Advanced Skill Camp Notebook

Zeccheus Roberson

Quick hitters from Penn State's first instructional camp of the summer. What went down as hundreds of young players competed on campus?

Penn State held its first Advanced Skill Camp of the summer Saturday. The weather was hot and so was the action on the field.

More than 300 prospects showed up to camp and show their stuff to the Bill O'Brien and the Nittany Lion coaching staff. Read on for news and notes from the day.


• St. Peter's Prep (Jersey City, N.J.) Class of 2015 cornerback Minkah Fitzpatrick received an offer upon leaving University Park with his family. The junior was easily the best prospect to camp, often showing his range and footwork during both the position and individual drills. During 7v7 work, he was rarely targeted, as the quarterback stable chose to throw elsewhere. The offer is his ninth, and trips to South Carolina, Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and Michigan dot the rest of his summer itinerary.


• A name to keep an eye on from a run-on standpoint is 2014 wide-receiver Zeccheus Roberson of East Stroudsburg (Pa.) South High. The senior-to-be is a bit under the radar due to his school location and the fact that he played in a ground-oriented offense last season. But he showed plenty of speed and a soft pair of hands while routinely burning defenders during one-on-one work.


• A tight ends to watch as a potential run-on is Ligonier Valley (Pa.) junior Alec Bloom. He goes 6-foot-7, 230 pounds and passed the look test Saturday. Bloom showed strong route running and awareness, and said he is hearing mostly from Patriot League programs at this point, citing a strong academic institution as a desire for his college home. He called Penn State "a dream" school. He does not hold an major-college offers.


• A prospect who drew a lot of individual attention Saturday was Class of 2014 athlete Jason Cabinda. Standing 6-1, 215, Cabinda worked much with Lions linebacker coach Ron Vanderlinden, though he noted he can also play running back, as well. He's an interesting prospect to receive so much individual attention, with State filled up at both of his positions. But the senior-to-be clearly possessed something that Vanderlinden desired, and it will be interesting to watch where his recruitment goes from here.


• Class of 2015 linebacker Wyatt Cook did not leave University Park with an offer Saturday. But he certainly drew the attention of the coaches that will decide whether or not he one day gets one. A McDonogh School (Owings Mills, Md.) 6-2, 230-pound middle linebacker, Cook chatted briefly with O'Brien while working out. He's a name to keep an eye on in the future, especially if he makes it back to campus for a PSU game next fall.


• Two Class of 2015 prospects that caught plenty of eyes were the St. Edward High (Lakewood, Ohio) twin duo of Andrew and David Dowell. Neither has picked up a Division I offer yet, but both are on the brink of doing so, and will camp Sunday at the NFTC in Columbus. David worked at both cornerback and wide receiver Saturday. Though he looked more polished in the secondary, it's my understanding that the 6-1, 175-pound athlete would prefer to play receiver in college. Andrew, meanwhile, showed good hands and a tough-running mentality while working out with the running backs.

• On a non-personnel note, the temperatures were brutal for much of the day, so each session ran about 15 to 20 minutes before head trainer Tim Bream sounded the horn for a water break. Only a few injuries resulted during the day, and hydration didn't seem to be a problem for any of the campers.


• Bill O'Brien was laid back (relatively speaking) Saturday, sporting sun-burned calves from Friday's Coaches vs. Cancer golf outing. Speaking of which, O'Brien casually practiced his golf swing between teaching and watching — not to mention ribbing defensive coordinator John Butler for his over-sized shirt.

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