The Penn State Nittany Lions appear to be closer to full strength with the football season still four months away.

Knowledge Timmons, the former William Penn standout, said he was reinstated to the team late Wednesday -- along with starting defensive tackle Chris Baker, linebacker Navorro Bowman and tight end Andrew Quarless, two more potential starters.

"It's a relief," Timmons said. "I got another chance. It's a fresh start, sort of."

Timmons, a junior, had been suspended from the Penn State team since November for his behavior in the moments after a fight in the student union last fall, where police said he overturned tables and refused to leave the scene.

Baker and Bowman also were suspended for their alleged involvement in the fight. Baker was cleared of any wrongdoing by Penn State's office of judicial affairs but does still face two possible court cases, including one in relation to another fight.

The three did not make the trip to play Michigan State or to the Alamo Bowl. They also did not participate in spring practice, including last Saturday's Blue-White Game.

Defensive tackle Phil Taylor, also charged in the student union fight, has been suspended by the university through the summer. He could return in time for preseason workouts in August.

Quarless had been suspended for a DUI charge.

Timmons "kind of had it in his head that he would ride it out. He felt he was going to be back on the team," said Joan Flowers, a York City woman who helped raise him.


"He did everything required and then some."

Actually, the suspension has "given him more time to work on his studies and get his grades up to where they should be," Flowers said.

Dave Graybill, one of Timmons' former coaches at William Penn, said the cornerback and special teams standout has a new and improved attitude. He made five tackles in 10 games last season.

"When he wasn't allowed to participate in spring practice and wasn't allowed to play in the Blue-White Game, that really got to him," Graybill said. "He said to me, 'I didn't realize how much I love football until this happened.'

"He knows he will be at

the bottom of the depth chart, but he doesn't have a problem with that because he knows he can get back in the thick of things."

Jeff Nelson, Penn State's sports information director, said he was unable to comment about the situation.

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Captains named: Center A.Q. Shipley, defensive end Josh Gaines and injured linebacker Sean Lee have been named Penn State captains for the 2008 season. All three are seniors.

Shipley is a first-team All-Big Ten pick, Gaines will be a three-year starter, and Lee was a potential All-American before seriously injuring his knee a couple of weeks ago.

He will return in 2009 and possibly become the fourth two-time captain in Penn State history.

Award hopefuls: Shipley and senior offensive tackle Gerald Cadogan have been named to the "watch list" for the Outland Trophy, presented to the nation's top interior lineman.