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Penn State’s NCAA Football ’14 Player Ratings

Degenerate video game players, rejoice! NCAA Football ’14, featuring some guy on the cover who has as many wins against the Penn State football team as I do, was released on Tuesday. This year’s Penn State team isn’t expected to be great — the game has them as an 84 overall, which is the fourth worst in the Big Ten — but they’ll still be a fun team to use.

For a more in depth look at the team, here’s how the roster breaks down based on their player ratings (all numbers via 24/7 Sports):

QB: Christian Hackenberg (79), Steven Bench (whoops) (77), Tyler Ferguson (72), Austin Whipple or D.J. Crook (65).

RB: Zach Zwinak (86), Bill Belton (83), Akeel Lynch (77), Richy Anderson (72), Deron Thompson (70).

WR: Allen Robinson (87), Brandon Moseby-Felder (81), Matt Lehman (80), Alex Kenney (78), Trevor Williams (78), Matt Zanellato (76), Eugene Lewis (76), Malik Golden (74), Sophomore #20 (74).

TE: Kyle Carter (80), Adam Breneman (78), Jesse James (74), Bryce Wilson (64).

LT: Donovan Smith (84), Nate Cadogan (80), Gary Gilliam (70).

LG: Miles Dieffenbach (84), Brendan Mahon (74), Anthony Stanko (70).

C: Angelo Mangiro (79), Wendy Laurent (74).

RG: John Urschel (84), Ty Howle (79).

RT: Adam Gress (83), Eric Shrive (75), Andrew Nelson (72).

LE: C.J. Olaniyan (82), Anthony Zettel (77), Brad Bars (68), Parker Cothren (65).

RE: Deion Barnes (80), Curtis Cothran (75), Senior #96 (70), Tanner Hartman (67).

DT: DaQuan Jones (83), Kyle Baublitz (80), Austin Johnson (77), Derek Dowrey (76), Brian Gaia (72).

LOLB: Mike Hull (77), Nyeem Wartman (72).

MLB: Glenn Carson (90), Brandon Bell (73).

ROLB: Ben Kline (76), Gary Wooten (72), Zayd Issah (70).

CB: Adrian Amos (87), Da’Quan Davis (79), Jordan Lucas (75), Jake Kiley (75), Neiko Robinson (75), Anthony Smith (73), Jordan Smith (72), Kasey Gaines (64).

FS: Malcolm Willis (77), Ryan Keiser (73).

SS: Stephen Obeng-Agyapong (78), Jesse Della Valle (72).

K: Sam Ficken (81).

P: Alex Butterworth (81).

Several things stick out, most notably the fact that Deion Barnes is the defending Big Ten Freshman of the Year and a Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year candidate this season, but he is only an 80. Which is stupid. Some other things:

  • Christian Hackenberg is the best QB on the team, which doesn’t say too much since he’s only a 79. However, a freshman to be that good in the game certainly provides optimism for future games or people who want to use Penn State in Dynasty Mode.
  • Tyler Ferguson is only a 72, which is probably a little lower than where he should be but can be attributed to his lack of experience against FBS opponents.
  • The running backs are loaded. Zach Zwinak will plow through defenses, Bill Belton is one of the better backups in the game and Akeel Lynch’s 77 rating means you can use him in a pinch and he’ll be effective.
  • Wide receiver will be interesting, as Allen Robinson will leave a (virtual) trail of defenders in his path, but there is little depth. Especially if you want to update the team so Trevor Williams and Malik Golden are in the secondary.
  • Kyle Carter is (predictably) the best TE on the team with an 80, but it is interesting that Adam Breneman (78) is better than Jesse James (74) right now.
  • Teams with good nose tackles will be able to go right at Angelo Mangrio in the game and stuff runs up the middle, but the o-line is solid and has nice depth.
  • The defensive line mixes depth and talent, even though giving Deion Barnes an 80 is incredibly dumb.
  • Glenn Carson is the team’s best player with a 90, but outside of him the LB unit won’t exactly strike fear in the hearts of your opponents, even though Mike Hull, who is awesome, is better than a 77 in real life.
  • The secondary isn’t astounding outside of Adrian Amos and will probably get shredded by pass-happy offenses that people like to use online, but it has a lot of young guys, which makes it a unit with upside on Dynasty Mode.
  • Sam Ficken and Alex Butterworth have the same rating of 81. You should wait to see their kick power and accuracy, but the fact that they’re in the 80’s is nice.
  • Several players, like Williams and Golden, are at the positions they were at before Bill O’Brien changed them in the spring. Also, Matt Lehman is a (fairly good) wide receiver in the game, despite being a tight end in real life.
  • Steven Bench, Nate Cadogan, Anthony Stanko and Zayd Issah are all listed, despite the first three leaving the program. Issah, of course, won’t be joining the program due to his arrest in April.
  • As you can probably guess, WR #20 and RE #96 aren’t real people. But hey, if you can turn them into the next Penn State legends, then by all means do it.

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