STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - Daryll Clark did some heavy lifting to win his first competition of the year, though it had nothing to do with the starting quarterback job at Penn State.
Not surprisingly, much of the talk before Clark and three of his Nittany Lion teammates won a charity strength and conditioning contest this past weekend was about football. Two of Happy Valley’s biggest summer questions are: What will the offense look like this fall? Who will coach Joe Paterno pick as starting quarterback?
Clark and his chief rival for the job, Pat Devlin, are preparing for anything with preseason drills starting in three weeks, having spent much of the offseason splitting time at QB during unofficial workouts with receivers.
“I feel like it’s important that they get timing from both of us, because I don’t know what’s going to happen,” said Clark, the top backup to Anthony Morelli the last two seasons. “It might be him, it might be me, it might be both of us, so it’s important that we get it both down.”
No one in a blue-and-white uniform is divulging much about what the offense might look like once the Nittany Lions take the field for the season opener Aug. 30 against Coastal Carolina. There has been talk about reverting to more of a spread-style attack, similar to the offense run successfully by athletic QB Michael Robinson in 2005.
The playbook on display at the spring game in April didn’t offer many clues, though a couple new plays have been added in the offseason, Devlin said.
“We don’t know anything,” said redshirt freshman running back Stephfon Green. “We have to go to training camp first.”
Getting timing down is key to any offense, but especially one in which a new quarterback will call the shots for a team that figures to be one of the top challengers to favorite Ohio State in the Big Ten.
At least Clark and Devlin have the luxury of playing with a veteran offensive line and a talented receiving trio in Derrick Williams, Deon Butler and Jordan Norwood.
Opportunity has motivated Clark to step up his offseason routine.
“When you see that light, it turns on, once you have the opportunity to run the offense, to do something that you’ve always wanted to do since you’ve been here, it just elevates you,” Clark said.
Other members of Clark’s winning team at the player-organized “Lift for Life” competition Friday were linebacker Josh Hull and tight ends Greg Miskinis and Mickey Shuler. They defeated 23 other four-player teams in the event that raised money for the Kidney Cancer Association.
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CFT: The University of Nevada is honoring longtime coach Chris Ault, who stepped down in the fall, by renaming the school's football field after him.
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