Author Drew Balis
In his senior column, Drew Balis urges fellow students to never settle for mediocrity as he prepares to graduate from Penn State. Never let someone tell you that you aren’t good enough or insult what you do, but ask yourself if you are making the most of your time here.
Without doing anything directly, Christian Hackenberg just became much more important to Penn State as the Nittany Lions prepare for the 2013 season. With less quarterback depth on the roster, redshirting Hackenberg will be more difficult and less likely for Bill O’Brien.
The number of quarterbacks on Penn State’s roster just decreased by one. According to a GoPSUSports release, sophomore signal-caller Steven Bench has been granted a release to transfer from the Nittany Lion program when the semester concludes on May 3rd.
As spring practice gives way to summer workouts leading up to the start of training camp, Bill O’Brien will likely reveal the first depth chart of 2013. While all eyes will be on the starting quarterback decision, there are five other intriguing position battles to keep an eye on.
Eugene Lewis’ playing career at Penn State is getting a later start than expected, but the slight delay may help him in the long run. Following a surprise redshirt season, the athletic receiver is primed to be a playmaker in Penn State’s offense heading into 2013.
Following Saturday’s Blue-White game, John Butler said that junior Adrian Amos would head into training camp as a starting safety after playing his first two seasons at cornerback. This move creates some interesting questions for the defensive coordinator and the secondary.
Heading into today’s Blue-White game, the thought existed that some separation in the quarterback competition between Steven Bench and Tyler Ferguson could be created. After what transpired at Beaver Stadium, that does not appear to be the case, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. The quarterback play itself was far from bad despite the defense (blue) defeating the offense (white 67-47)
Beaver Stadium is the site of Penn State’s 15th and final spring practice, affectionately known as the Blue-White, game tomorrow. It is easy and tempting to over-analyze what happens, but with that said, the game does present some interesting story lines that can provide some insight about the 2013 Nittany Lions. Below are five things to keep an eye on.
A season ago, Malcolm Willis and DaQuan Jones received a solid taste of being starters on Penn State’s defense. Now, the pair of seniors has their sights set on not only more productive campaigns in 2013, but also setting an example for their younger teammates.
For the first time in several seasons, Penn State will enter the 2013 campaign without an established fullback on the roster. As the departed Michael Zordich sets his sights on an NFL career, Bill O’Brien must decide how to utilize the position heading into the 2013 season.
During his first season patrolling the sidelines in Happy Valley, Bill O’Brien acquired the reputation of a gambler when it came to fourth down decisions. Will this fourth down aggressiveness continue in 2013 and what factors will contribute to those play calls?
With three returning starters from last year’s unit, one might assume that Penn State’s secondary will look similar to the one that saw the field in 2012, but that is not necessarily the case. More depth will allow the Nittany Lions to utilize nickel and dime defensive packages when needed, something that often frustrated secondary coach John Butler last season.
Bill O’Brien has no reservations about sharing his thoughts on much of the returning experience at skill positions or making an already comprehensive playbook even thicker, but play selection and run-pass ratio is usually an off limits topic. Heading into the 2013 season, it is a rather intriguing topic based on O’Brien’s history and the current offensive personnel.
Penn State officially hit the double digit mark of spring practice yesterday as the Blue-White game inches closer. An afternoon thunderstorm washed away some nice weather and forced the Nittany Lions inside Holuba Hall, a common theme over the past few weeks. Bill O’Brien spent much of the time watching quarterbacks and for the most part seemed pleased.
Allen Robinson is hands down the best player on Penn State’s offense. Adrian Amos can stake his claim as the best player on the defensive side of the ball. This spring, the two members of the “Supa Six” are working to make each other better through a friendly competition.
There may not be a term that dominated the Penn State football landscape throughout the 2012 season more than “senior.” The departure of this memorable group has created a void that will need to be filled, and many redshirt freshmen are ready to burst onto the scene.
A collection of players have switched positions since the Bill O’Brien era began. What type of results have these personnel moves yielded so far, and more importantly, what could it mean going forward?
According to Penn Live court reporter Matt Miller, Penn State linebacker recruit Zayd Issah is facing multiple felony charges after an attempt to utilize counterfeit money at a Harrisburg, Pa McDonalds back on March 9.
Anthony Midget knew of Bill OBrien but had never personally met him as of two months ago. Now, as Penn State’s new safeties coach, he is relying on past mentors, fellow assistant coaches, and experienced players to make the most of his opportunity.
Without ever growing, Penn State’s already shaky depth at linebacker heading into the 2013 season appears to even thinner. Incoming freshman Zayd Issah was expected to provide an immediate reinforcement, but his legal troubles have complicated the situation.
It is unfamiliar times when it comes to the title of Penn State’s defensive coordinator. In a span of three seasons, the Nittany Lions have gone from a known commodity in Tom Bradley to Ted Roof and now an inexperienced John Butler. Should Penn State fans be concerned heading into the 2013 season?
For two years, Glenn Carson has played the most important position on Penn State’s defense, yet still managed to go unnoticed at times, overshadowed by bigger and more decorated names. Now, as the revered Michael Mauti and Gerald Hodges set their sights on an NFL career, it is up to the senior middle linebacker to help carry on the mantel of Linebacker U, surrounded by an inexperienced supporting cast.
Kyle Baublitz has gone relatively unnoticed during his first two active seasons with the Nittany Lions, but many of his teammates believe that is about to change. The junior defensive tackle is turning heads this spring and impressing many.
Our Blue-White countdown series continues today. After a monster 2012 season that saw him emerge as Penn State’s go-to receiver and lead the Big Ten conference in all major receiving categories, what will Allen Robinson do as an encore this fall?
The third-seeded Lady Lions (25-5, 14-2 Big Ten) will look to extend their season today when they take on the No. 14 seed Cal Poly Mustangs (21-10, 13-5 Big West) in Baton Rogue at 5:15 p.m. For Coquese Washington’s squad, the Pete Maravich Assembly Center is a familiar site for the first two rounds of NCAA tournament play.
For the past four years, Penn State entered a season with the luxury of having a stud defensive tackle. There was future first-round pick Jared Odrick in 2009, Devon Still in 2010 and 2011, and Jordan Hill last year. Now, that is no longer the case as the Nittany Lions look to reload along the defensive line in 2013.