Are you ready for some football?
Well, spring ball, anyway. There's a little thing called the Blue-White game going on tomorrow, and many sites have previews going around.
Victory Bell Rings asks a few questions on what we should expect out of the game:
Will a 6-6, 277 pound tight end really line up behind the quarterback? Will the offense look like the Patriots’ offense? Safety blitzes? Man to man pass coverage? Silas Redd catching the ball in space? Open receivers? Stronger, quicker linemen? Eleven defenders on the line of scrimmage? No-huddle offense? Emerging stars? Freshmen on the field?
Bleacher Report, on the other hand, skips the questions and goes right into predictions, including anointing Paul Jones as the best quarterback, and, less unexpected, announcing that Adrian Amos will make a run for the starting position. The most surprising prediction? That the Tight End position will be a disappointment for fans.
Besides football, one of the most rampant questions surrounding this weekend is how--or it--the university will honor late coach Joe Paterno. Some fans aren't waiting to find out, and are instead taking it upon themselves to organize a tribute to the legendary coach.
While football may be the focus of this weekend, it's not all that's going on in State College. StateCollege.com has a handy rundown of all events around town this weekend, from everything to the annual carnival to the Beaver Stadium 5k to a meet and greet with all 86 candidates running for the Board of Trustees.
Arguably the best position, year in and year out; 2012 looks to be no different. PennLive points that out in one of their spring position primers, where depth is highlighted, and players such as Khairi Fortt and Mike Hull look to make an impact on the two-deep.
Stars in the making
Aside from the usual suspects, offensive lineman Adam Gress is making a big splash in spring ball. After being name-checked by BOB as one of the most improved this spring, Gress is working harder, according to York Daily Record's Frank Bodani:
"Having a new staff come in gave me the opportunity to set a new pace and prove myself. I have only two years left and I want to make sure I get the best of those two years," Gress said. "I guess I turned it up a little bit for Coach Fitz, yeah."
The Reading Eagle, Centre Daily Times, and Bob Flounders of PennLive all also caught up with Gress, whose name is now being tossed around left to right as the one to beat at the left tackle position.
The player everyone expects great things of, Silas Redd looks to his professional heroes for inspiration on the field, and apparently has already entertained the thought of going before the NFL draft board next spring:
"It's a thought, because I will be eligible after this season. But let's get through this season first," Redd said recently.
In less alarming news, Redd also looks to have more catches out of the backfield this year, and spent much of the off-season studying how BOB's offenses used running backs in Boston.
Long ready for a breakout, Sean Stanley also looks to have a stellar season in 2012, his last in the blue and white:
"Over my career so far, I've done all right, but haven't made the impact I've wanted to," Stanley said on a conference call with reporters on Wednesday. "I think I can be a much better pass rusher. Once I get it all together, I think I can be at least a double-digit sack guy if I put my mind to it and do what coach tells me."
With Stanley on one end and Pete Massaro on the other, look for big things from the line this fall.
Also looking to blitz this year, Gerald Hodges returns for his senior season after getting an idea of what pro teams had to say about his game. Ultimately, though, Hodges doesn't know what those evaluators said, as that news from the board was taken, and remains, solely with Hodges' father, Gerald Sr:
Hodges, Penn State's leading tackler a season ago, was with the team in Dallas for the TicketCity Bowl when his father, at home in Paulsboro, N.J., took a call from the board, which assesses the potential draft stock of underclassmen who consider leaving college early for the NFL.
"I'm not going to show you the results. I'm just going to let you make a decision off of how you think you'll be going to the next level," Hodges said his father told him. "He said, 'You know whether or not you can play at the next level.'... I think he's going to tell me after a while, but right now he doesn't even like to put the pressure on me."
For Your Consideration:
One of the first things BOB did when taking over the reigns was retaining Ron Vanderlinden and Larry Johnson, and Jordan Hill and Michael Mauti were amongst those of us who couldn't be happier. Now, time to hug as grown men do...
Remember this name
A duo of under-the-radar Penn State class of 2013 recruits could be the building blocks the program needs.
Penn Live's 50-Yard-Lion blog has an interview with most recent commit Andrew Nelson; the O-Lineman grew up a PSU fan and waited only a day after receiving his offer before accepting.
On the other side of the ball, the Altoona Mirror has a piece on Curtis Cothran, who will join Nelson and the six other class of 2013 commits on campus this weekend for the Spring Game.
In scores of other games...
Add this to the ever-growing number of articles praising the new Strength and Conditioning program at PSU...Assistant AD (and former acting AD) Mark Sherburne was let go on Wednesday...Tim Curley and Gary Schultz ask for a delay in their pretrial filings...Katie Slay is the most recent women's volleyball player to blog over at gopsusports.com...Sara Ganim follows her Pulitzer with a lengthy article on the disappearance of Ray Gricar...The winningest coach in NCAA basketball history, Lady Vols coach Pat Summitt retires...McDonald's apparently can tell the difference between real and fake--at least when it comes to money...Former Penn State football player and World War II veteran David E. Pergrin passed away this week at the age of 94.
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