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April 12, 2014

DEFENSIVE PLAYER QUOTES
#35 Matthew Baney
Jr./Jr., Linebacker

Q: How does it feel playing for Penn State?
A: It has always been my dream to play for Penn State. I did play for Saint Francis and I realize that wasn't my dream. I am just having a blast playing for Penn State.

Q: What made you realize it during that year at Saint Francis?
A: There was nothing really specific. I knew I just wanted to come back, take a chance, and live out my dream.

Q: What was the process transitioning from Saint Francis to Penn State? Did you know anyone from the staff just being from State College?
A: I got in touch with the old linebackers coach, coach (Ron) Vanderlinden. I called him up asked if there was a spot and he told me to try-out for a position and just work hard. I knew the old linebackers coach just from football camps and he is a friend of State High.

#43 Mike Hull
Sr./Sr., Linebacker

Q: Where did Matthew Baney come from? And just talk about his spring.
A: He has had a really good spring actually. He has worked pretty hard, and Nyeem [Wartman] went down earlier in the spring with a minor injury. So it kind of opened up a door for him, and he has been going with the ones all spring, and he has really come along and impressed.

Q: Do you think Baney can help your depth in the fall?
A: Oh yeah, definitely. If he needs to play he can definitely stop the run, and be out there, and he got his hands on a couple of balls today and had that pick six.

Q: Talk a little bit about coming into Coach Franklin this spring. Was it an easy transition to make?
A: It was a fairly easy transition to make. They were really big on building relationships and breaking down those walls. Some people were resistant to that just because of the contrast in styles of coaches, but over the last couple of weeks, like I mentioned before, we really bought into the program and kind of realized what he is doing is working, and I think we are going to be really successful in the fall.

 

 

Q: How about those depth guys and what you have seen from them this spring as far as moving forward?
A: Von Walker, he brings it every single day, does a really good job out there. Matt Baney is the same way, a really hard worker, and I think the way that they set up the defense it really allows people to make plays and flourish no matter what the situation is. We are always bringing pressure from different angles, so it never really lets to quarterback or offense get settled in.

#86 C.J Olaniyan
Sr./Sr., Defensive End

Q: Coach Franklin mentioned that the defensive side is stronger than the offensive side, how much thought do you put into that when you are playing against your offensive side?
A: The defensive team takes a lot of pride, so whenever we go out there we try to dominate. But whenever we play them we push them and each time they get better.

Q: How important is it to be comfortable with knowing who is on your left and right?
A: It is very important. Our communication is great because we have known each other from previous years, so we understand how to read each other's body language and respond to the game.

Q: The situation that the offense is going through right now, how tough is that for you? Obviously you're not on it, but you play against them in practice?
A: I can't really say, all I can say is that it sucks not to have enough numbers, but our guys are stepping up. In the future I just hope I guys are all healthy.

#98 Anthony Zettel
Defensive Tackle

Q: You turned into a tackle this year, was that something you saw on the depth chart that you needed to do or was it something that you felt you naturally would grow into?
A: When I was first got to Penn State, they recruited me as a defensive end. They knew in the future I would be a defensive tackle. It was just how my body is, so I knew that and gained some extra weight. It helped to solidify that transition. I want to put another seven to eight more pounds of muscle on over the summer.

Q: Coach Franklin had a lot of praise for the defensive line, how much stock do you put into a good performance in a spring game when you're going against back-ups essentially?
A: It's really hard to actually judge the performance. We play against these guys every day, so you can't really see what will happen until you face other teams. But, everyday you go out there and try new moves, try different stuff, but keep your basic fundamentals to get better.

Q: Coach Franklin also mentioned that the game really starts up front, how much of a pride to you guys take in setting up the play for the rest of the defense up front?
A: We take a lot of pride in what we do up there. We have to stop the run if we don't get a good run push and pass rush; it basically impacts the rest of the defense. Setting the run, stopping the run and getting a good pass rush, is what we pride ourselves on and what we come out to do every day.

OFFENSIVE PLAYER QUOTES
#33 Cole Chiappialle
So./So., Running Back

Q: Can you talk about the long touchdown run that you had, what you saw? How cool was it?
A: It was a stretch play, and I cut it back, and a guy just hit me on my right shoulder and I really just kept going and spun out and just took off. That was really it.

Q: Any special thoughts when you made it to the end zone both times?
A: I just screamed honestly. I just wanted to break one, and I got one, but I just screamed right there. It was a lot, a lot emotionally.

Q: What has this spring meant to you as a football player?
A: As a football player it is just another chance to put on the pads. I love football. That is why I am here. If I did not, I would not be here. It was just a big opportunity with a new staff to show then that I can play, and that is what I did. I just came here every day, worked hard, did the little things right, and just let everything else just fall into place.

Q: Do you feel like Coach Franklin gives you a fair shake?
A: Yeah, I do feel that everyone gets a fair chance to show what they have got. Some guys will get more, and some guys will not, but that is just how it is, and you just have to take advantage of the reps you get, and that is what I really wanted to do.

#53 Derek Dowrey
Jr./So., Guard

Q: Do you think you guys got what you wanted to out of this spring as a unit, as a whole? I know you guys have been dealing with some depth issues. You know yourself switching over to offensive line, kind of one of those things that made that a necessity.
A: I think this spring was great. For a few of us, I mean me and Bryan [Gaia] had just come over from the defense. We are learning offense, this offense specifically. I think we did a lot. I think some guys stepped up, and we have created more depth where there was not before because guys have gotten better and have played better.

Q: At what point do you start to catch on a little bit more with the offensive line, and what is your experience playing that in the past, whether it be in high school or even maybe peewee football, middle school ball?
A: I feel like you can never get enough reps. We have got 15 practices under our belt right now, but the more we get the better we are going to be. In the fall we are going to pick it back up, and the more reps we can get with this offensive line the better we are going to be I feel.

Q: Was there much of an adjustment or transition for you?
A: Yeah. They are similar positions: body types, the same area of the field. But other than that the positions are very different. Even down to the stances, your steps. Everything is different. So it was a bit of a transition, but I think Coach Hand helped me out a lot and making that a smooth transition.

#5 DaeSean Hamilton
So./Fr., Wide Receiver

Q: What do you think is the biggest challenge facing you guys for your first game in Ireland?
A: I would say the biggest thing is going to be time management. I'm sure we'll want to go see the sights and we will have to deal with the time change. That will be difficult, but hopefully we don't have a lot of jet lag and we'll be ready to play.

Q: How do you feel about all the time management that goes into playing a college sport?
A: Time management is really important. Sometimes we get a few hours of free time, other days we're busy from when we wake up to when we get to go to sleep. Managing time all depends on what is going through your head. There always assignments we have to do, we need to look at the playbook and things like that. But once we have everything figured out, it will be like a daily routine for us with no stress.

Q: How far ahead do you think you are now to move into this season with being redshirted?
A: The redshirt year definitely helped me. I gained weight and I've been able to become a smarter wide receiver. I have always been able to help the younger wide receivers that were coming in. I think it was a blessing in disguise, being out last year. I worked on my speed, got stronger, got faster and things like that. Now, being able to come in and pick up the offense right away and working with [wide receivers coach Josh] Gattis, things should be really great for us this season.

#14 Christian Hackenberg
So./So., Quarterback

Q: What did you have to work on to make the adjustment to the new staff?
A: I just really tried to indulge myself in the offense and understand all the aspects of it. It's a new one, and I was really excited about the new opportunity for myself. It's also about team and how much we can do together. It is a bit different, but a lot of things translate to us, somethings are similar but others are different. I personally enjoy it. I think it's a good offense for what we have, and we're going to get the ball to the playmakers.

Q: How do you look at your role in the offensive line and their depth issues?
A: I'm just going to work with them in the film room and show that I have a lot of confidence in them. They are a bunch of great, hardworking guys and I know they are going to get the job done for us. This experience helped them out, and that's going to help us out as a team.

Q: Can you talk a little about getting into a new comfort zone with the offense and what that is like, and where you stand with it now?
A: It's definitely new, but I think unlike last year, I got through spring and that's good for this team and the offense to move forward. This summer is going to be big for us in terms of us getting stuff done as a team and having our team leaders step up. I'm already preparing for summer camp.

#15 Geno Lewis
Wide Receiver

Q: How did you feel about the atmosphere today?
A: It was good. Over 70,000, it was a great turn out. The last four or five years, it's always been raining or everything above. It was just really nice for it to be a nice day for us and it turned out really well.

Q: How close did you come to grabbing that deep ball?
A: When I was running, I was trying to see where the ball was to judge it. Then I realized at the last second that it was a little too far. But that's the play that I have to make. [Christian] Hackenberg and I talked about it and it's better making that mistake now than in a game.

Q: How is your timing coming with [Christian] Hackenberg?
A: It's going really well. We work on routes in the air and timing up, but also the depth of the route. We just really want to be on the same page for the season because we want to have a comfortable relationship. We throw and catch the ball and hang out. We just want to have the best relationship as possible. He is basically the main leader on the team, so the more comfortable you make a quarterback, the better things will be.

#22 Akeel Lynch
Jr./So., Running Back

Q: Seeing a guy like Cole (Chiappialle) do what he did, how important is it for him to play in the spring game?
A: I think it is very important especially for the entire team for everyone to get the chance to play and show off their talents, because they maybe will be needed during the season

Q: Cole (Chiappialle) was in a lot of direct snaps, is this something you see now and will we be able to see it during the season.
A: We've done this before, but you will be able to see it more during the season. Bill Belton, Zack Zwinak, and I are excited for it.

Q: Last year you were in a similar position to Cole Chiappialle in the spring game, what does he need to do to stay in the running back rotation for the upcoming season?
A: I think he just needs to continue doing what he is doing. He works hard every day. He is like Danny Woodhead, a great running back in the NFL. I know he will do great when his time comes.

SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER QUOTES
#97 Sam Ficken
Sr./Sr., Placekicker

Q: What's the biggest difference from this year and last year and how were things over the spring?
A: The timing and attention to detail, we're doing it how the old coaching staff would do it. We do special teams period and walk-throughs, and usually that wasn't live. Then we go to a period in practice and that was generally it. Now, we have three or four throughout the entire practice. They might do a fast field goal at anytime; you just have to be ready. The competition thing at the end of practice is the biggest difference.

Q: That extra point looked like a bad snap, was there something off about it?
A: Yeah, the snap was a little low. I tried to slow down as much as I could, but the ball wasn't quite upright when I kicked it. At that point, I just tried to get under it and get it over the line, and hoped it would go it. Either way, it's a kick, I have to make. I take responsibility for that, but the snap was a little off.

Q: Have you been thinking about the first game in Ireland?
A: It's our first game, and coach [James] Franklin always says to focus on the next game. Since it's so far ahead, we haven't really touched on it much as I'm sure we will later in camp. For the spring, it's all about attention to detail and learning the coaches systems. That has been our focus so far for spring.

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