SHORT REPORT: Return Game

See who is being considered for key jobs on the Penn State return units this preseason.

Now in week No. 2 of preseason practice, Penn State is starting to do more serious work on the return games. Here is how things are shaking down so far.

For punt returns, the coaches are giving freshman Devon Smith, Graham Zug, Evan Royster and Drew Astorino shots at the job. Astorino seems to be working his way in the punt-safe return role held by Anthony Scirrotto the past few seasons.

The starting tailback, Royster has looked "sharp" on returns, but there are concerns related to the added exposure and chance of injury. Although one observer simply said, "play your best guys."

Smith continues to show "great explosion" with his legs, although he needs to get comfortable with "pulling in the ball." According to one observer, "He can field [punts] pretty well, but he tends to take his eyes off to see the coverage."

Meanwhile, Chaz Powell, A.J. Wallace, Smith and Stephfon Green have all had opportunities to field kickoffs this week. Those four all have enough speed and wiggle to break the big one. So it will come down to who can catch the ball most consistently and then hold onto it during the return.


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