Former Football “Run-Ons” Given Scholarships

Five former “run-on” players have received full scholarships for their hard work, the Penn State Athletic Department announced yesterday. Defensive linemen Tyrone Smith (RS Junior) and Carl Nassib (RS Sophomore), cornerback Devin Pryor (RS Soph.), running back Deron Thompson (RS Soph.), and offensive lineman Bryan Davie (RS Jr.) were all recipients of the scholarships.

  • Tyrone Smith, a defensive tackle out of Pittsburgh, is listed as the 3rd option at one of the defensive tackle positions behind RS Jr. Kyle Baublitz and RS Freshman Austin Johnson. Listed at 6’4″ and 265 pounds, Smith joined the team in January 2012.
  • Carl Nassib is not listed on the depth chart, but will likely be the 3rd option at weakside end behind Deion Barnes and Anthony Zettel. The 6’6″, 243 pound RS Soph. out of West Chester, PA, didn’t play in 2012. He is also the brother of former Syracuse QB Ryan Nassib.
  • Devin Pryor was a star running back at Alconbury High in England, where his mother was stationed in the Air Force, before making the switch to cornerback. Pryor, listed at 5’10” and 171 pounds, is 3rd on the depth chart behind Jordan Lucas and Da’Quan Davis, and could see time in certain defensive packages.
  • Bryan Davie isn’t listed on the depth chart but will likely be 3rd at left guard behind Miles Dieffenbach and Angelo Mangiro. Davie also joined the team during the January 2012 tryouts, and has lost almost 70 pounds since then. He is listed at 6’3″ and 284 pounds, and is from Bowie, MD.
  • Deron Thompson, the 5’10”, 198 pound tailback from Lititz, PA, stole the show during the Blue/White game by rushing for 97 yards on just 12 carries. He is likely the 4th running back on the depth chart, behind Zach Zwinak, Bill Belton, and Akeel Lynch, and will probably see time on the punt return team, where he played 6 games in 2012.

Coach Bill O’Brien has stressed the importance of the run-on program many times, and it will be something to keep an eye on in future years as the reduced scholarship portion of the NCAA sanctions goes into effect. Under the sanctions, the team must be at 65 or lower by the start of next year.

These scholarships bring the total amount of scholarships on the football team to 71. Twelve players are in their final season of eligibility, but there are also 12 recruits that have verbally committed for 2014. How Coach O’Brien and his staff get under the 65-player mandate before the start of the 2014 training camp will be something to watch as the year progresses.

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About the Author

Alex Robinson

Alex Robinson was Onward State's Acting Managing Editor/Resident Old Man. He lived in Harrisburg almost his whole life, but he says he's from California -- where he was born -- because that's more fun. He loves cats and Chinese food, but only separately. He met both Ben Affleck and Kanye West within a half hour, so the three of them are basically best friends. If you want to hear his #scorching #hot #takes, you can follow him at @ARobinsonPSU or email him at [email protected].

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