressed the coaching staff so much that he was rewarded a position on Penn State's limited 70-man travel roster for two road games.
Though the coaches debated early on whether to get Moye into the rotation to afford him playing time and game experience, a shoulder injury sustained midway through the 2007 season ended all thoughts of pulling the redshirt.
Approach: Described as "disciplined and determined," Moye is "big on learning and was anxious to get into the playbook as soon as he signed his [letter of intent]." As one observer explained, "With the departure of Chris Bell, the opportunity for Derek is even greater — he clearly knows that."
Technique: According to observers, Moye has shown sharp technique on his receptions. "He fans out a good target, looks the ball in and really tucks the ball in," an observer said. This spring Moye has been focusing on more intermediate pass-catching.
Routes: Moye generally runs "sharp routes." "He is crisp on transition routes — when they have a break or a post — he really attacks transition points to get open." Observers have said his disciplined approach helps him to "run a tight line for the quarterbacks." He has improved in this area since last season, when he would tend to "get loose at times and would get pulled off the path."
Speed: Moye is "not a blazing" runner, but he his "precision and size can make up for that. He isn't a slow guy, though. He has a big stride that can help him pull away once he gets going." Couple this with his size and "he's a tough assignment. He can really create a challenge for [defensive backs]," as one observer said. Moye is a physical player who has been working on "smoothing out his stride" to enhance his speed and help create coverage separation. Clocked in a low 4.7-range 40 this spring.
Impact: With three seniors manning the starting positions, Moye should see some reps this season at the Z spot. The coaches have been impressed with Moye's attitude and physical play. He has some work to do in areas of his game, but with his size, approach and progress, working with Jordan Norwood and Deon Butler, all coupled with the departure of Bell, Moye should impact the two-deep and break into the rotation to get valuable game experience. As one observer said, "The issue with Bell is frustrating, but Derek could step in and really add another point of depth to the unit."
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