With the first week of spring practice winding down, let’s take a look at some of the battles going on in camp. (Note: No QB talk allowed.)
O’Brien has admitted that Zach Zwinak entered spring as the incumbent starter, as he should have. The former fullback put up 1000 yards rushing and wore down defenses late in the season. Behind him are Bill Belton, who had a disappointing 2012 by most standards, and impressive redshirt freshman Akeel Lynch. It will be interesting to see if Zwinak can leave spring with the top spot and, equally as important, how the two spots behind him shake out. From everything I’ve heard, Lynch is the real deal. One player told me that Lynch “might be the most athletic player on the team.” If true, the Canadian freshman might be hard to keep off the field.
Nittany Lion fans can find some comfort, knowing that Allen Robinson will be back and is coming off of a monster season, especially for a PSU wide out. Unfortunately, nothing beyond ARob is set in stone. Brandon Moseby Felder came on late in the year after Shawney Kersey left the team and Alex Kenney seems to have the tools, but neither have done much to ignite confidence in Happy Valley. Freshman Trevor Williams, who saw some action in 2012, and redshirt frosh Geno Lewis have both been on campus for nine months now and are going through their first spring. One or both of them could emerge as favorites to compliment Robinson as April comes to a close.
The departure of Jared Odrick left Devon Still as the star. With Still gone, Jordan Hill became a household name. Now that Hill is aimed for the NFL draft, the future is more cloudy than it’s been in years. DaQuan Jones should be sitting atop the depth chart from now until September but the names below him could be shifting. Kyle Baublitz is the early favorite but he’ll have to fight off redshirt freshmen Austin Johnson, Derek Dowry and Brian Gaia who have been joined by former tight end/offensive tackle, Nate Cadogan. D Line coach Larry Johnson likes to use a deep rotation so you’ll likely see most of these guys in the fall. My guess is that Austin Johnson will make some noise between now and then.
Which positions are you most interested in this spring?