Football Depth Chart Released
With the season opener this Saturday, it was just a matter of time until the general public learned who would be starting for the Nittany Lions. For those of you who don’t feel like examining the current lineup position by position, I offer some quick observations:
Considering Pat Devlin transferring to Delaware last winter, there was absolutely no question that Daryll Clark would start. So no surprises here, other than the fact that ballyhooed freshman Kevin Newsome apparently overcame his struggles from early practices to lock up the back-up spot.
We’re stockpiled at running back, so it would be no surprise if the coaching staff let Stephfon Green ease back into the change-up role he flourished in last season. However, he’s listed as the primary backup to Evan Royster (as well as the primary kickoff return man), so it appears that JayPa was being completely honest when he told us Green’s ankle is “ready to go.”
If there’s one thing that stands out when considering the all-new starting wide receiver corps, it’s the infusion of height. ‘The Smurfs’ – Derrick Williams, Deon Butler, and Jordan Norwood – were easily one of the the most talented groups at the position in school history, but one thing they didn’t have was a few inches on defensive backs. Graham Zug, Derek Moye, and Brett Brackett stand at 6’2″, 6’5″, and 6’6″, respectively.
Interestingly enough, TEs Andrew Quarless and Mickey Shuler are listed as co-starters. Some may attribute this to Quarless being in the dog house for his off-the-field troubles the past few seasons, but when considering the two players’ similar stat lines (Quarless was 11 rec, 117 yards, 1 Td; Shuler went 9-120-1), the listing makes sense.
Strong safety is listed as “Hero.” How awesome is that?
Some of you may look at the corner depth and ask…”Hey, where’s Darrell Givens?” To those of you who didn’t do that at all – Givens is the new recruit that I gushed over here, and was expected to challenge for a starting role in an inexperienced secondary. Unfortunately, Givens didn’t quite have the grades to play for Old State. Between the choices of going to prep school for a year and decommitting from Penn State, Givens went with immediate playing time and is now a Rutgers Scarlet Knight.
As the season goes on, the depth chart will be subject to change, but essentially this is the foundation the coaching staff will be working with. It will be exciting to see who excels in limited playing time and challenges for a starting spot during the season – remember, even the #11 overall pick of the NFL Draft, DE Aaron Maybin, started the season on the Nittany Lion’s bench.