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Practice Report: Maryland Week

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State head coach James Franklin and Nittany Lion corner back Amani Oruwariye met with members of the media Wednesday evening following practice during Maryland week.

Talking everything from big picture philosophy to Thanksgiving break, catch up on a few highlights from the pair of media sessions before the regular season finale on the road Saturday at Maryland Stadium.

Franklin: He's Just So Much More Confident
When asked where he has seen the most improvement from Oruwariye, Franklin was quick to point out the increased confidence he has built from early 2016 up until now.

"Amani always had the ability, but he's so much more confident now, he has made some really big plays," Franklin said. "I think the other thing is, that he's found kind of the right weight. I think at one point he was about 210 pounds and now I think almost all season he has been 202 or under, which I think is plenty big to play corner in the Big Ten. I think he's just in a really good place of us, he has played a lot of football, he's very experienced, very confident, physical corner. I think the coaches and the team have a lot of confidence in him." 

The Slowdown
When asked about when the game started to slow down for Oruwariye, he noted that it wasn't exactly one specific moment or game when things started to click.

"I guess I would say last year it started kind of slowing down when you're kind of getting in the game a lot more and the game just starts slowing down, you start making some plays, making some tackles, it starts feeling like when you used to do in high school," Oruwariye said.

Keeping Focus
As Franklin noted in his Tuesday press conference, due to NCAA rules and regulations, not much has changed when it comes to practice times this week. With no classes though, the Nittany Lions do have a bit more time for rest, recovery and preparation too. 

"You just treat it like you're an NFL player," Oruwariye said. "You don't have classes to worry about so you just approach it that way, come in the building, do extra work, watch extra film, get an extra work out in and just work on your craft however you can." 

Talking Matchups
For Oruwariye, there's not one specific kind of receiver he thrives on being matched up against, noting pros and cons of different types of opposing wide receivers.

"They're both hard to do, going against big guys and small guys. Small guys, it's good because I can get my hands on them, I'm a bigger, physical corner," Oruwariye said. "Then again, at the same time, they're fast and it's hard to keep up with them speed wise. Same with big guys, they're physical too. I would prefer big guys and just make it a physical match, but other than that it doesn't matter to me."

Leadership
With departures along the secondary, Oruwariye noted that he's leaned on this year's leaders in taking the next step to trying to emerge as a leader moving forward.
 

"I've kind of taken some tactics from the leaders on the team now, Jason [Cabinda], Trace [McSorley], Marcus [Allen], those guys," Oruwariye said. "Just seeing how they engage with other guys, how they work specifically on the field, kind of just admiring their work ethic, every day, coming to work and taking that one day at a time mindset."

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