What to Expect When Penn State Resumes Workouts

Mark Wogenrich

When Penn State resumes football workouts Monday, Jahan Dotson said his first move will be a quick set of appraisals.

"Everyone really claims they've been working out back at home, getting their work in, making sure they're ready," the receiver said. "The first day, I want to put that to the test and see where guys are really at and see if guys have been on top of their games."

Players weren't entirely sure what Monday's first round of voluntary workouts would look like, though several said they're ready for whatever is planned. What they know is that weight training will be conducted in Holuba Hall, the team's indoor facility, and running drills will be held outside.

Penn State is scheduled to resume workouts two days after the University of Houston suspended its voluntary sessions because six student-athletes tested positive for COVID-19. Penn State has said that players will be required to wear masks and distance during the workouts, which are limited to lifting and conditioning. Beyond that, players said they expect the process to be familiar yet new.

"They tell us they're going to try to keep it as normal as they possibly can, but honestly I have no idea," Dotson said. "I'm just ready for whatever comes at us and ready to take it on full swing,"

Under the NCAA Division I Football Committee's proposed summer schedule, teams can conduct voluntary workouts on-campus through July 12. Players are limited to eight hours per week.

Keaton Ellis, a sophomore cornerback, said that Penn State will lift three days a week and run twice a week. Groups will be small, and post-workout snacks will be provided to players instead of freely available at the Lasch Building nutrition bar.

Dotson is among the players staying in hotels during this period. Others are staying at their off-campus apartments. Dotson recently was able to catch passes from quarterback Sean Clifford at State College High School.

"It’s been pretty difficult honestly, just kind of being by yourself and not being able to do anything, not being able to do your normal everyday tasks," Dotson said. "But I know it's for the better, so I pretty much just have to follow the script and wait for whatever comes up."

Ellis said the whole team expects that sacrifices will be necessary during these voluntary workouts, which Penn State likely will have to shift and adjust. But Ellis is willing to do that in order to return.

"Getting back with my teammates is the biggest thing to start building that camaraderie for the season," Ellis said. "Working together, sacrificing together, sweating together and being together, because that's what it comes down to."

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