Spring Practice Primer: Penn State

Spring football is in the air, and with our Spring Practice Primers the Eye On College Football Blog gets you up to speed on what to look for on campuses around the country this spring. Today we look at Penn State.

Spring Practice Begins: Monday, March 26

Spring Game: Saturday, April 21

Returning Starters: Five on offense, five on defense, both specialists

Three Things To Watch For:

1. Bill O'Brien's debut. The fact that Joe Paterno is gone will sink in for a lot of people this week when Penn State opens its first spring practice without him on the sideline. Obviously, many eyes will be on Bill O'Brien to see how he handles things now that he's the man in charge of the Penn State football program. This will be O'Brien's first chance to see what he has to work with on the field, and it will be his players first chance to find out what kind of coach they'll be playing for.

2. The quarterbacks. It's no secret that Matt McGloin and Rob Bolden have had their struggles at Penn State, and now they'll be learning a new system under O'Brien. It will be interesting to see how quickly they can adapt, and if the system may or may not be a better fit for each of them. Of course, there's also a chance Paul Jones can finally live up to the promise that surrounded him when he first came to State College and wrestle the starting job away from both of them. Then there's the other wild card: Danny O'Brien. How do all three quarterbacks perform this spring knowing that the team has talked with O'Brien about transferring to Happy Valley?

3. Changes on defense. Big Ten defensive player of the year Devon Still is gone and the Nittany Lions will look to Jordan Hill and others to step up and replace him. Then there's a secondary that loses both of its starting safeties. New defensive coordinator Ted Roof will have plenty of work to do this spring finding replacements, and redeeming himself a bit for his performance at Auburn . The good news for Roof and the Penn State defense is that they're still going to have one of the best set of linebackers in the country.

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CBS Sports Writer

Tom Fornelli has been a college football writer at CBS Sports since 2010. During his time at CBS, Tom has proven time and again that he hates your favorite team and thinks your rival is a paragon of football... Full Bio

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