THE SCENE: With the departure of some key leaders on offense (like Daryll Clark, Dennis Landolt and Mickey Shuler), the Nittany Lions have some fairly big shoes to fill in the leadership department. However, PSU is hardly devoid of "take-charge" players.
Here is a review of the players on offense who have been stepping into the leadership roles.
We asked each observer to vote for their top three leaders on offense. We also included quotes from different observers as to why they made their selections. The percentage number next to each name reflects the percentage of observers we spoke with who named the player among their top three leaders on offense.
Evan Royster, RB: 70% - Described as a "quiet storm," Royster is a "lead-by-example," "all-business" type of player. "He's not going to scream at guys and be the player to get everyone jumping and hollering in the huddle, but he is the type of guy you love to play with — because he's so disciplined and he never takes shortcuts." Observers have previously compared Royster's quiet leadership approach to Dan Connor's, with one observer saying, "You need those guys who help the team focus and get serious and make you think you're slacking if you're not keeping pace with him."
Stefen Wizniewski, OL: 70% - As a junior Wisniewski had a tall order stepping in for the All-American A.Q. Shipley at center. "He really embraced the center role. But more importantly, he realized that he was the guy who had to pull together and lead the unit." He has to do that again with the departure of Landolt, who helped lead the line over the past several seasons. As one observer has said about Wisniewski's leadership, "He's got a lot of credibility with the guys." As another observer explained, "He works his tail off and the guys respect him for it, but he's not afraid to get in a teammate's face if he thinks he can do better."
Derek Moye, WR: 50% - Moye has "taken charge" of the wideouts this winter. Observers feel he grew into that role as last season progressed, but he seemingly had hesitation given that he was stepping to help fill the void left by three of Penn State's best receivers ever in Jordan Norwood, Deon Butler and Derrick Williams. "He feels a lot more comfortable in the role now. I think he felt he had to prove his abilities on the field to boost his confidence and respect among the players," an observer said.
Brett Brackett, TE/WR: 40% - Despite some position shifts over his career, the most recent adding some tight end duties to his receiver role, Brackett has a "can-do attitude" and "does whatever is best for the team." As one observer told us, "He's a passionate guy who does what is asked of him and pushes guys around him to elevate their game."
Kevin Newsome, QB: 40% - What may be surprising to some is that Newsomes is considered a strong leader by many observers. "He has that type of personality. He's fun to be around and he gets guys fired up." Comments like this have been received by FOS from observers since Newsome arrived on campus over a year ago.
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