One of the more under the radar developments of this PSU off season has been the coaching changes on the defensive side. Gone of course is Ted Roof, returning to his alma mater at Georgia Tech. John Butler is now running the defense. Roof’s departure opened up a spot on the staff, which was filled by former Georgia State secondary coach Anthony Midget back in February. Midget is overseeing the safeties, while Butler is continuing to work with the cornerbacks. For the first time since his hiring on Valentine’s Day, Midget met with the media to discuss his first month and a half on the job.
As expected, the sanctions came up, specficially in regards to Anthony’s thoughts joining a program limited in recruiting and with no postseason dreams. While that may scare off some, he didn’t give it a second thought.
It was an opportunity to come and be a part of Penn State. Yes, I understand what I was getting in to, but there was never a doubt in my mind with Coach O’Brien and what the guys did last year that I wanted to be a part of this staff and to be a part of getting this thing turned around and taking this thing to the next level.
Penn State addressed their depth in the secondary with the 2013 recruiting class, but they also return two safeties with significant experience, Malcolm Willis, and Stephen Obeng-Agyapong. Both have helped Midget make the adjustment to PSU.
That has been a key. To have two seniors that have played a lot of football makes it a lot easier to come in as opposed to if I was dealing with a lot of freshmen or guys that didn’t have a lot of playing experience. To have two seniors back there – Malcolm Willis has been great, especially as a tremendous leader, and also Obeng; he has been a great leader. Those guys are basically coaches on the field who understand the defense and understand what we want, and they can help us with the younger guys and their understanding of the system.
Bill O’Brien raved about Adrian Amos last season, but injuries, discipline, and transfers likely limited some of the plans BOB, Roof, and Butler had for what would be the Lions’ best overall athlete. With depth addressed to some degree, does the new guy on the staff see anything changing?
Adrian Amos is a guy who played many roles for us last year. He will probably do the same thing this year. He is a guy that we can move around to play safety, to play corner, to play nickel and can do many different things for us. It’s guys like that who help us out because of his versatility.
Malik Golden was one of PSU’s more athletic members of the 2012 recruiting class, and with the depth at receiver, he has made the move to the secondary. Coach Midget likes what he sees from one of his newest DBs.
We have moved Malik Golden to safety. He is a guy who is very talented that has done some good things that I am very excited about
Finally, what about his new boss. What’s it like to be around one of the top young coaches in college football.
He is a great offensive mind, but one thing that stands out is how great of relationship he has with the players and he can really relate to the players. But his overall passion for the game and his leadership is unbelievable. It has been great. I am blessed to be able to sit in the staff meetings and learn from him and continue to grow. But he has been just great. But I would say the one thing is that the way he interacts with the guys and his leadership ability
From all indications, PSU got a good one in Anthony Midget. Not only should his track record in the field make Penn Staters happy, his recruiting connections to the talent rich South will serve PSU well as the continue to make inroads in a key area.
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