What Exactly Is Jay Paterno's Spread HD Offense at Penn State?

Sean GardyneContributor IAugust 28, 2008

The Penn State offense has been mired in mediocrity ever since Michael Robinson departed from State College for the NFL.  Anthony Morelli was left to fill those big shoes—and fill them he did not.

He was supposed to be the next Kerry Collins, the pocket passer with the big arm.  Unfortunately for the team—and obviously, for Morelli—he turned out to be much less than that.

Morelli spent two years as the starting QB for the Nittany Lions, where he struggled to really air the ball out, even with three very fast and talented wide receivers.  By the end of his tenure at Penn State, it was clear that he had been a disappointment.

In the offseason, Penn State offensive coaches knew they had to change the playcalling, so Jay Paterno, the quarterbacks coach, came up with the "Spread HD."

The HD in Spread HD stands for "Highly Diverse," meaning that the offense will use every tool it has in order to score.  This includes but is not limited to running the option with the new starting quarterback, senior Daryll Clark.  Clark has some nice speed and could be used as Michael Robinson was in 2005 when the Lions went to the Orange Bowl.

The spread HD will also include getting wide receivers Derrick Williams, Deon Butler, and Jordan Norwood out on reverses and end-arounds, WR passes, and anything that will utilize their speed.

Another key in this new offense is redshirt freshman Stephfon Green, who tore up the spring game by burning the defense for the long touchdown.  I have seen and heard reports that he has 4.25 speed.

With all this excitement, there is a lot expected here in Happy Valley this fall.  Head Coach Joe Paterno is optimistic about the new O, but even he will be realistic.  "It could stand for 'high definition' or 'highly diverse,' he said with a laugh.  "As long as it doesn't stand for 'huge dud.'"