Tuesday morning gave the Class of 2008 freshmen their first taste of Penn State conditioning with a 6 a.m. run session. What started out as a typical day became heated when strength and conditioning coach John Thomas sent an early message.
"J.T. flipped out," an observer said. "He was [very upset] that the guys were not running through the line on their sprints. What really got him, though, was the fact it was some upperclassmen [not running through] and not the new freshmen."
Thomas stormed out of the session. The players ended up finishing up the run on their own and are scheduled to return to make the run again on Wednesday at 6 a.m. "A lot of times [the players] will get a day or two break, but [the players] get to do it again tomorrow," the observer said. "Lesson learned — do it all out the first time."
Here are some initial impressions of several of the Class of 2008 freshmen:
- DT Brandon Ware: Described as "huge," "massive" and "bigger than big," Ware is said to be near 370 pounds. "He struggled some [on the runs], but it's early," one observer said.
- TE Mark Wedderburn: "He looks pretty solid — the weight room will get him together," one observer said. "But he looks to have a good base to work with. Wedderburn "had a pretty good kick" on runs.
- DB D'Anton Lynn" "Lynn has a good physique — he looks like a defensive back," an observer explained. As another observer said, "He's a sleek runner, needs to tighten his stride, but looked decent out of the gate."
- DE Jack Crawford: Observers said Crawford "was pushing" on the runs. "He was taking them head-on, but was grabbing toward the end," an observer said. Upward of 260, Crawford has a "good all-around build, but he'll need to build up his legs to play [defensive] end effectively."
- LB Michael Zordich: "Zordich looks solid — really seems to be put together," an observer explained. "He did pretty well on the runs — good acceleration, strong stride," another observer said. "A few guys were commenting on how good he looked from the start."
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