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Penn State Football: Belton Focusing on Academics, Ferguson Expected at Camp

by on July 24, 2013 4:05 PM

Bill O'Brien spoke with reporters in Chicago on Wednesday at Big Ten Media Days about various topics related to the Nittany Lions' upcoming 2013 season. Among these topics included the current status of running back Bill Belton who was noticeably absentee from Penn State's annual Lift for Life fundraiser a few weeks ago.

According to O'Brien, everything is a go for Penn State's No. 2 back.

"(Bill) is a bright guy, I just want to see him do better in the classroom," O'Brien said, also noting that Belton is not in danger of being ineligible. 

For Belton, the 2013 season is an opportunity for the junior to reinvent and restart his career after injuries and the emergence of running back Zach Zwinak kept Belton out of the spotlight. With the return of Zwinak and redshirt freshman Akeel Lynch, Belton will look to find a unique role for himself in O'Brien's offense this year.

"He's a talented kid, quick out of the backfield catching the ball." O'Brien said.

In the ongoing quarterback battle, O'Brien also touched on the status of junior college transfer quarterback Tyler Ferguson. Like Belton, Ferguson was absent from Lift for Life but was visiting his family in California along with his mother who reportedly is battling cancer.

O'Brien expects Ferguson to be on campus by the time training camp starts on August 5. However the exact date of Ferguson's return is unknown.

"He'll be back," O'Brien said. "Summer's voluntary. Right? The last time I read the NCAA rule book, summer's voluntary. He's not there. He's at home. He's got some personal things that he's dealing with at home. To me, again, he'll come in. He'll be here for training camp. What time, what day, all those things, I mean, I don't know. I am sure he'll be in the first team meeting and he'll be ready to compete with Christian for that job."

Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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