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Penn State Football: 11 Starting Points About Bill O’Brien’s New Depth Chart

by on June 05, 2012 2:03 PM

Starting quarterback? Check.

Starters at wide receiver, left guard, middle linebacker and right cornerback?

Well, Bill O’Brien is still checking that out.

Penn State’s first-year coach released an updated depth chart on Tuesday. And while Matt McGloin is set as the No. 1 quarterback, lots of question marks remain.

“There will be a lot of position battles to determine starters during training camp," O'Brien said. “Quarterback and a handful of other positions are the only ones that I feel are set at this point.”

The start of training of camp is still two months away (Aug. 5), and it’s 88 days until O’Brien’s first game as Penn State’s coach, Sept. 1 against Ohio University in Beaver Stadium.

Yet it's clear there will be some tough competition to crack the starting lineup, especially at those aforementioned four positions. The new depth chart yielded some additional insight, as we outline in our starting 11 notes below.

1. No clear-cut starter. At four positions, O’Brien listed two players as starters, designating them with an “OR” between their names. They include wide receivers Allen Robinson and Shawney Kersey; left offensive guards Miles Dieffenbach and Marc Arcidiacono; middle linebackers Glenn Carson and Khairi Fortt; and right cornerbacks Adrian Amos and Derrick Thomas.

2. Switching starting offensive tackles. Donovan Smith spent the spring at right tackle, but is now listed at the left spot, a more pivotal position given that he will protect McGloin’s blindside. And Adam Gress spent the spring at left tackle, but is now at right tackle.

4. Lots of receivers. Eight wide receivers and seven tight ends are listed on the depth chart, testament to O’Brien’s commitment to the passing game he directed with the New England patriots.

5. Starters plus. In all, the Penn State offense list 13 starting positions – with three wide receivers, two tight ends (Y and F) and one fullback (Michael Zordich).

6. The young and the tight ends. Redshirt freshman Kyle Carter is listed as the No. 1 tight end at the F spot, ahead of the more veteran and experienced Kevin Haplea. Celebrated true freshman Jesse James is listed as the No. 2 Y tight end, behind Garry Gilliam, back after sitting out 2011 with knee surgery.

7. Fera and Fera alike. Junior Anthony Fera will handle both the punting and place-kicking duties. As he was in 2011, Justin Brown will be the primary punt returner, while kick returners include Amos, Bill Belton and Devon Smith.

8. Position switches. Amos moved back to corner after playing safety in the spring. Kyle Baublitz has switched from defensive end to the No. 2 spot at left defensive tackle behind Jordan Hill. Anthony Zettel has moved from defensive tackle to defensive end, where he is in a fight to back up Pete Massaro.

9. A Bill, but no Dukes. Backing up Silas Redd at tailback is Bill Belton, who shifted from wide receiver to running back in the spring. Curtis Dukes, who O’Brien said is back on the team after missing spring drills to concentrate on academics, is not listed n the depth chart. Derek Day is the No. 3 tailback.

10. Starting experience. Brown (19 starts) and Hill (17) are the team leaders in career starts, while a total of 10 starters from 2011 are back. In all, 17 Nittany Lions can count at least one start in their college careers.

11. Hold it. McGloin will be the holder for Fera, while Evan Lewis – an erstwhile place-kicker (1 of 5 field goals) who also ran for a first down on a fake field goal in 2011 – is the backup.

2012 PENN STATE DEPTH CHART

* Fifth-year senior

OFFENSE

Wide Receiver

8 Allen Robinson (6-3, 199, So/So) OR

81 Shawney Kersey (6-1, 199, Sr/Jr)

80 Matt Zanellato (6-3, 195, So/Fr)

85 Brandon Moseby-Felder (6-2, 188, Sr/Jr)

Left Tackle

76 Donovan Smith (6-5, 310, So/Fr)

70 Nate Cadogan (6-5, 283, Sr/Jr)

52 Luke Graham (6-4, 273, Jr/So)

Left Guard

65 Miles Dieffenbach (6-3, 286, Jr/So) OR

73 Marc Arcidiacono (6-4, 283, Sr/Jr)

66 Angelo Mangiro (6-3, 287, So/Fr)

Center

54 Matt Stankiewitch (6-3, 295, Sr/Sr)*

60 Ty Howle (6-0, 298, Gr/Jr)

66 Angelo Mangiro (6-3, 287, So/Fr) OR

62 Frank Figueroa (6-3, 303, Sr/Jr)

Right Guard

64 John Urschel (6-3, 287, Gr/Jr)

75 Eric Shrive (6-6, 312, Sr/Jr)

56 Anthony Alosi (6-4, 292, So/Fr)

Right Tackle

58 Adam Gress (6-6, 306, Sr/Jr)

78 Mike Farrell (6-6, 276, Sr/Sr)*

56 Anthony Alosi (6-4, 292, So/Fr)

Tight End - Y

89 Garry Gilliam (6-6, 277, Sr/Jr)

18 Jesse James (6-7, 265, Fr/Fr)

82 Matt Lehman (6-7, 247, Sr/Jr)

Tight End – F

87 Kyle Carter (6-3, 241, So/Fr)

10 Kevin Haplea (6-4, 248, Jr/Jr)

32 Dakota Royer (6-1, 223, Jr/So) OR

82 Brian Irvin (6-3, 241, Sr/Sr)*

Quarterback

11 Matt McGloin (6-1, 199, Gr/Sr)*

7 Paul Jones (6-3, 245, Jr/So)

1 Rob Bolden (6-3, 214, Jr/Jr)

2 Shane McGregor (6-1, 200, Sr/Sr)

Tailback

25 Silas Redd (5-10, 200, Jr/Jr)

5 Bill Belton (5-10, 196, So/So)

24 Derek Day (5-9, 195, Sr/Sr)

40 Zach Zwinak (6-1, 226, Jr/So)

Fullback

9 Michael Zordich (6-1, 242, Sr/Sr)

Wide Receiver

3 Devon Smith (5-7, 147, Sr/Sr)

15 Alex Kenney (6-0, 193, Jr/So)

Wide Receiver

19 Justin Brown (6-3, 209, Sr/Sr)

81 Shawney Kersey (6-1, 199, Sr/Jr)

17 Christian Kuntz (6-4, 222, Sr/Jr)

DEFENSE

Left End

90 Sean Stanley (6-1, 247, Sr/Sr)

86 C.J. Olaniyan (6-3, 250, Jr/So) OR

31 Brad Bars (6-3, 237, Jr/So)

Left Tackle

47 Jordan Hill (6-1, 298, Sr/Sr)

84 Kyle Baublitz (6-5, 270, Jr/So)

Right Tackle

91 DaQuan Jones (6-3,317, Jr/Jr)

93 James Terry (6-3, 317, Sr/Sr)*

Right End

59 Pete Massaro (6-4, 263, Gr/Sr)*

18 Deion Barnes (6-4, 248, So/Fr) OR

98 Anthony Zettel (6-5, 255, So/Fr)

Outside Linebacker

6 Gerald Hodges (6-2, 233,Sr/Sr)

43 Mike Hull (6-0, 213, Jr/So)

Middle Linebacker

40 Glenn Carson (6-3, 238, Jr/Jr) OR

11 Khairi Fortt (6-2, 238, Jr/Jr)

33 Michael Yancich (6-2, 240, Sr/Sr)*

Outside Linebacker

42 Michael Mauti (6-2, 239, Gr/Sr)*

38 Ben Kline (6-2, 224, So/Fr)

Left Cornerback

12 Stephon Morris (5-8, 188, Sr/Sr)

39 Jesse Della Valle (6-1, 187, Jr/So)

Strong Safety

27 Jake Fagnano (6-0, 201, Sr/Sr)*

7 Stephen Obeng-Agyapong (5-10, 201, Sr/Jr)

Free Safety

10 Malcolm Willis (5-11, 205,Sr/Jr)

13 Tim Buckley (6-0, 202, So/Fr)

Right Cornerback

4 Adrian Amos (6-0, 209, So/So) OR

1 Derrick Thomas (6-0,181, Sr/Jr)

SPECIAL TEAMS

Punter

30 Anthony Fera (6-2, 220, Sr/Jr)

Kicker

30 Anthony Fera (6-2, 220, Sr/Jr)

97 Sam Ficken (6-3, 180, So/So)

Holder

11 Matt McGloin (6-1, 199, Gr/Sr)*

4 Evan Lewis (5-10, 173, Gr/Sr)

Kick Snapper

60 Ty Howle (6-0, 298, Gr/Jr)

57 Emery Etter (6-1, 223, Sr/Jr)

Kickoff Returners

4 Adrian Amos (6-0, 209, So/So)

5 Bill Belton (5-10, 196, So/So)

3 Devon Smith (5-7, 147, Sr/Sr)

Punt Returners

19 Justin Brown (6-3, 209, Sr/Sr)

5 Bill Belton (5-10, 196, So/So)



Mike Poorman has covered Penn State football since 1979. He is a senior lecturer in Penn State's College of Communications and teaches a pair of classes in the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism: “Sports Writing” and “Introduction to the Sports Industry.” He created and taught for several years the Center’s course on “Joe Paterno, Communications and The Media.” Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/PSUPoorman. His views and opinions do not necessarily reflect those of Penn State University.
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