Penn State players head “focused” into first day of training camp
Although Penn State players can transfer throughout the season, they now lose their eligibility to immediately join new teams after participating at Nittany Lions’ first day preseason training camp on Monday.
"This is a very focused group," said Penn State coach Bill O'Brien, who admired his remaining player’s commitment and noted that the coaching staff had been assembled at 4:30 a.m for training camp. “I'm very confident that the guys out here today are committed …They (players) got up at 5:15 a.m. to practice."
The Penn State lost a senior wide receiver in Justin Brown, who parted with the team on Sunday, but the Penn State’s biggest loss on the offense has been running back Silas Redd who amassed 1,241 rushing yards last season, and will be now playing at USC.
“It definitely affects the depth a little bit,” said Bill O’Brien acknowledging the impact of Silas Redd’s absence.
Penn State’s backup quarterback Rob Bolden transferred to LSU, while kicker Anthony Fera will take a fresh start with the Texas Sooners.
"I respect those guys. They made individual decisions,” stated Bill O’Brien on the subject of the transferred Penn State players. "But I think we've got to start focusing, like I said all along, on the kids that are here.”
Penn State will play its season opener against Ohio on 1st September. Penn State’s battle with the NCAA’s sanctions wouldn’t be eth only highlight of the season. The Nittany Lions will be training under a new coach for the first time since Joe Paterno took the coaching reigns 45-years ago.
“I think we're really good where we started today,” stated Bill O’Brien regarding the progress made on at training camp. “We've just got to keep getting better every day.”
Silas Redd’s exit has been a great disappointment for Penn State but Bill O’Brien has a solution to that problem already lined up.
"You don't have to retool everything, the next man up, it's Billy Belton's time to shine," said Bill O’Brien maintaining that the team functions as a whole, not as one player.
"He came out here today ready to go and I expect him to do that every day,” said Bill O’Brien, encouraged by the sophomore running back ( and former wide receiver) Bill Belton’s performance at training camp. “He's a good football player, and he was gonna play this year.”
The Penn State hopes to put up a strong performance despite the sanctions after 109 Nittnay Lions players (inclusive of walk-ons) and a total 92 percent of roster since the penalties arrived for first day of training camp.