UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Week three of training camp is approaching an end, with a mere two weeks until Penn State's season-opener nearly on the horizon.
Ahead of the 2017 season, continue checking in at each position for a closer look at who's back and who's new to the Nittany Lion roster.
- Desi Davis (Sr./Jr.)
- Grant Haley (Sr./Sr.)
- Troy Shorts (Jr./So.)
- John Reid (Jr./Jr.)
- Zech McPhearson (So./Fr.)
- Amani Oruwariye (Sr./Jr.)
- TJ Johnson (So./Fr.)
- Christian Campbell (Sr./Sr.)
- Jabari Butler (Jr./Jr.)
- Lamont Wade (Fr./Fr., 5-9/196, Clairton, Pa./Clairton), Donovan Johnson (Fr./Fr., 5-9/175, Detroit, Michigan/Cass Tech), DJ Brown (Fr./Fr., 5-10175, College Park, Ga./Creekside), Tariq Castro-Fields (Fr./Fr., 6-0/185, Upper Marlboro, Md., Riverdale Baptist School)
- Kyle Alston, Jordan Smith
What To Watch For:
The Nittany Lions have clear leaders at the corner position in returning veterans Grant Haley and Christian Campbell. With 22 career starts, Haley returns for his final season in the Blue and White, poised to build on a 2016 season where he was largely responsible for a pair of the most defining plays of the year.
"We have a great group of guys coming back on offense, defense and special teams as well," Haley said. "You can just tell, the leadership and the confidence of this unit and this group, from the first camp that I was a part of to this camp, you can tell how excited everyone is about the competition that we have a practice."
Alongside Haley, Campbell is coming off of what Franklin called his best offseason ever during spring ball, also adding nearly 15 pounds to his frame headed into his final season. Campbell played in 12 games last year, starting in two outings. He highlighted the season with his second career interception in the win at Purdue before recovering his first career fumble off of a muffed punt at Indiana.
On media day, Franklin noted that he and the staff had seen exciting offseason improvement from Zech McPhearson, as well added maturity, size and length from veteran Amani Oruwariye.
Oruwariye kicked off his 2016 campaign with his first career interception against Kent State, returning it 30 yards for the first interception returned for a touchdown since 2014, a milestone met by Haley against Temple.
Penn State also has added excitement among its newcomers, with Lamont Wade and Tariq Castro-Fields both garnering some significant training camp buzz.
"Tariq Castro-Fields is probably a guy that there's as much buzz about as any of the newcomers right now," defensive coordinator Brent Pry said at media day. "He's a guy that, of the freshmen, I think right away is kind of making an argument that he's going to factor in."
Castro-Fields and McPhearson were also teammates at Riverdale Baptist, with McPhearson coming off of a redshirt season.
An early enrollee, Wade made significant strides in the weight room, as noted by Penn State Assistant Athletics Director for Performance Enhancement, Dwight Galt in the spring season.