With the Penn State Spring practice beginning in just week (YES!!!!), we’re going to be taking a look at what to look out for from this roster in the coming weeks and beyond.
We’ll look into the QB battle a little more in depth later this week, so don’t think that I forgot.
Although the 2011 secondary unit graduated and lost all four starters (Powell, Astorino, Sukay, Lynn), I think it’s safe to assume that Malcolm Willis and Stephen Obeng-Agyapong will be rewarded the safety positions with sophomore Adrian Amos manning one of the corners. The other corner spot is really up for grabs. Stephen Morris, Mike Wallace, and Derrick Thomas are most likely to fight it out but keep an eye on true freshman DaQuan Davis as his press-coverage skills may give him an opportunity to get some early snaps. Thomas may be the most skilled, but he has struggled with off-field issues his entire time at Penn State.
Offensive Line is a bit vague, but the staff is charged with replacing 4 of the starters from last years unit. Sr. Matt Stankiewitch should earn back the starting center position but there are questions on either side of him. RS Freshman Donovan Smith has a real shot at locking down the LT spot, but the staff may be hesitant to put a kid with no experience out on the edge. With a new strength program being implemented along with a new position coach, I’m hopeful that former Army All-American tackle Eric Shrive finds his groove and holds down one of the spots. A couple of underclassmen to keep an eye on at the guard spots could be Angelo Mangiro and Khamrone Kolb.
I’m personally very excited to see how this shakes out. Penn State has recruited some really athletic kids over the past few years and with a clean slate and new staff, truly anything can happen. Justin Brown SEEMS to be a lock as one of the starters, but there’s a chance that O’Brien will move him inside into a hybrid TE?WR role. I look for guys like Curtis Drake, Alex Kenney and Allen Robinson to really benefit from the coaching of Ted Hixon. A couple young guys to look out for are true freshman Eugene Lewis and sure-handed RS freshman Matt Zanalleto.
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