UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Training camp is rolling along with week two nearly in the books for the Nittany Lions. Wednesday evening, Penn State hosted the Big Ten Network at practice while also offering its first midweek media availability of the season, coming just days after media day in Beaver Stadium.
Catch up with Penn State head coach James Franklin, passing game coordinator and tight ends coach Ricky Rahne as well as linebacker Jason Cabinda and tight end Mike Gesicki for a closer look at what's new in training camp.
More Praise for
Cabinda said he's poised to have a career year and Franklin said he's as polished and productive of a wideout as he has seen. That's DaeSean Hamilton who they are talking about, a veteran who is continuing to get high praise from his teammates and coaches throughout the offseason and extending well into training camp.
"He has had a spectacular camp," Cabinda said. "He's playing at a really high level right now. I'm really proud of him, he has worked his butt off, he's the hardest working receiver in that room so there's really no surprises."
It's no secret that the Nittany Lions are in a tremendous place when it comes to team chemistry. When look back at training camps in years past, this year is different for All-Big Ten second team selection Mike Gesicki, especially as it relates to intensity and buy-in.
"When I was a freshman, it was there and it was coming from a lot of guys but it wasn't coming from everybody," Gesicki said. "The difference now is that it's coming from everybody, all 105 guys out here are completely bought in and out here to get better."
Franklin noted on media day that defensively there's a focus on creating turnovers in training camp this year, only echoing the message during the media session.
"My thing is, if you run to the ball good things are going to happen," Franklin said. "Whether it's recovering a fumble, whether it's gang tackling, whether it's a tip-pass interception, if we can just run to the ball all 11 guys on the field take pride in how we do that."
For Franklin, part of it involve showing the team clips on film, or "effort plays," from a variety of different levels of the game, highlighting extraordinary effort, things that standout immediate to the staff as an above-and-beyond approach.
No. 3 Update
Franklin has mentioned that the Nittany Lions are looking to identify a third option at quarterback behind Trace McSorley and Tommy Stevens on more than one occasion this offseason. For Franklin, that type of quarterback competition is welcomed and encouraged, something he noted hasn't been the case recently, and specifically as it relates to the progress of redshirt freshman Jake Zembiec and true freshman Sean Clifford.
"Zembiec has been here longer, he's more seasoned, he's more experienced and he's got a good feel but Clifford is battling," Franklin said. "Clifford has really attacked this thing all summer, he learns well, the game comes pretty easy to him."
Depth at Tight End
Tight ends coach Ricky Rahne offered an update on the depth at tight end alongside Gesicki. Check it out below.