PSU Preseason: Redshirt WR shows nice upside
Penn State receiver Derek Moye hauls down a pass in practice Friday. Moye missed last season with a broken collarbone.
Share with others:
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- After an injury-plagued start, Derek Moye's career at Penn State appears to be on the mend.
The redshirt freshman wide receiver from Rochester High School, who missed last season with a broken collarbone and was slowed in spring drills by a hamstring injury, has been impressive in preseason drills.
Moye, 6 feet 5 and 202 pounds, is running with the second unit in the Nittany Lions' three-receiver set, joined by Graham Zug and Brett Brackett.
"He's done well so far," offensive coordinator Galen Hall said. "He's had an excellent fall camp. Hopefully, he can stay healthy and we can expect him to have playing time. He's tall, has good speed and has made plays.
"We're very, very happy with Derek. We think it's all upside for him."
Moye not only has good hands, but he also is one of the team's fastest players.
"I feel like I'm doing pretty good," he said. "I feel like I've just got to stay consistent in practice and make all the plays, not just some of them."
Moye was a star running back/receiver at Rochester and a three-time all-state selection. He scored 77 touchdowns during his final three seasons, including 39 rushing and 26 as a receiver.
As a senior, he captured the 200- and 400-meter dashes at the PIAA Class AA track championships.
Moye, whose cousin, Rocky Washington, was a starting wide receiver for the Lions in the early 1980s, was injured in practice last year during a one-on-one drill while running a streak pattern against former cornerback Justin King.
"I dove out for the ball and I landed on it wrong," Moye said. "I was pretty frustrated and upset about the injury at first, but overall, I think it helped me grow as a player."
Moye, who has gained 17 pounds since arriving at Penn State, admits the transition from high school to college has been tougher than he imagined.
"Moving from playing everywhere in high school to playing strictly receiver here has been hard," he said. "I was primarily a running back in high school. It was really difficult running my routes at first, but I am getting more comfortable each day."
Moye's big-play potential has been evident to quarterback Pat Devlin.
"He's been playing real well," Devlin said. "He's such a big target. He's easy to throw the ball to. You throw it and he'll go get it."
Moye isn't counting on real big numbers this season. Three senior receivers -- Derrick Williams, Jordan Norwood and Deon Butler -- figure to pull in most of the passes. The trio has combined for 366 receptions for 4,597 yards and 27 touchdowns the past three years.
"I'm planning on playing this year and having some kind of impact," Moye said. "I think I'll get a chance to show what I can do. But, we've got Deon, Derrick and Jordan in there and they are going to be having the biggest impact. I'm just going to try to learn as much as I can from them."
NOTES -- Penn State coach Joe Paterno is high on sophomore Stefen Wisniewski, the team's starting right guard from Central Catholic. Wisniewski's dad, Leo, played at Fox Chapel, was a co-captain at Penn State in 1981 and spent three years in the NFL as a nose tackle with the Colts. His uncle, Steve, was a two-time All-American guard and eight-time Pro Bowler who played 13 seasons with the Raiders. "[Stefen's] got a little bit of his old man in there, but he's young," Paterno said. "He works awfully hard and he's smart as a whip. He's one of the better students we have in the whole university." ... Two true freshmen outside linebackers -- Mike Yancich from Trinity and Michael Mauti -- are running with the second-team defense. ... Redshirt freshman safety Nick Sukay from Greensburg Central Catholic broke his right thumb last week, but he is practicing after being fitted with a cast. He missed spring drills with a stress fracture in a toe on his right foot.
First Published August 12, 2008 12:00 am