- Josh Moyer, ESPN Staff Writer
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STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Adrian Amos was known as a shy, do-everything DB last season. He was a man of many highlights and few words -- but Wednesday afternoon was a little different.
The junior stood tall, carried a smirk and had a lot to say: He's looking forward to playing more nickel, the secondary looks a lot better, man coverage has greatly improved, Trevor Williams is making a nice switch to defense, etc. But, despite the roll Amos was on, PSU's versatile DB had to stop and stare at the ground a few moments when asked about himself.
What position don't you play in the secondary?
Amos hesitated slightly, seemingly going over the positions in his mind. "There's -- there's not one," he said.
What position are you best at?
"Psssh ... I don't know," he added. "People say my natural position is safety, but then people say I'm better at corner. But I feel comfortable playing all over."
That's good news for Penn State, because the staff isn't finished trying him out elsewhere. The 6-foot All-Big Ten honorable mention has not only practiced at both safety spots, focused on the boundary corner, played some field corner -- but he discovered just this week he's also the team's nickelback.
He didn't say whether he previously expected to be practicing at nickelback -- and he's not sure if he'll remain there -- but Amos said he's just fine with adding yet another specialty to his repertoire. He seems to relish being PSU's "slash" player, after all.
"I'd rather be asked these questions than just being asked,' Are you going to start at cornerback?' or something like that," he added.
These positions aren't really that foreign to the player whom most have predicted a breakout season for. Last year, the starting cornerback slid over to safety during the "Roadrunner" package on passing downs, which also saw Mike Hull replace Glenn Carson at middle linebacker.
Amos can seemingly compete anywhere that doesn't require he stick his hand in the dirt. Bill O'Brien even intimated last August that linebacker isn't entirely out of the question.
“You can expect Amos to be in any position on defense, except for the defensive line,” he said, pausing for a moment, to let it sink in. “Yep, you got it.”
That's not say fans should expect to see him trotting out on the field to replace Hull or Carson anytime soon. But it's clear Amos is Penn State's most versatile player right now, a valuable asset during sanctions that have gnawed away at the Nittany Lions' depth.
He led all defensive backs with two interceptions last season. And with the departure of Stephon Morris, who's hoping to hear his name called during the NFL draft, Amos is now the most experienced cornerback. A lot's expected from the product out of Towson (Md.) Calvert Hall, but his teammates didn't seem too worried about his progress.
Safety Stephen Obeng-Agyapong praised the athlete Wednesday and said Amos might not just stop at defense this year either. He's also practicing at punt returner and could open the season with the ball in his hands at some point. For those keeping track, that means Amos is up to five slashes -- FS/SS/RCB/LCB/NB/PR. So, what can't Amos do?
"Adrian's a very versatile player," Obeng-Agyapong added matter-of-factly.
1dJosh Moyer and Tom VanHaaren