Penn State football notebook: 'Handful' of freshmen could make immediate impact
College Football Videos
On Tuesday night, James Franklin and his staff went through a list of players to meet with. The group — mostly freshmen — are candidates to redshirt this upcoming season. Each told they fit into one of three categories.
“Some guys that we saw would play right away,” Franklin said Wednesday, “and then other guys it's kind of a wait-and-see, that were going to try to hold their redshirt if we're able to, based on the injuries. And another group that more than likely is going to redshirt.”
Franklin didn't divulge who was told what. But he did offer some clues as to what freshmen could be put in positions to make immediate impacts.
“There's a handful,” he said.
The Nittany Lions' opener against Central Florida in Dublin is nine days away.
“(Chris) Godwin and Saeed (Blacknall) are guys that kind of have jumped out to me,” Franklin said. “(Mike) Gesicki is a guy who's jumped out to me — and those are guys we need to have a role for us.
“On defense, Marcus Allen and Grant Haley are guys that have done some nice things, and Jason Cabinda — all at positions that we need.”
No surprise that Franklin mentioned freshmen at positions PSU lacks upperclassmen depth: wide receiver (Godwin, Blacknall), the secondary (Allen, Haley) and linebacker (Cabinda). Tight end Gesicki's role likely expanded after Adam Breneman's injury during camp.
Franklin repeatedly has indicated in the past that freshman receiver DeAndre Thompkins is a strong candidate for a prominent role in the return game.
O-line remains a question
Penn State's issues along the offensive line have been well-documented throughout the offseason. Days before the season opener, little has yet to crystallize.
“We've still got some work to do — we really do — in this last week leading up to the game,” Franklin said.
Franklin said there hasn't even been an opportunity to this point to have a cohesive unit of five practice together. Minor injuries and the desire to experiment with different combinations or trying players at certain spots have wreaked havoc with any day-to-day continuity.
“We haven't really had the same five guys at the same five spots for multiple practices yet,” Franklin said. “Now that we've had a chance to evaluate all these guys, now it's ‘How do we get the best five on the field, complementing each other, playing as a unit and getting some consistency.' That's what we're going to try to do now in the next week and a half.”
Franklin said there are “probably seven or eight guys” the staff has settled on for the offensive line rotation and the two-deep.
Franklin was asked if any of his players excelled more in the more competitive scrimmage setting as opposed to regular drills during practice. His answer included two players — both former WPIAL standouts.
“The only guy who really kind of sticks out to me like that is Cole Chiappialle — but he really does that at practice everyday as well,” Franklin said. “When we do live periods (in practice)… I always notice Mike Hull. He always really kind of has this huge impact. I've been very impressed with him.”
Chiappialle is a sophomore walk-on running back from Blackhawk who appeared in the final nine games last season. Hull, a fifth-year senior linebacker and team co-captain, is a Canon-McMillan product.
Chris Adamski is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @C_AdamskiTrib.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Ferrante defense questions results of cyanide test
- Flight 93 memorial fire hints at struggle to safeguard historic artifacts
- Corbett, Wolf resort to sticks, stones to attract attention
- Linebacker Harrison coming along slowly since return to Steelers
- Upper Burrell man charged with sexually assaulting boy
- Komen acceptance of drilling-linked money raises ire
- Fábregas: Cancer-stricken California woman chooses to plan her death
- Miss Uganda hopefuls get dirty in agriculture phase of contest
- Pirates acquire infielder from Indians, designate Axford, Gomez for assignment
- Critics claim state Attorney General Kane puts politics first
- Penguins notebook: Carcillo has no hard feelings after failing to make roster