UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State special teams coordinator and running backs coach Charles Huff joined this week's assistant coaches conference call to talk Penn State football during Iowa week.
Catch up on a few notes from the media session and listen in on the call.
On running back Saquon
For Huff, when it comes to individual honors, awards and watch lists for Barkley, there's certainly, but it's not exactly those types of recognition that are the most rewarding.
"I think it's more pride in the work that he has put in this offseason," Huff said. "He worked his tail off this offseason, as all of the guys have, but he took it as a kind of personal goal to work harder than he ever has on and off the field, in the classroom, in the weight room, on the field doing drills and those things. The pride comes when you see a young man put in the work and you see him reap the awards from the things he sowed this offseason."
Owning a Spot on
Huff echoed Franklin's previous point that he and the staff had challenged the Nittany Lions, starters in particular, to own a spot on special teams. While Huff certainly detailed the process with Barkley on kick returns, he also noted that Barkley wasn't the only starter reaching out to secure a special teams spot.
"Jason Cabinda is another young man who people may not see because he doesn't touch the ball, but he asked as well," Huff said. "He said, hey coach I want to be on kick return. Actually, in the Georgia State game, we were going to replace him with another young man, just giving guys opportunities and he came to practice on a Wednesday and said, coach I am starting on kick return. When you get that type of buy in and guys want to be a part of it, I think it says a lot about your program, it says a lot about your leadership from the top down."
On Iowa's Josey Jewell
With the road trip to Iowa drawing closer, Huff was asked if Hawkeye linebacker Josey Jewell compared to any NFL or collegiate player.
"The guy that he reminds me of, and I'm not comparing the two from a physical attribute perspective, I'm comparing them from a leadership, awareness, efficiency in movements, a complete understanding of the game and the defensive scheme, is a guy like Mike Hull when we first got here," Huff said. "Obviously I think they are two different type players, but Mike Hull had an unbelievable ability to see things happen before they did. He was an unbelievable leader, he understood the defense and that's kind of what I see in him [Jewell]. He's kind of their leader, he has a knack for seeing things before they happen, he has a knack for being in the right place. Obviously, he has played a lot of football in this league and the things that you see on film, you can see his veteran prowess kind of take over in games."
Update on Journey Brown
Huff noted that true freshman running back Journey Brown has made huge strides since he first arrived on campus.
"When he first got here, you were kind of like okay, he's a track guy, he's fast, but he has a ways to go with football and now you're starting to see things from a football perspective that make you say okay, this kid has a chance to be really good," Huff said. "Now with that being said, he probably had the widest gap to close than some of the other guys, he was a little raw when we recruited him, just because he was a multi-sport athlete, he played basketball, he played track, he played football so there was never really time that he devoted to develop as a football player, he was constantly developing as an athlete."