STATE COLLEGE - Kevin Newsome's 42-yard completion to Graham Zug during Penn State's annual coaches clinic scrimmage Saturday at Beaver Stadium was the kind of play Penn State fans will be looking for, not just in the April 24 Blue-White scrimmage, but into next season as the Nittany Lions look to replace two-year starting quarterback Daryll Clark.
Newsome also peeled off a 25-yard scramble up the middle on a busted play a later series, but also missed on plenty of passes.
Coach Joe Paterno said during the first week of spring practice he is not hurrying to name a replacement from candidates Newsome, Matt McGloin, or even Paul Jones, the freshman who graduated Sto-Rox High School in December and enrolled in the spring. Robert Bolden, another 2010 recruit from Orchard Lake, Mich., may join the competition when he arrives on campus after graduating high school.
McGloin worked with the second team offense Saturday, while Jones worked with the third. Also seeing some reps was walk-on Shane McGregor. Neither players nor coaches were available for comment.
Clark's replacement may well line up under a new center, as 2009 starter Stefen Wisniewski lined up at right guard, where he started in 2008, next to center Doug Klopacz with the first-team offense. Klopacz, who tore his right ACL early in the 2008 season, was Wisniewski's top reserve in 2009. Other first-team offensive linemen were Lou Eliades and Quinn Barhnam at right and left tackle, and DeOn'tae Pannell at left guard in a unit Paterno expected to experiment with in the spring.
Two-time returning 1,000-yard tailback Evan Royster, whom Paterno expected to rest in the spring, did not participate. Stephfon Green and Joe Suhey lined up in the first-team backfield. First-team receivers were Brett Brackett, Derrick Moye, and Zug.
Chaz Powell, the Lions' fourth-leading receiver from last year, is practicing with the second-team defense at corner across from Derrick Thomas.
First-team corners Saturday were D'Anton Lynn and Stephon Morris and safeties were Nick Sukay and Andrew Dailey. Drew Astorino, last year's strong safety ahead of Dailey, is recovering from shoulder surgery.
Others on the first-team defense were Bani Gbadyu at middle linebacker with Nate Stupar and Chris Colasanti outside, plus defensive ends Jack Crawford and Eric Lattimore and tackles Ollie Ogbu and Devon Still. The defense lost six starters, including all three linebackers, from last year's Capital One Bowl-winning 11-2 team. Sophomore linebacker Michael Mauti, who missed 2009 with a torn ACL after playing as a freshman in 2008, is being held from contact this spring.
McGloin also had one notable play Saturday, a 45-yard completion to receiver Shawney Kersey, though the sideline throw was a little long and required a diving catch. McGloin also threw an interception to Williamsport High School graduate Jacob Fagnano early in the scrimmage.
Fagnano, a safety, and outside linebacker Jamie Van Fleet, from Loyalsock, practiced with the second-team defense. Others on the second-team defense were Stephen Obeng-Agyapong at safety, Gerald Hodges at outside and Michael Yancich at inside linebacker, and defensive ends Kevion Latham and Sean Stanley and tackles Jordan Hill and James Terry.
McGloin's second-team offense was Curtis Dukes at tailback, Brandon Felder-Moseby, Kersey, and Curtis Drake at receiver, Garry Gilliam at tight end, Matt Stankiewitch at center, with John Urschel and Johnnie Troutman at right and left guard and Chima Okoli and Mike Farrell at right and left tackle.
Notable on the third team besides Jones in the 90-minute practice were freshman tailback Silas Redd, who also graduated high school early, and defensive tackle Brandon Ware. Redd broke off a couple runs and scored on an option pitchout from Newsome. Ware, who Paterno wants to lose more weight, is down to 341 pounds on the roster.