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Penn State Football: During A Slow Spring, Development Keeps Cabinda Excited

by on April 05, 2017 8:45 PM

Jason Cabinda has seen just about everything.

By the end of 2016 season the now rising senior almost certainly had. Blocked field goals, comeback wins, defensive stops and high-scoring games. Last second wins and last minute defeats. For the most part Cabinda was center stage for the biggest moments, missing the early third of the season with injury, and coming back just in time for an upset over Ohio State.

Good timing.

The problem right now? It's April, and it's hard to convince anyone that April brings the same level of intensity and excitement. Especially for certified old heads like Cabinda getting limited reps at practice as Penn State's coaching staff looks to keep them fresh.

So what is there to look forward to? Other players.

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"I think at this point of the year, especially with spring ball, you get to see a lot of young guys mature," Cabinda said after practice on Wednesday. "Especially guys who didn't really get it before, newer guys who are new to the system that start to mature and start to make plays, and you see them start to grow out of their high school selves and when you see that it's easy to get excited about guys because you know the amount of development they still have to go.

"You see these guys work so hard every day, to see it come to fruition on the field and see them make plays, it's exciting."

Does it make Penn State's most veteran linebacker feel old?

"No doubt about it," Cabinda said with a grin. "It hasn't even really hit me that this is my last spring ball."

For his own work Cabinda would be the first to say he has plenty left to do, but his improvements have largely been off the field. Fewer trips to Burger King, fewer trips to Panda Express. It's the little things.

"You get out of your body what you put into it," Cabinda said, a pang of regret in his voice.

So it's safe to say this spring isn't the most thrilling part of the season for guys like Cabinda, or perhaps anyone, but rest assured a few months of a Big Mac-free diet and restless legs will go a long way toward repeating the experiences of 2016 in 2017.



Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for StateCollege.com. He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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