"So yeah - that's an issue when it comes to sub package, and so far we're hanging in there. It can change very quickly, if one guy goes down, if two go down, you're really scrambling."
Redshirt freshman Corey Tindal has looked very good at times, good enough to be anointed the nickel back when the Herd plays a 4-2-5. Senior Thomas is one of three Penn State transfers on the Herd roster, so he has high expectations; Roberts had, by all accounts, a very good year in 2011. Baxter is a junior who is hardly a bust, yet is chasing his recruiting hype.
Then there is Lovett, the fifth-year senior who was tagged "Pacman" early in his first camp, as he reminded coaches and teammates of Pacman Jones. He is holding onto first-team reps, starting Tuesday afternoon opposite Roberts, with Tindal inside as the nickel.
In one seven-on-seven sequence, Lovett showed he's not giving up the first unit without a fight. Twice in a row he flat-out denied Shawn Kersey on red-zone passes from Cato.
Lovett said he started camp slowly, then picked up new techniques demanded by Heater. And he's feeling the confidence of knowing he probably won't have to play 80-plus snaps in a game. (Knock on wood.)
"It's all good. I look at it as all of us are starters," Lovett said. "Me, Keith, Swagg [Roberts], D.T., we're all starters. I'm running with the first team, but I see us as all starters.
"I feel really good about the corner position. We've got depth."
Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5140, dougsm...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/dougsmock.