NITTANY NOTES: Practice Roundup

Penn State is back in action after an extended holiday break from spring drills. Get the latest on the Nittany Lions' progress right here.

With last Friday, Saturday and Sunday off from the spring practice regimen, Penn State got back onto the practice field on Monday for its ninth session of the spring period.

Tuesday the team was back in the film room to break down Monday's session. "Right now the coaches are reviewing a lot of film with the guys to refine their technique or understand how to sharpen their games," one observer said.

In terms of Monday's practice:

  • Monday saw some sunny skies. Despite a bit of wind, the Lions practiced on the outdoor field next to Holuba Hall.

  • The team was out in full pads for the practice. "They got a lot of contact in," according to one observer. "It was a good workout for [the players] with a lot of big hits."

  • The linemen got in some 1v1 and 2v2 drill work in. "This is a physical group of linemen on both sides. On the whole the defensive guys are ahead on their play — a lot of these [defensive] guys are vets and Larry [Johnson] just has them down and dirty with their technique. They just get better leverage and pickup off the line. But the offensive boys have some monsters. Stefen Wisniewski, Dennis Landolt and DeOn'tae Pannell were certainly holding their own," one observer said.

  • The quarterbacks spent a lot of time throwing and "working drop backs and releases." "They worked a lot of situational passing and [the coaches] challenged them all practice," and observer said. The coaches had them spend a bit of time throwing into the wind. Daryll Clark worked with Kevin Newsome on his release and timing.

  • The running backs got in some agility work and ball protection drills. "No shock that Royster's is the man, but I like the aggression of Brandon Beachum," one observer shared. Converted linebacker Shaine Thompson is showing "strong runs, but needs to get down reading the lanes."

  • The left guard position has seen a "strong battle" between Johnnie Troutman and Matt Stankiewitch, according to our recent Position Battle report.

  • As we broke earlier this week Chaz Powell sustained an ankle injury Monday. A.J. Wallace also is dealing with a nagging hamstring strain. "He's got to get healthy — that really has the coaches concerned at this stage. Stretch 'em out, A.J.," as one observer put it.

  • Despite rumors from outside sources claiming that Gerald Hodges is seeing reps on returns, observers indicate PSU has not done serious kick-return work in practice. "They've practice punt returns once so far, but nothing on kick returns yet," as one observer explained. "Plus, the coaches typically won't pile on added responsibilities for a true freshman who has barely been here when he's trying to get down a challenging position like strong safety — that wouldn't make sense."

  • The strong safety position is seeing a "healthy sparring" between Nick Sukay and Andrew Dailey. Observers feel Sukay has the edge here, "if he can just show that he's more durable than he has been."

  • Former OT Gerald Cadogan stopped by the practice to take in some offensive line drills.

The team is scheduled to have Wednesday's practice in full pads with some scrimmage sets.

FightOnState.com is THE source for original, exclusive, inside coverage of Penn State football.

-30-


Fight On State Top Stories