August 12, 2007

Sales, Bowman, battle for OLB spot

In a defense that boasts only a few uncertainties heading into the season, the question of who will start at outside linebacker opposite junior Sean Lee remains a hot topic.

After the first week of practice, redshirt junior Tyrell Sales is sitting solidly atop the depth chart at the position, with redshirt freshman Navorro Bowman trying to close the gap. As the battle between the two wages on, the talent level at "Linebacker U" has become increasingly apparent.

"You can never have too many good players, and we're deep." said Sales. "I would probably say that we're one of the deepest linebacking groups in the country. Nobody is ever going to complain about having too much talent, it's just a matter of getting the right guys on the field in certain situations, and our coaches will do a great job of getting the right guys out there."

The 6-foot-2, 237-pound Sales claims the experience advantage over Bowman, who enrolled early in 2006, but never saw the field as a true freshman because of shoulder problems. Sales started four games for the Nittany Lions as a redshirt freshman in 2005, and recorded 11 tackles in the Blue-White Game this past April. Observers noted that he was one of the top performers on the team during the first week of practice - at any position.

He was quick to point out that experience that he brings to the table will help out the entire linebacking corps.

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