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Inside Training Camp - Equipment Staff

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Training Camp Central

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - One of the most unsung groups within the Penn State football program is a unit responsible for a wide-range of things that truly drive a day of training camp.

From setting up for practice to laundry to handling all of the team's equipment needs, take an inside look at a day in the life of training camp with the equipment staff and the student managers.

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VIDEO: Behind the Scenes - Green Screen Shoot

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Training Camp Central

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Creating content for the videoboards inside Beaver Stadium is no small task. Planning projects commence long before the home opener.

A big piece to creating content takes place during "Green Screen" shoots. The Nittany Lions recently had some fun in front of the cameras to get ready for 2015 gamedays in Beaver Stadium. Take a look.

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Inside Training Camp - Lion's Den

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Training Camp Central

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The stakes inside the Lion's Den are simple.

The offense has four downs to score.

The defense has four downs to get a stop.

Head coach James Franklin calls four names on offense - three on the line and one in the backfield - and calls four names on defense - three on the line and one safety.

The whistle blows and the two sides go to battle.

Head inside the Lion's Den at training camp.

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Training Camp: Mangiro Leading the Battle in the Trenches

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11247159.jpegTraining Camp Central | August 12 Camp Update | August 12 Photo Gallery

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Confidence is a powerful tool when it comes to leading players around you.

When a player makes assertive decisions in the heat of battle, his peers tend to trust him and follow suit.

Enter senior offensive lineman Angelo Mangiro - the only player outside of Christian Hackenberg who had his hands on the ball during more than 90 percent of all the offensive plays last season.

Having played in 37-straight games, Mangiro is the offense's most experienced player, and he is one of the most versatile. The 6-foot-3 graduate senior worked his way up the depth chart to become the team's top guard and center reserve in 2012. He played at center and both guard positions in 2013. Last fall, Mangiro started two games at right tackle, but he found a home in the middle of the line by starting 10 games at center.

Now, with added depth up front, Mangiro and the offensive line have found some continuity leading up to the 2015 season.

"Their approach this off season, taking ownership of their position and their responsibility and their role, taking ownership of the success of the offense, having a chip on their shoulder," said head coach James Franklin. "All of those things are huge for us."

Mangiro is one of four players with significant starting experience back on the offensive line. As Coach Franklin noted, it's a group practicing with a chip on its shoulder. The line knows what type of potential it has, and Mangiro and the unit are practicing with a sense of urgency.

"I think our approach to things is what has stood out," Mangiro said. "It's how we are going into meetings, preparation, conducting ourselves in a professional manner that a veteran team should be doing."

The personable guy wearing No. 66 has done a terrific job developing a rapport with the man under center. Mangiro and Hackenberg walk to the line of scrimmage with a consistent vision and a common voice for the players around them.

"It's just something you see with time," Hackenberg said. "It's not just one guy in Angelo, it's what you see in all of those guys because they are older and more mature. I'm super excited for the opportunity they have because it's going to help the team."

Mangiro's belief in the line's potential resonates with everyone on the Penn State offense, not just Hackenberg. Being vocal is the name of the game and comes with the territory of the position he plays. That's why so many individuals around the man in the middle are so enthusiastic about what is in store for the fall.

Mangiro's air of confidence in those around him on the football field leads right into voicing his take on other subjects off the field. He's never shy. Take his pizza preference as an example.

Hailing from New Jersey, the senior comes from a family with Italian roots, so naturally he sought out a trip to taste test Chicago-style pizza during his trip to Big Ten Media Day at the end of July.

"Deep dish was great. But being a North Jersey guy, there is something about taking that slice and folding it, I have to go with the New York style pizza," Mangiro joked.

Mangiro is on a mission to do his part in leading the Nittany Lion offensive line to the best of his abilities.

He has the utmost trust of the men lining up around him because being the voice of the offensive line is the task Mangiro knows best.

And it's a task he is doing with confidence in 2015.

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VIDEO: Training Camp Update - August 12

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Training Camp Central 

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Nittany Lions practiced for the seventh time during training camp on Wednesday afternoon.

Following a full-padded practice session, head coach James Franklin and assistant head coach, co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Brent Pry talked with the media to provide an update on how the first week of the pre-season period has gone.

Generally speaking, Coach Franklin indicated that the team has made good progress since camp opened on Aug. 6. The Nittany Lions have been able to design practices a little differently than last year because of increased depth across all positions. That has allowed the team to compete with more physicality and hold more live periods. Franklin indicated that the team would hold its first situational scrimmage on Saturday.

For more from Franklin and Pry, take a look here.

James Franklin

Brent Pry

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Inside Training Camp: Quarterbacks

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Junior quarterback Christian Hackenberg enters the 2015 season as one of just eight Penn State quarterbacks to amass 5,000 career passing yards.

On the heels of a superb outing in the Pinstripe Bowl and a strong offseason, the two-time team captain is the leader of the Penn State offense for the third-straight season.

"He's on a mission to do well," said offensive coordinator John Donovan. "Ultimately, it's about this year. He's got the right frame of mind going in and trying to control the things we can control. If we do that, we will make the strides necessary."

Behind Hackenberg, sophomore Trace McSorley, redshirt freshman Billy Fessler and true freshman Tommy Stevens give the Nittany Lions depth under center. All four quarterbacks are guys who have taken steps forward since the end of spring ball. And with it being year two of the offensive scheme, all four quarterbacks see 2015 as a prime opportunity for the offense's growth.

Training camp continues with single practices each day this week. The Nittany Lions will finish off the summer academic season on Friday with exams.

Spend some time with the quarterbacks during the first training camp practice in full pads.

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Inside Training Camp: Defensive Line

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Behind the duo of Austin Johnson and Anthony Zettel, the Nittany Lion defensive line is shaping up to be one of the team's strengths in 2015.

Johnson and Zettel combined for 23.0 tackles for loss and 9.0 sacks in 2014. But while the duo in the middle of the line headlines the group, the defensive line's depth separates this unit from others.

"One of the reasons I think they will be improved this year is because guys like Parker Cothren and Tarow Barney have taken the next step, and we will probably play them more snaps, which can keep Austin and Zettel fresher," defensive coordinator Bob Shoop said.

Training camp continues with single practices each day this week. The Nittany Lions will reach the end of the acclimation period during the middle of this week, as well. That will enable the team to practice in full pads.

Spend some time with defensive line coach Sean Spencer and the unit he calls the "Wild Dogs".

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VIDEO: Training Camp Practice One

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Take an inside look at the first practice of training camp.

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Football Media Day LIVE Video Interviews

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11236414.jpegUNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - GoPSUsports.com hosted a 90-minute live video stream from Beaver Stadium during media day festivities. Media Day LIVE featured wall-to-wall interviews with players and coaches. If you missed the stream live, take a look through the interviews from the set on the field in Beaver Stadium.

James Franklin
Charles Huff
John Donovan
Bob Shoop

Christian Hackenberg
Angelo Mangiro
DaeSean Hamilton
Austin Johnson
Nyeem Wartman-White
Akeel Lynch
Jason Cabinda
Mike Gesicki
Marcus Allen
Brendan Mahon
Kyle Carter

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Training Camp: Lynch Relishing Opportunity as Leader

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11236364.jpegUNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Akeel Lynch has patiently waited for the opportunity that he has in front of him right now.

When training camp opened on Thursday, he wasn't standing in line behind two veteran running backs during individual drills. He wasn't listening to older players speak first in the meeting room.

The Toronto native was busy setting the tone for the peers around him.

He's the same well-spoken, enthusiastic guy that he has always been, but Lynch walked and talked with an air of confidence during the media day festivities his teammates and coaches haven't seen before.

With every opportunity comes added responsibility.

Lynch knows that.

And he's not only up for the task of being the guy to lead the Penn State running backs in 2015, he's embracing it with open arms.

"I have to prove myself each and every day throughout camp and during the season," Lynch said. "Being an older guy, I definitely have the advantage with experience over the young guys, so my role is to help these guys and pick them up. When you have iron with iron, that's when you get a lot of competition and bring the best out of yourself. I need to bring these guys up with me. Competing with me will bring the best out of all of us."

Lynch took the reins of the backfield during the latter stages of 2014. He finished the season playing the best ball of his career. Logging seven straight games with 12 or more carries, including back-to-back 130-yard plus outings in November, Lynch scored touchdowns in three of the final four games and tallied 75 yards on 17 carries in the Pinstripe Bowl.

"I can't wait to see him play this year. I cannot wait," said offensive coordinator John Donovan. "From the little that we're allowed to be around them right now, he seems very focused and locked in, very determined. He ended the year last year on a great note."

The 42nd Penn State player to eclipse 1,000 rushing yards, Lynch is the type of dynamic back head coach James Franklin likes to mentor.

"He's kind of the guys that I like to coach in terms of he may not have one specific special trait, but he's got a lot of really good traits," said Franklin. "He's not an undersized back, but I wouldn't say he's a huge back. He's got good speed. He's got the strength and power to break tackles. He's got the ability to make people miss and catch out of the backfield, which we'd like for him to have a bigger role in those things for this year, and he does all those things well, and guys that do a lot of things well, it usually continues to translate and grow."

His evolution as a player is a byproduct of the foundation he laid during his first three seasons. Lynch is an improved blocker and a better runner than he was when he walked on to campus because of the tireless work he has put in on and off the field. And thanks to an offensive line that returns four starters, Lynch is primed to start 2015 the way he finished 2014.

"He's done an awesome job not only leading the running back room, but leading the team," said special teams coordinator and running backs coach Charles Huff. "His daily preparation is what I always point out to the younger guys."

"He's probably been as consistent and as hard working as anybody in our program, and just done a great job," said Franklin. "He's been patient and kind of waited for his time, and he's prepared that when that time comes, he's going to be ready."

The opportunity has arrived, and Lynch is ready to run with it.

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