Penn State quarterbacks coach Jay Paterno did not divulge any hints as to which quarterback will start for the Nittany Lions when they open their season against Indiana State on Sept. 3 at Beaver Stadium. He, as well as assistant coaches Mike McQueary (wide receivers), Larry Johnson (defensive line) and Ron Vanderlinden (linebackers) took calls and answered questions from host Steve Jones on the "Penn State Football Show presented by Safeco Insurance,” which airs Thursday evenings throughout the season.
Penn State completed practice No. 23 on Thursday and Jay said he likes the leadership he has seen from both redshirt junior Matt McGloin and sophomore Rob Bolden, who are competing for the starting quarterback job.
“I’m encouraged,” Jay said. “We can play with either one of them.”
Here are some other brief notes from Thursday night’s radio show:
-Johnson said senior defensive ends Jack Crawford and Eric Latimore, who began 2010 as starters before suffering injuries, will be a factor in his rotation if they stay healthy. Johnson said Crawford is almost back to full speed after his foot injury. LJ also said redshirt freshmen defensive ends C.J. Olaniyan and Kyle Baublitz have had good preseasons and have a chance to make his rotation.
-Both Johnson and Vanderlinden said they are focused on Indiana State but Johnson admitted “a little bit of Alabama.”
-McQueary said redshirt sophomore wide receiver Shawney Kersey has had a nice preseason. "Shawney’s going to see the field this year," he said. "Again, a guy who came to us as a great prospect and has really worked hard and grasped it."
-Vanderlinden said the coaches have tinkered with a few different linebacker sets. He said if nothing changes before the first game, they will play six linebackers and he doesn’t think there will be much of a difference between any of them.
-Vanderlinden said he has been encouraged with sophomore Glenn Carson, who has been taking first-team snaps at middle linebacker. “Glenn Carson demonstrated a year ago he’s got great instincts to the football," he said. "He’s tough as nails. He disengages from blockers. He’s that old school tackle-to-tackle linebacker."
-Johnson on redshirt junior defensive tackle James Terry: “I told James the other day that if we had to pick an award for the most improved player, he’s it. James Terry has come out of nowhere. He’s really focused and really done a great job. He’s gone from a guy I might put in the game to a guy who’s going to play a lot of football for us in the fall.”
-Vanderlinden on senior linebacker Nate Stupar: “Nate’s performance overall is probably the best its been since he’s been here.”
Penn State coach Joe Paterno is expected to be on the show next Thursday to preview Indiana State.