The days of major college football programs kicking off preseason practice with grueling two-a-days are long gone. Now the NCAA mandates a five-day Acclimatization Period.
No on-field practice during the period can be more than three hours long. And there are strict guidelines on the equipment that can be worn during the sessions. During the first two days, only helmets are allowed. On the third and fourth days, helmets and shoulder pads are allowed. On the fifth day, full pads are allowed.
At Penn State this year, the staff is opting to get the entire acclimatization period out of the way this week. As such, the Nittany Lions' tentative schedule for the week is as follows:
Monday: 3:30 p.m. Helmets only.
Tuesday: 3:30 p.m. Helmets only.
Wednesday: 3:30 p.m. Helmets and tops
Thursday: 3:30 p.m. Helmets and tops
Friday: 3:30 p.m. Gear TBA. This session follows Media Day activities, and the first 15 minutes of the practice are scheduled to be open to the media.
Saturday: Full-pad double session.
ON THE MOVE
At Big Ten Media Days in Chicago last month, Penn State coach Joe Paterno said his staff was considering several position changes. But he declined to give details.
We have since learned that for the first week of practice, at least, a couple of young linebackers will get a look on offense. Redshirt freshman Andrew Dailey will see snaps at H-back and perhaps tight end, and true freshman Michael Zordich will both see snaps at fullback.
Dailey hails from Washington High in Massillon, Ohio, where he was most well known for playing safety and linebacker. But he did see action as a slot receiver in high school, making 24 catches for 312 yards as a senior. He took a redshirt as a freshman at PSU last fall.
Zordich played fullback and linebacker at Cardinal Mooney High in Youngstown, Ohio, and handled both positions while representing Ohio in the 2008 Big 33 Classic.
Sources stressed that both moves are experiments and may not be permanent.