Reflecting on the first day of spring practice last week, Daryll Clark couldn't help but describe the absence of some players as "weird."
The starting quarterback said going on without veteran receivers and offensive linemen is going to be something the squad is going to have to get used to.
"There are a lot of jobs that are up in the air right now," Clark said at Friday's football press conferences. "You miss a lot of the leadership from the veterans last year. It was kind of weird on Wednesday at practice not seeing them; Rich Ohrnberger, A.Q. Shipley, Deon Butler and Jordan Norwood."
For the offensive line, Stefen Wisniewski has taken snaps with Clark so far and seems to be the replacement for Shipley. Last season, Shipley received the Dave Rimington Trophy, which is awarded annually to the nation's top center.
Despite the change, Clark doesn't foresee many troubles. Wisniewski is listed as a guard on the roster but Clark expects him to be a leader up front because of his experience across the line.
As for who will replace other offensive line starters Ohrnberger and Gerald Cadogan, coach Joe Paterno didn't give any specifics.
"I can't even tell you who our first-string offensive line will be," Paterno said bluntly.
Whoever does wind up taking over is going to need some time to jell, Clark said.
Last season, the Nittany Lions ranked second in the Big Ten in rushing yards per game with 205.8 and allowed just 13 sacks.
Despite the turnover, Clark said everything is on schedule, although he admitted that more will be known once the players put pads on, pick up blitzes and work with the defensive line.
"They look good," Clark said. "I really don't evaluate too much on anyone until the pads come on and we actually start going live against our defense and then tell the difference in what we need to work on. For the most part, these guys are playing really hard."
Although Wisniewski has been the backup center, Clark said he does have experience working with him.
Before each practice, Clark said there's a quarterback-center exchange with each center. However, Clark said the two worked together more in 2007.
At that time, Clark said Shipley took most of the snaps at center and Anthony Morelli at quarterback. That left Clark as the No. 2 signal caller and Wisniewski the No. 2 center, so the duo took reps then.
Still, despite all the adjustments and changes, Clark didn't call this upcoming season a rebuilding one, instead saying the team will be fine.
Paterno echoed Clark's sentiments despite the work ahead.
"The first day of practice without pads was enthusiastic, was good," Paterno said. "I think we have some good kids -- I hope we have. I think we have a lot of work ahead of us, but I don't think it's a situation where we can't be a good football team."