UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State has reached the midpoint of spring ball, set for practice No. 7 of 14 Monday at the Lasch Football Building. As the Nittany Lions head deeper into the practice schedule, continue catching up with the Penn State staff for a closer look at who's exceeding expectations.
In the fourth release, Penn State defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Brent Pry checks in with a closer look at the Nittany Lion linebackers.
Led by senior captain Jason Cabinda, Penn State's talented group of linebackers will look to replace the natural playmaking ability of senior Brandon Bell heading into to the 2017 season.
As James Franklin noted during his spring ball press conference though, he and the staff are confident in both the two and three-deep, with some exciting new players emerging from the battle-tested group.
"Obviously Jason Cabinda is a guy we're super excited about," Pry said. "He's a guy who has proven himself on the battlefield and works like crazy, one of our best workers with no complacency and working to improve his weaknesses."
Aside from Cabinda, Pry also noted veterans Manny Bowen and Koa Farmer are among a few more top performers to date.
"I'm excited about Manny Bowen and what he's doing this spring," Pry said. "He has grown into the Will linebacker position well, and Koa Farmer too, I'm looking forward to what he's at Sam, he's doing a nice job learning the position and growing as a linebacker."
Farmer made the move from safety to linebacker early on in the season, playing in all 14 games with a pair of starts. He finished out the season with 4.5 tackles for loss and three sacks, including a key fourth-quarter sack in the Big Ten Championship game against Wisconsin. Bringing versatility at the position, Bowen started 12 of 13 games he played in, registering 68 stops, including two sacks and 9.0 tackles for loss.
Reach Arielle at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow on Twitter @arielle_sargent