Penn State Open Practice Notes (08.21.18)

By Matthew Filipovits on August 22, 2018 at 8:00 am
Penn State head coach James Franklin
Adriana Lacy - Roar Lions Roar

As the season gets closer, the coaching staff has a pretty good idea of who's definitely going to play and who will probably spend a season with the reserves. It was the twos against the twos on Wednesday night as the staff figures out where certain players will fall on the depth chart.

  • With Tommy Stevens down with an injury, Sean Clifford took the reps with the second team. I've had my doubts about his mobility but he did a solid job escaping pressure.
  • The line went Holmes-Miranda-Simpson-Thorpe-Fries. The only real surprise here is Holmes, as many of us expected the other four to have some kind of role.
  • Micah Parsons got the closest thing to a free rush he will ever get and my god did he look fast. If he was allowed to take the quarterback to the ground, Sean Clifford would be having nightmares for the rest of his life. 
  • Jon Holland took the reps at second-team tight end. He's been running with the ones so it could just be Franklin wanting him to get more reps or rotate guys in with certain groups. For what it's worth, Franklin threw a ton of praise at Danny Dalton at his post-practice media session.
  • Jayson Oweh and PJ Mustipher looked really good along the line. With Torrence Brown and Ryan Buchholz's retirements, Oweh could be forced to see the field early.
  • Ayron Monroe and Jonathan Sutherland ran with the second team at safety. It looks like Garrett Taylor or Lamont Wade are on the inside track to start alongside Nick Scott.
  • The players got Ritas after practice and Miles Sanders said he likes mango the best, which is the correct answer.


John Reid has made a name for himself as being one of the most competitive guys on the team. When it comes to winning battles against his own receivers, he brings the same level of intensity.

"Even if I don't have an exact tally I kind of have a feeling. 'He got me on this ball, I can't let that happen again', that's just how I am. I don't like guys winning against me. Period. I'm really competitive so I do keep kind of a little bit of a score but when I'm going into the play that's not on my mind."

No matter how you spin, Penn State needs defensive end help. Yetur Gross-Matos had a strong true freshman season which gives Franklin confidence that he will take the next step.

"Yetur I thought had a really good true freshman year and now he's had a year to be in the weight room and now it's like body by Deeg (Dwight Galt). He's bigger, he's stronger, he's more explosive, he's more confident. I think that he's a special talent.

Miles Sanders got a first-hand look at some of the freshmen at Sunday's scrimmage. Playing as a true freshman himself, Sanders knows what the young guys need to know to be ready for their opportunity.

"You're going to be nervous going into the stadium for the first time. But at the end of the day it's just football, just play football. Take advantage of every opportunity you get once you get them."

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