Penn State Football: Week 5 Spring Practice Stock Report
This is it for Penn State football—the final week before the annual Blue and White game.
The Lions have been practicing all spring, and the roster has begun to slowly take shape.
Although there are still players waiting to don the navy blue and white this summer, such as Christian Hackenberg, other players have been getting a chance to make some noise.
Whether it’s through injuries or position openings, this final week of the spring has shed light on where coach Bill O’Brien’s team is heading.
So let’s check out whose stock has gone up and whose has dropped.
Stock Down: Stephen Obeng-Agyapong
The stock of safety Stephen Obeng-Agyapong is dropping because of things out of his control.
The soon-to-be senior has been battling a shoulder injury that has limited him throughout the spring.
Obeng-Agyapong’s injury has left an opening for younger players to get opportunities at practice, leaving the safety to watch on the sidelines.
This isn’t good for Obeng-Agyapong because unlike a top player like Adrian Amos, Obeng-Agyapong’s spot wasn’t set in stone going into this year.
If Obeng-Agyapong doesn’t fully heal for summer practice, he may lose his spot.
Stock Up: New Defensive Backs
Last season both Malik Golden and Trevor Williams were on the offensive side of the ball, lining up at receiver.
This spring they have been making the transition into the defensive backfield.
With the Lions being very deep at receiver, Golden and Williams were able to move into one of Penn State’s weakest positions.
Both Golden and Williams have been getting time at both safety and corner as the battle for the second corner position continues.
Golden and Williams are good athletes and can come in and make an impact next season on defense.
With weak linebacker depth, a nickel package seems like a viable option for the Penn State defense to turn to more often than not.
These guys both fit right into that mold.
Stock Up: Nyeem Wartman
It looks like redshirt freshman Nyeem Wartman will be starting at linebacker alongside Mike Hull and Glenn Carson.
This is big news for both Wartman and the Nittany Lions; it wasn’t clear whom Penn State would turn to to replace Michael Mauti and Gerald Hodges.
Wartman showed glimpses early last season before a knee injury sidelined him for most of the season.
A granted medical redshirt and an offseason injury to Ben Kline gave Wartman an opportunity that he grabbed quickly.
Wartman’s stock has been bursting through the roof recently.
Expect this kid to have a breakout 2013 season.
Stock Up: Sam Ficken
Poor Sam Ficken.
His early season struggles seemed to curse him until the end of the season.
Ficken did slowly improve throughout the year, but O’Brien had absolutely no confidence in his kicker (see Penn States number of fourth-down attempts).
This spring has helped Ficken forget about last year and seemingly turn a new page in his time at Penn State.
Ficken has worked throughout the offseason to get stronger and work on his mechanics, and it has seemed to catch the attention of O’Brien.
The kicker says his confidence is back, and that may mean Penn State fans will not suffer another year of holding their breath on every kick.