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Hall said it fits in with Penn State’s plan to go even more to their go-to player _ though it’s not because they’re trying to pad his stats for a possible run at the Heisman Trophy.

Royster is a longshot candidate, though he could improve his stock with a good performance against in Week 2 at Alabama and the defending Heisman winner, tailback Mark Ingram.

“We’re going to try to do what’s best for Penn State, and Evan has very much bought into that,” Hall said. “We won’t pattern our attack” just to improve Royster’s chances for awards.

Royster isn’t flashy, and he doesn’t have highlight-reel breakaway speed. Royster can break tackles, but he’s not known for bruising collisions in the trenches.

“He’s a very good all-around football player,” Hall said. “Now when you start breaking it down, does he catch the ball better than so and so? Does he have vision better than so and so? Probably not. He’s above the average player in probably every category.”

Royster, a candidate for the Doak Walker Award for best college running back, thinks his Heisman chances are a long shot at best, though he wouldn’t mind getting mentioned along with the other top tailbacks in the country.

On the other hand, he doesn’t gravitate to the spotlight, either. He’s more of a lead-by-example guy on a 2010 offense that, for now, is missing a charismatic leader.

“I like to keep a low profile. People starting getting opinions of people who are outspoken (or) sometimes too flashy,” Royster said. “I like to keep myself more reserved.”

Sounds a lot like Hall, the mild-mannered assistant who has been at Penn State since 2004.

Hall didn’t even mention to Royster that he had coached his idol, Smith, until Royster’s second year in Happy Valley.

“Once he said that, it didn’t surprise me,” Royster said, “but it was a whole new respect for him.”