Penn State Nittany Lions: Jack Haffner
"Eyes here," Fisher told sophomore Steven Bench in a conversational tone, pointing to his his right. "Work through it, work through it."
Bench or Tyler Ferguson could wind up as the starting quarterback come Aug. 31, and Monday offered a glimpse of the two signal-callers. Media were invited to attend 20 minutes of open practice, and O'Brien began by calling together a competition: A defensive back would line up against a wideout or tight end in press coverage, while Bench and Ferguson would alternate snaps.
The first team -- offense or defense -- to win three battles would be declared the winner. The losers would be forced to perform five hit-its. It was more for honor than anything and only four passes were thrown while the quarterbacks tried to shake off the rust.
Bench began by just overthrowing Allen Robinson on a roughly 35-yard pass, and Ferguson then hit Jesse James in stride downfield on an over-the-shoulder grab. Bench followed that up by throwing behind his target on cross route, and Ferguson barely overthrew Matt Lehman for two straight incompletions.
The offense, along with Ferguson and Bench, then hit the turf for their hit-its while the defense cheered.
"They're both athletic, they both can throw the football," O'Brien said during a Monday news conference. "Now it's going to depend on how well they make decisions and how accurately they throw the ball.
"They sit in the front row, they pay attention, they take a lot of notes. It's a fun group to be around."
Penn State Nittany Lions, Football, Adam Breneman, Bill Belton, Brandon Bell, Allen Robinson, Mike Hull, Kyle Carter, Jesse James, Stephen Obeng-Agyapong, John Urschel, Steven Bench, Malik Golden, Wendy Laurent, Akeel Lynch, Donovan Smith, Garry Gilliam, Matt Lehman, Ben Kline, Angelo Mangiro, Gary Wooten, Adam Gress, Zayd Issah, Glenn Carson, Miles Dieffenbach, Nate Cadogan, Zach Zwinak, Ty Howle, Richy Anderson, Tyler Ferguson, Deron Thompson, Jack Haffner