Zordich: 'O'Brien loves fullbacks'

The fullback was a staple of Joe Paterno's Penn State offenses for decades.

Fullback Michael Zordich says he is enjoying proving himself all over again.

Bill O'Brien's New England Patriots offense? Not so much.

But senior fullback Michael Zordich says he'll still play an integral role in the Nittany Lions' offense this fall.

"Coach O'Brien loves the fullback. He uses the fullback," Zordich said Wednesday. "I feel like Penn State's always going to have a traditional fullback in the system."

O'Brien lined up slot receivers and tight ends in the backfield in New England. The Patriots did not have a fullback register a carry last season, but Zordich expects to see a least a few touches.

"It's a different system, so it's a little bit of a different style," he said. "We're running more of a passing game and lining up in different spots around the field. It's not a traditional fullback in terms of what Penn State has usually used but it's a fun spot to play."

Zordich said one of the points of emphasis this spring for the Nittany Lions has been learning every offensive position on the field, not just the ones they play. He's picked up enough so far to be excited about what Penn State could do this fall.

"The diversity of it, the different things we can do with the same people in different ways … it's fun being creative, how creative it is and it's a fun offense," he said. "You need to do a lot of talking, recognize a lot of things. You need to think a lot. And that's what's fun about this offense."

The last few years, Penn State would send receivers, tight ends and running backs on and off the field between nearly every play. That is likely to change considering the amount of up-tempo, no-huddle plays the offense has run so far.

"It all depends on what Coach wants to do at that point in time," Zordich said. "It's a lot of communication, it's a lot of talking. Coach's whole thing right now is keeping everybody on the same page. If we can do that, we can do the no-huddle with ease."

One of only 14 scholarship seniors on the roster this spring, Zordich likes the idea that the veterans have just as much to show the coaches as the underclassmen do.

"I think that any time things change, we have these new faces and new coaches and all these guys have to come back and prove themselves over again," he said. "You end up working really hard and doing certain things … it brings back that fun of football that you had when you first got here."

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