Nittany Notes: Catching On

Get an inside look at Penn State's wide receiver unit through the early going of preseason practice in this installment of Nittany Notes.

With Derrick Williams, Deon Butler and Jordan Norwood, the Penn State starting wide receivers will be the most experienced in the Big Ten this year. However, beyond the lead spots, questions continue to swirl around how the unit depth will shake out.

With the shift of Chaz Powell from safety to wide receiver earlier this week, the coaches are trying to built out the three-deep with consistent play-makers.

According to observers, this is how things looked as of Thursday:

Z Wide Receiver
Deon Butler
Derek Moye
Chaz Powell

X Wide Receiver
Derrick Williams
Graham Zug
Patrick Mauti

R Wide Receiver
Jordan Norwood
Brett Brackett
Kevin Cousins

Quick hitters on players listed above:

Butler: The leading receiver for the Nittany Lions the past three seasons, you likely already know about Butler.

Moye: Described as "sharp" and "consistent on routes," Moye is said to be the top backup behind the starters at this point.

Powell: "Athletic" and " physical" is how observers describe Powell's style of play through his early reps at wideout. "Powell looks like he could be a threat once he gets the position down."

Williams: The senior captain is well known among fan circles already. He handle a variety of position, including running back.

Zug: Zug turned heads in the spring and in early preseason drills. With good size (6-1, 193 pounds) and great hand, he has shown "a strong ability to pull in balls."

Mauti: Mauti saw limited action in four games last season. He is said to be focused on "tighter routes" and "getting off the line cleanly." He'll contribute on special teams, too.

Norwood: Another proven veteran who is well know among fans, Norwood is expected to be a "workhorse" once again for the unit, seeing most of his time at split-end. Viewed as an unsung hero by many in the program.

Brackett: With great size (6-foot-6, 237 pounds) and good speed, "Brett can really create mismatches off the line," an observer explained. "He's got to nail down his basics a bit, but if they use him right he could really provide a big target [for the quarterbacks]." He is also a strong blocker and good over the middle, prompting another observer to point out, "He'll do a lot of the dirty work Terrell Golden handled last year, and may be a step up from Terrell."

Cousins: A guy who many fans may have forgotten about, Cousins has been "up and down" in his career. "We'll see if he can pull it together this preseason," an observer said.

AND ANOTHER THING: Seniors Butler, Norwood and Williams all figure to break PSU's career record for catches. The current leader Bobby Engram (167).

To read about PSU's newest receiver catch our recent Short Report: A.J. Price.

Stay tuned to, THE source other media outlets depend on for the inside view of Penn State football.


Fight On State Top Stories