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Penn State Football: Practice Notebook For Saturday April 5

by on April 05, 2014 3:30 PM

Penn State football is racing closer and closer to the Blue White game and Saturday's practice didn't lack for energy as the Nittany Lions took the fields inside Holuba Hall for the 11th practice of the spring session.

With the final scrimmage of the summer only a week away, Penn State is gearing up for its first appearance in public under head coach James Franklin.

There was plenty of action taking place Saturday, but here are a few notes coming out of Saturday's session.

This Is How We Do It: Over 300 high school coaches were in attendance on Saturday for the final stages of the weekend's coaching clinic held this weekend. Penn State has rarely had a practice this spring without plenty of onlookers and Saturday was no exception. Franklin said following practice that he hopes that the clinic will grow in attendance over the years although this year's mark was plenty impressive and equal to recent years' totals. A few dozen recruits were also in attendance on Saturday making Holuba Hall plenty crowded.

Two-Deep: Penn State's offensive line has been a topic of conversation almost everyday for those around the program as the Nittany Lions are looking for players to step up at almost every position. If things stand as they were on Saturday, Penn State's two-deep roster should run 76,53,55,72,70 on the starting line, 71,74,78,67,77 waiting in the wings.

By name that's Donovan Smith, Derek Dowrey, Wendy Laurent, Brian Gala, and Brendan Mahon starting from left to right on the line and Albert Hall, Evan Galimberti, Tom Devenney, Andrew Terlingo, and Chasz Wright behind them.

Missing In Action: Miles Dieffenbach's injury has left the offensive line without one of its veterans but Andrew Nelson and Angelo Mangiro have also been missing on the offensive line over the past few weekends as well. Why those two have been absent from practice is unknown at this point as Franklin is silent on any injury updates.

Enjoying The Moment: Athletic director Dave Joyner made an appearance at practice on Saturday taking in the sights and sounds. With a new university president slated to join Penn State in the coming months, it stands to reason Joyner's tenure is also in its final weeks and months. 

Catching The Passes: With Allen Robinson out of the picture Penn State will have to find new faces to carry the load or rather catch it in 2014. Matt Zanellato, Geno Lewis, and Richy Anderson spent a good amount of time working in the same unit during pass and catch drills with Hackenberg. The receiver position is a fluid one, but that combination of players combines speed and height nicely across the board.

Juggs: Penn State has used the Juggs machine to punt the ball indoors instead of a punter. The reasoning? The ceilning inside Holuba Hall is a little too low for normal punts to fly without hitting something. The remedy has been to figure out the perfect angle and speed and use the Juggs machine instead.

Once the weather is nice enough to move outside, Chris Gulla will get his chance to shine at punter. Penn State did spend that final stages of practice outside to do just that.

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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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