With the playing of last Saturday’s annual Blue-White Game, the Penn State Nittany Lions, under new head coach James Franklin, have officially ended the spring practice session. The Nittany Lions will not be on the field until the summer, when the freshmen arrive and the team begins preparing for the start of the 2014 season. With no more football happening for a few months, VBR will take a look back at the biggest stories from the spring practice session.
− The Nittany Lions officially kicked off the practice season on March 17th. Due to the cold, soggy weather, they were forced to open practice inside of Holuba Hall. Unfortunately, the weather never really cooperated this spring, as the majority of practices had to be held indoors due to wet field conditions.
− Lack of depth due to NCAA sanctions caused Franklin to make several position changes before spring practice even started. The Most notable of those changes were putting Adrian Amos officially at safety, moving Anthony Zettel to defensive tackle, and moving defensive linemen Brian Gaia and Derek Dowrey over to the offensive line.
− Evident right from the first practice was Franklin’s plan to use his best players on special teams. Several starters were spotted fielding kicks and punts inside of Holuba Hall and taking part in catching and return drills. That plan was also shown during the Blue-White Game, when starting defensive backs Adrian Amos and Jordan Lucas both took turns in the return game.
− Unfortunately, injuries are an unavoidable part of football. Penn State was unable to escape spring practice injury-free. The biggest was when starting guard Miles Dieffenbach went down with a serious knee injury during practice. There’s been no official word, but he could miss a significant amount of time. Sophomore tight end Adam Breneman suffered a knee bruise that caused him to miss the remainder of spring practice.
− Although Franklin was busy with spring practice, he didn’t take a break from recruiting. The Nittany Lions currently have 12 commitments and are rated as the No. 1 class for 2015 according to 247Sports.com. Steven Gonzalez, Juwan Johnson, Josh Barajas, Brandon Polk and Adam McLean all committed to Penn State while spring practice was going on. McLean informed Franklin of his decision just hours before the start of the Blue-White Game.
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