Ron Vanderlinden has coached his share of standout linebacking corps since he has been at Penn State, and he indicated that this year’s group is as good as any he’d had.
“Athletically, I think they ran right near the top of the list,” Vanderlinden said Thursday during a conference call. “They’re all unique in their own way but I think they’re all talented and they share a passion for the game and the ability to make plays.”
This year has no been exception at “Linebacker U.”
Michael Mauti and Gerald Hodges are having All-American caliber seasons.
And Vanderlinden became the latest Penn State coach or player to talk up underrated inside linebacker Glenn Carson.
The veteran coach talked about a number of different subjects Thursday. Here are some excerpts from his conference call:
On if there is any downside to Mauti’s energy level
I don’t think there’s any downside at all. He’s got the right blend of enthusiasm, intensity, a lot of energy but he doesn’t go overboard where he loses his focus and I think that would always be a concern that somebody is revved up that they’re just kind of running around crazy and Mike doesn’t do that. He’s played a lot of football and that’s his personality to be amped up and I’m glad it is because every team needs two or three guys like that, and I think on the field he and Gerald Hodges both provide that kind of energy and yet you’ve got Glenn Carson in the middle who makes all of the calls and the adjustments, he’s a little bit more of the brain in terms of getting us set and (he’s) a real physical run-stopper inside. Sometimes he’s overlooked because of the big plays that Gerald and Mike make, but Glenn makes a lot of solid, inside the tackle plays for us.
On whether Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller compares with any other player he has faced
You’d have to compare the quarterback at Michigan. Pryor was a little different in terms of run style but boy he was big, strong, fast runner and also could beat you throwing the ball. Every year I think you’ve got a couple of players that are just tremendous challenges with their feet and their arm and certainly Braxton is right up there at the top of that list.
On his role in recruiting and the challenges he has faced this year
Coach O’Brien’s evaluation process is very thorough. We have the mantra here that we’re all one team and we’re all working together. I evaluate the players in my area as each coach does and I also evaluate all of the linebackers and each position coach evaluates his area and also the players that play at his position and ultimately coach O’Brien sees every player as well so it’s a pretty thorough evaluation process.
On how long he wants to keep coaching and whether he has head coaching aspirations
I think every assistant coach would love to be the head coach. However, I enjoy the role that I have and enjoy what I am doing. I hope to coach another 10 years. I feel like I’m still a young man.
– Scott Brown