NITTANY NOTES: Drill 6 Report

Get an exclusive update on the off-season work being done to hone the Lion passing game. How are the quarterbacks and wideouts looking?

Penn State's Drill 6 is a 7-on-7 set that allows the quarterbacks, receivers and running backs to practice passing routes and skills. Drill 6 allows the quarterbacks, wideouts, tight ends and backs to work in a variety of offensive looks while matching up against defensive linebacker and secondary assignments.

At this early point in the off-season, these drills are typically focused on fundamentals like getting off the line, routes, timing and passing and receiving skills.

Since the NCAA forbids formal practice sessions at this time of year, the players run Drill 6 on their own, with no supervision from the coaching staff. These session are particularly important this year as the Lions must replace their three leading receivers from 2008 -- Deon Butler, Derrick Williams and Jordan Norwood.

Here is some of what has been going on:

  • Starting quarterback Daryll Clark has "looked sharp" in his Drill 6 work to this point. "You'd expect that from your starter, but he's been on it," one observer said. "D.C. looks strong and comfortable with his delivery. He's had some nice passes."

  • All eyes have been on freshman QB Kevin Newsome, though. The consensus is that Newsome looks "strong" and "showed good arm strength, touch and accuracy" in Drill 6 reps earlier this week after a team run. Newsome does "short arm" some passes" at times though and needs to "go right through on the release."

  • Clark and Newsome got reps with a "mixture" of receivers, including Brett Brackett, Chaz Powell, Graham Zug, Derek Moye, A.J. Price and Jon Ditto.

  • The players seeing the bulk of "first-team reps" were Brackett, Powell and Zug, with "other guys rotating in."

  • Powell's athleticism is consistently praised by observers. However, he "needs to consistently pull in the ball," as one observer noted. He's had issues with "getting consistent with his hands," as another observer said. "But it's early — he has time to improve there." Powell moved from safety to receivers shortly before the 2008 season and is being viewed as a multi-purpose threat in the mold of Williams.

  • There have been several comments on Zug's ability to "snare balls" and make "impressive catches." Some observers feel he is positioning himself as a go-to target for Clark because of the "comfort he's building with Daryll thanks to his consistency."

  • Brackett "is really managing his size well," as one observer put it. He is said to be getting off the line easier and "really learning to leverage his size advantage."

  • One early position shift has seen Devin Fentress moved from wide receiver back to cornerback.

Stay tuned for more exclusive FOS practice notes. is THE source for original, exclusive, inside coverage of Penn State football.


Fight On State Top Stories