Penn State first-year special teams coordinator, Stacy Collins, spoke with reporters via Zoom Thursday morning.
Here are some key points from what he had to say.
BARNEY AND BACCHETTA
Amor has averaged 46.1 yards on 18 punts this year, and he’s placed half of those punts inside the 10-yard line. Three of his four punts against Central Michigan this past Saturday landed inside the 10, and one turned into a muffed fair catch that set Penn State up at the opponent’s 7-yard line and became a Penn State touchdown.
Collins loves what Amor brings to the team as a punter and human being.
“Barney’s an unbelievable person to be around,” Collins said. “Certainly, he’s done a great job as a football player, but it’s always rewarding to be around a person who handles his business so well. He has a great personality. You look at what he’s done from an academic standpoint; it’s unbelievable. Those are the types of guys you want on your football team.”
For Collins, having that type of guy is immensely helpful to Bacchetta, a three-star signee who was the country’s No. 3 punter, according to 247Sports’ Composite Ratings.
Bacchetta might not be needed Saturdays yet, but Collins is happy with how the true freshman is doing.
“Alex has done great,” Collins said. “Alex has continued to grow and develop through practices, and we’re pleased with his progress.”
NICK SINGLETON, THE KICK RETURNER
Penn State fans know what Nick Singleton can do as a running back.
But the former five-star recruit’s special teams skills aren’t as obvious.
Singleton is one of Penn State’s primary kick returners and has had seven chances on kickoffs this season, gaining 150 yards with a long of 30.
He hasn’t run a kickoff back for a touchdown yet, which Collins feels could happen at any moment.
“Nick’s done an unbelievable job,” Collins said. “When he catches the ball, he does a great job catching, number one, and two, getting vertical, which is so important from a kickoff return standpoint. He’s been real close on a couple this year. We were just a hair-off on one at Auburn.”
“He’s a big, physical player with great speed. Which is what you’re looking for in a kick returner.”
WORKING WITH A PENN STATE LEGEND
In addition to his duties as special teams coordinator, Collins helps coach Penn State’s outside linebackers.
Connor played at Penn State from 2004-2007, earned consensus All-America honors and won Chuck Bednarik Award for Defensive Player of the Year in 2007 and is the school’s all-time leading tackler.
Now, Connor is a defensive analyst and analytics coordinator at his alma mater, and Collins loves what he brings to the table.
“Dan’s an extremely thorough, professional coach,” Collins said. “You can see that’s why he had so much success as a player. Extremely intelligent, does a ton of work behind the scenes, does not say too many words, but when he speaks, everybody listens because you know there’s a lot of thought and purpose to it. So he has a very, very bright future.”
“Certainly, with a guy like Nick Singleton, if you can get the ball in his hands and you can give him a chance to get out in space, you want to do that when you have those opportunities.”