Penn State staged its annual Coaches Clinic Scrimmage April 10. We offered live coverage from the event and reports right after it. Now, after taking a bit of time to collect our thoughts and bounce things off some people we trust, we are going to offer a position-by-position breakdown of what went down and where various players at those positions stand. Let's review the secondary.


Even without starting strong safety Drew Astorino, who is skipping contact in the spring while recovering from a shoulder injury, there really wasn't much of note to come out of eyeballing Penn State's starting secondary in the Coaches Clinic Scrimmage.

Andrew Dailey (right, No. 13) replaced Astorino. But other than that, the Lions fielded a first team of free safety Nick Sukay along with corners D'Anton Lynn and sophomore Stephon Morris.

The only passes of note completed against this well-seasoned unit in the scrimmage was a 7-yard dump-off from QB Kevin Newsome to receiver Curtis Drake and later a 13-yard bullet from Newsome to second-team tight end Garry Gilliam.

As erratic as Newsome was in Drill 6 and then the scrimmage, it was difficult to tell if the No. 1 secondary was doing that good of a job or if the QB was missing open targets. It more than likely a combination of both.

(As an aside: though tiny at 5-8, 182, Morris (right, No. 12) is looking like PSU's best defensive back. He is that good in coverage and that fearless in run support.)

Of greater interest to me was the play of some of the backups, particularly corners Chaz Powell and redshirt freshman Derrick Thomas (right, No. 25).

Now a redshirt junior, Powell looks much more comfortable in the secondary than he did while playing wideout last season. He didn't make any huge plays but he wasn't torched for big yardage either.

Thomas was a different story. He had a pair of interceptions on the day, one of them in Drill 6. But he also allowed wideout Graham Zug to get behind him for a huge gain when the second-team defense was trying to stop the first-team offense. Later, when the second teams were going at it, Thomas was flagged for interference in the end zone when he grabbed redshirt freshman wideout Brandon Moseby-Felder by the jersey.

You figure he'll learn from those mistakes.

The second-team safeties were redshirt freshman Stephen Obeng-Agyapong and walk-on redshirt sophomore Jacob Fagnano. Neither seems quite ready to crack the rotation, which raises some questions about depth in the middle of the secondary.

And that means speculation of Lynn moving to safety (which seems to be his more natural position) and Powell or Thomas taking over as the starting corner opposite Morris will continue.

I'll wait to see more of Lynn, Powell and Thomas at the Blue-White Game before taking a position on either side of that debate.

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