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VIDEO: Nittany Lions Open Training Camp

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Photo Gallery - Practice One

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Football is back in the air in Happy Valley.

9116028.jpegAs the sun began to rise over Mount Nittany on a picturesque 55-degree Monday morning, head coach Bill O'Brien and the Nittany Lion football team opened the preseason with the first official practice of 2013 training camp.

The squad began running onto the finely manicured fields adjacent to the Lasch Football Complex shortly before 6 a.m. on Monday to kick off its first of 29 allotted practices before the season-opener at MetLife Stadium against Syracuse.

Like it did during the spring season, practice moved at a swift pace with players hustling from station to station following each period.  Monday's first session included a walk through, special teams work, positional drills, 7-on-7, team scrimmaging and post-practice conditioning.

The Nittany Lions moved into the Nittany Hall dorm on Sunday, the team's home for the duration of preseason camp.  The student-athletes have been counting down the days to the start of training camp, and the squad was thrilled to be back on the field focusing on football.

"It felt really good to get back out there with the team and to get acclimated," said junior wide receiver Allen Robinson.  "I think, as a team, we had a pretty good start today."

With summer classes still in session, the Nittany Lions have scheduled practices around the academic schedule this week.  Final exams for the summer academic session will be held on Friday.

Under NCAA rules, teams are not permitted to practice in full pads until the sixth practice of the fall.  The Lions practiced in helmets, shorts and jerseys on Monday.  The Nittany Lions will practice once per day each day this week leading up Saturday's full-padded practice.  Saturday is also the first two-a-day session of the training camp season.

The true freshmen on the roster did not participate in the opening practice of the season.  To get acclimated to the practice structure, the true freshmen will practice on Monday night before participating in the full-team practice on Tuesday.

The season-opener is 26 days away.

Practice Notes:
- Following each practice during training camp, each member of the roster will get weighed and then soak in a two-person cold tub to assist with total body recovery, similar to the structure numerous NFL teams use.

- ESPN's "Training Days" film crew was at Monday's practice. The crew will provide and inside look at training camp between now and Aug. 14.  Beginning Aug. 16, segments of the show will begin airing on SportsCenter and multiple ESPNU shows. A 60-minute show will air on Aug. 20 at 7 p.m.

- The Nittany Lions will practice in the afternoon on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Media day is Thursday in Happy Valley.

Follow's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony

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