Spring Practice Notes and Observations: Day 5
Penn State football held its fifth of 15 spring practices yesterday, the second one that was open to the media, leading up to the April 20th Blue-White game. Like every practice over the past week, this one was also confined to the indoor Holuba Hall due to cold weather and some snow. Below are some brief notes and observations.
Pre-practice media availability:
- Senior safety Malcolm Willis talked about the secondary focusing on creating more turnovers and the need to hang onto potential interceptions.
- From a schematic standpoint on defense, not much has changed with the transition from Ted Roof to John Butler.
- After watching tape, sophomore defensive end Deion Barnes noticed four sack opportunities that he missed last season.
- Barnes has improved his 40-time from 5.1 seconds to 4.8 seconds.
- Junior defensive tackle Kyle Baublitz has been turning heads.
- Senior defensive tackle DaQuan Jones is listed at 333 pounds on the team roster but says he is back down to 325 and hoping to drop a few more before the season.
- Senior middle linebacker Glenn Carson has been impressed playing alongside Mike Hull and Nyeem Wartman.
- Quarterbacks Tyler Ferguson and Steven Bench split first-team reps during a walk through period before Ferguson took them during an 11-on-11 competition segment. Still, it appears there is little separation between the two signal callers.
- The quarterbacks were not the only players in red. Adam Breneman (knee), Kyle Carter (wrist), and Stephen Obeng-Agyapong all wore no-contact practice jerseys.
- Garry Gilliam’s switch from tight end to offensive tackle has been interrupted by a strained calf. He did not practice with the other linemen yesterday, instead working with a trainer on the side.
- Trevor Williams, who played wide receiver last year, worked with Butler and the defensive backs.
- Adrian Amos got some work with Anthony Midget and the safeties. Malik Golden was also in that group.
- Eric Shrive took Donovan Smith’s usual place on the first-team offensive line as the unit from left to right went Shrive, Miles Dieffenach, Ty Howle, John Urschel, and Adam Gress.
- Smith saw action on the second team with Angelo Mangiro, Wendy Laurent, Anthony Alosi, and Anthony Stanko.
- Craig Fitzgerald does indeed own a pair of long pants. Penn State’s strength and conditioning coach, who has done shirtless worms in near freezing temperatures before, was wearing a pair of sweatpants during practice.