Gary Wooten is a name that some Penn State fans may not be familiar with. However, that may all change come this fall when Wooten is leaned upon to uphold the tradition of Linebacker U.Wooten is a redshirt sophomore linebacker who has been turning heads the last few weeks during spring practice. The 6-foot-2, 238-pound is a product of Hialeah Senior High School in Miami, Florida.
Recruited to Penn State by former defensive coordinator Ted Roof, Wooten mostly played special teams last year after taking a redshirt his freshman year. With a new coaching staff in place and a lack of depth at the position, Wooten has the perfect opportunity to set up and claim a starting role.
A corps that is led by veteran Mike Hull, the Penn State linebacker unit is seeking bigger contributions from senior Ben Kline who is coming off a season-ending injury a year ago and sophomores Wooten, Brandon Bell and Nyeem Wartman. Also joining the fold later this summer will be Class of 2014 prospects Jason Cabinda of New Jersey and Troy Reeder of Delaware.
When Hull recently spoke with reporters he told them a player who has really improved his game this spring and who has made the biggest strides was Gary Wooten.
He told Greg Pickel of PennLive.com the following;
“It’s been a huge difference. I think the new staff, with the way they coach and their style and energy, has helped him flourish,” Hull said. “It’s unbelievable. He’s always had the physical tools to be great. He just really is putting it all together and playing fast and physical. He’s really going to help the whole linebacker corps as a group.”
Regardless of how the rest of the spring plays out, it’s almost a guarantee that all of the aforementioned linebackers will see the field at one point or another in 2014.
This weekend, when the annual Blue-White game kicks off inside Beaver Stadium, it’ll be a great opportunity for the coaches and fans alike to see how the new-look linebacker corps plays together as a unit.
Which one of these linebackers will step up and uphold the tradition of Linebacker U? We should get a good glimpse of who that’ll be this weekend at the Blue-White game.