There's a new coach (Scott Shafer), a new quarterback (Terrel Hunt, Charley Loeb or John Kinder) and a new conference (ACC), which made this SU football spring season the most intriguing it's been in years, all of which was on display at the annual spring game on Saturday afternoon.
They treated it like a normal game, but this squad is just getting used to "normal", as a new head coach, offensive and defensive coordinators are at the helm, not to mention a quarterback battle to replace now top NFL prospect Ryan Nassib.
The question about the quarterback competition featuring two seniors, Charley Loeb and John Kinder, and a junior in Terrel Hunt, was answered to an extent, as Hunt took the snaps with the first unit, while Loeb and Kinder rotated with the second. Hunt looked the best of the three, throwing an early deep ball to receiver Jarrod West for a touchdown. The two connected multiple times on the day.
"It was fun out there," Hunt says. "We finally got to finish camp, and we got to show people our talent and what we have for this year."
Offensive coordinator George McDonald said he was happy with the way the quarterbacks played, and that the offense put some points on the board as the "Orange" team won 27-10.
"I was really pleased with the way everyone performed, and they're always going hard and the competition is always going," McDonald says. "Once we get back into fall camp they'll have time to compete again, so I think they're going into summer workouts in the right direction."
Coach Shafer agreed with McDonald, and said he was happy with the support from the SU fans as well. Just like the players, Shafer took time after the game to take pictures and sign autographs for the fans. While the quarterbacks have been the hot topic all spring long, the running backs caught the eyes of not only those fans, but Shafer as well.
"I thought there was some good effort out there," Shafer says. "I'm excited about these running backs, and just fired up."
Those running backs, Devante McFarlane, George Morris, Jerome Smith and Adonis Ameen-Moore, all contributed on Saturday, but the depth at the position does not end there, as Prince Tyson-Gulley and Ashton Broyld (who sat out with injuries), should also make an impact on the field in the fall.
Now that the learning has taken place, the coaches will not only be preparing for the fall, but will be on the road recruiting, while the players will be preparing themselves for Penn State on August 31st. The team will look slightly different in the fall, as more freshman will arrive hungry for playing time...as well as Oklahoma transfer quarterback Drew Allen, who will make the quarterback situation much more interesting.