Thoughts and Observations from Penn State's First Spring Practice

By Matthew Filipovits on March 13, 2019 at 6:13 pm
Jan 1, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin yells from the sidelines during the second half in the 2019 Citrus Bowl against the Kentucky Wildcats at Camping World Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
© Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

After months of waiting, Penn State was finally back on the practice field to open up spring camp. Lucky for you, we were there to get our first look at the 2019 edition of the Nittany Lion football team.


  • Jayson Oweh looks much bigger than he did just a few months ago. We didn't get all that many opportunities to see him in game action, but he certainly looks the part of an elite pass rusher as he heads into his redshirt freshman season.
  • Speaking of the defensive line, Sean Spencer looks jacked. I need to know his workout routine because it is working wonders.
  • The team mostly worked on special teams drills, which is common for the first day of spring ball. New special teams coach Joe Lorig, with Brent Pry assisting, did a lot of work on punt coverage.
  • Journey Brown, KJ Hamler, CJ Holmes, and Noah Cain, and even Micah Parsons for some fun, all worked on returning kickoffs. Ricky Slade, John Reid, Jahan Dotson, and Keaton Ellis were shagging punts. Hamler is expected to handle both of these duties next season, but it's great to see they have options if they want to keep Hamler out of harm's way on special teams.
  • Brandon Smith looks way bigger than I expected. The true freshman is listed at 6'3 on the roster but I would say he looked at least an inch taller than that in person. 
  • Ja'Juan Seider is really fun to watch coach. He brings some great energy and you can tell his guys love playing for him just by the way they interact with each other. 

Press conference Tweets

James Franklin also held his first press conference of the spring, where he offered some more information as camp gets started.

This is no good for anyone. Here's hoping everything is ok with Juice and that he will make a return to football sooner rather than later. 

Thorpe is looking to make a strong case for the vacant starting guard position. He figures to battle Mike Miranda this spring for the open spot.

Penn State has faltered in these moments over the past few seasons so it's good to see them try to correct those issues as early as possible.

This is as good a sign as you can ask for regarding Stevens. The fact that he's out there at all after undergoing surgery just a few months ago means he's recovering well.

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