Now or never No. 2: Andrew Szczerba

My apologies for missing yesterday. I was in Philly watching the Sixers sleep walk through a loss to Orlando. So today I’ll have two installment of my now or never players. First I will go with tight end Andrew Szczerba and then I’ll post another blog later tonight when I’m in the office.

Unlike most of the players I’ll talk about for this mini-project, Szczerba’s lack of productivity at Penn State has nothing to do with what he’s done or not done. A breakout player in the Blue-White game in 2008, Szczerba was blocked by Andrew Quarless and Mickey Shuler so it was understandable why he didn’t play much as a freshman or sophomore.

Back woes that started last spring derailed his junior season and at times many wondered if he’d ever see the field. There was reportedly some progress made with his back late last season and he saw limited action in practice, but not enough to do any contact work or ever be close to playing.

There hasn’t been much talk about him this spring since again he’s been held out of contact. He’s done some work, which is encouraging because he was mostly a spectator last spring, but I’m still not holding my breath on him playing this fall.

If he can somehow make it on the field it would be a huge boost for Penn State’s passing and running games. At 6-foot-6 and 265 pounds, Szczerba can be a punishing blocker and serve as a sixth offensive line. He’ll use his body to block out defenders and is simply too quick for linebackers and too big for safeties to cover. He has very good hands which he uses to snatch the ball before it gets to his body.

Can he get on the field this fall? It would be big for the Nittany Lions, but history isn’t on his or their side.

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