Penn State opened its Friday morning workout -- EARLY Friday morning workout -- to the media, and while there will be several football stories coming throughout the weekend, I wanted to post some quick notes while they're still fresh in my mind.
--QB Rob Bolden looks like he has put on some muscle since the season ended, especially around his shoulders and chest. Physically impressive. Fellow QB Paul Jones has, well, always been physically impressive.
--Both WR Curtis Drake and CB Derrick Thomas were in attendance. There had been some speculation about their statuses but their presence Friday seemed to indicate they'll both be around this spring.
--Michael Mauti did not participate in the full workout but did some light running and looked like he was moving well about five months after his ACL injury.
--DT Jordan Hill was impressive in the weight room (a 300-pound guy doing push-ups with 90 pounds of additional weight on his back? Seriously?) and moreso on the field. He absolutely dusted offensive lineman John Urschel in the final "tug" session of the morning (More on this later, but it was basically two guys pulling on the same plastic disc. Hill did most of the pulling).
--The Lasch Building weight room has been purged of most of its machines as Penn State moves away from the high-intensity training style of former strength coach John Thomas to the Olympic lifting favored by new coach Craig Fitzgerald and his young and intense staff. Not much but a few benches, squat racks and a few stacks of dumbbells. The weight room will undergo more transformations this offseason.
--Bill O'Brien seems to be committed to keeping his program open, at least in the early going. His rationale is that he wants the media (and by extension, the public) to see how hard his players are working. So far, it's had the desired effect.