Penn State Football Opens Spring Practice Friday

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The Penn State Nittany Lion football team return to the field for the first time since the TaxSlayer Bowl when it opens spring practice on Friday, March 18.

(Photo by Paul Burdick. Check out more of Burdick’s work here)

Third-year head coach James Franklin and his staff will guide the Nittany Lions through 15 spring practices that culminates in the Blue-White Game on Saturday, April 16 at 2 p.m. in Beaver Stadium.

The Nittany Lions have been participating in winter workouts under the guidance of Assistant Athletics Director for Performance Enhancement, Dwight Galt, since returning to campus in January. The squad has posted significant improvement from March 2015 with multiple players packing on additional pounds of muscle, including Saquon Barkley (gained 12 pounds of muscle), Ryan Buchholz (10), Christian Campbell (12), Irvin Charles (16), Alex Gellerstedt (20), DaeSean Hamilton (20), Shareef Miller (17), Brendan Mahon (20) and Antoine White (12).

Penn State returns several offensive weapons including Freshman All-American and All-Big Ten second team selection Saquon Barkley (Coplay, Pa.) and All-Big Ten wide receivers Chris Godwin (Middletown, Del.) and DaeSean Hamilton (Fredericksburg, Va.). Barkley, who was the Freshman of the Year, broke the Penn State freshman season rushing record with 1,076 yards, surpassing the mark of 1,002 set by D.J. Dozier in 1983. Barkley had five 100-yard rushing performances on the season after clicking off 103 yards at Michigan State. Godwin became the third player in program history to have 1,000 receiving yards in a season with 1,101 yards en route to All-Big Ten second team honors. Hamilton accounted for 580 yards and ranks seventh in program history with 127 career receptions. Hamilton was honorable mention All-Big Ten in 2015.

Defensively, the Nittany Lions return a trio of All-Big Ten honorable mention selections in linebacker Jason Cabinda (Flemington, N.J.), safety Marcus Allen (Upper Marlboro, Md.) and cornerback Grant Haley (Atlanta, Ga.). Cabinda led the Nittany Lions and ranked 15th in the Big Ten with 100 tackles last season. He also had five pass break ups and 5.5 tackles for loss. Allen accumulated 81 stops, with 5.0 tackles for loss, in 12 games, while Haley had 42 tackles and a team-high seven pass break ups in 11 games.

Penn State returns 17 starters (9 offensive, 5 defensive, 3 specialists) and 24 additional lettermen. The Nittany Lions will have a trio of new faces on the sideline with the addition of offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Joe Moorhead, offensive line coach Matt Limegrover and co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach Tim Banks.

Story courtesy of Penn State Athletics

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