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Penn State Football: Early Enrollees Bring Size As Spring Practice Slowly Closes In

by on January 20, 2015 2:15 PM

Penn State football's 2014 season hasn't been done for long but it's already time to start thinking about spring practice and the newest Nittany Lions to call State College home.

With that in mind the program recently released the heights and weights of the five early enrollee freshman who will get a head start in the weight room and on campus.

It's always interesting to see how a player's size and shape changes throughout his career. Being the big man on a high school campus is suddenly years behind the athletes years deep into a college program.

These five players might be bigger or smaller by the time they leave Penn State but they will undoubtedly be stronger, faster and in better shape than when they got to town.

Quarterback Tommy Stevens: 6-foot-4, 187 pounds.

  • With Michael O'Connor and DJ Crook out of town, Stevens helps add depth to the quarterback position behind Christian Hackenberg and Trace McSorley. At 187 Stevens is nearly 50 points lighter than Hackenberg at the same height. Time will tell how big Franklin wants Stevens to get but it's hard to imagine him playing too far under 200 pounds.

OT Paris Palmer: 6-foot-8, 288 pounds

  • As a JUCO transfer, Palmer brings a college-ready body to an offensive line looking for all the depth and talent it can get. Palmer would be one of the lighter offensive linemen on the team as he stands today. But he's close enough to his 300 pound teammates to catch up with a strong spring and summer. For comparison, NFL bound Donovan Smith leaves at around 335 pounds even though he's three inches shorter.

OT Sterling Jenkins: 6-foot-8, 307 pounds

  • Jenkins' reputation has always been based on his massive size and for a freshman coming to town at 6-8 and 307 pounds doesn't leave much room for physical improvement in terms of pure mass. That being said, Jenkins will probably get stronger by the end of the spring and summer and maybe even lose a few pounds if they want him to pick up his speed. The biggest question mark for Jenkins is not his size but how he plays. He's a large human and it remains to be seen how large of a project he is on the field.

PK Tyler Davis: 5-foot-10, 186

  • It's not as though kickers have to be the biggest and strongest players on the team but Sam Ficken's physique was impressive even if he was "only" a kicker. Davis will have big shoes to fill but isn't believed to be the most likely option to replace Ficken, at least not right off the bat.

DE Colin Castagna: 6-foot-4, 236 pounds

  • About 20 pounds off of what Deion Barnes was at the start of last season Castagna is in the range of picking up some muscle and bulk between now and the end of the season. The good news for him is the abundance of talent ahead of him on the roster. There is no real pressure for Castagna to be game ready overnight but that doesn't mean he'll get to take it easy in the weight room.

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