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Penn State Football: Depth Chart Might Be Odd But Has A Purpose This Offseason

by on July 25, 2014 2:00 PM

Penn State recently released a depth chart heading into media day and the first day of practice on August 4, although it's hard to really call it a depth chart at all.

The catch? Every position is ranked by seniority meaning that the new depth chart is nothing more than a different look at Penn State's roster. There isn't any new insight to how Penn State might actually look on the field this season.

But that's not the goal.

Depth charts are in many respects unnecessary heading into training camp. Players and coaches already have a pretty good idea as to who will fill what holes in the roster, but with plenty of practices between now and the start of the season the depth chart release has always been a tradition. Something to give players, fans, and media something tangible to digest.

This year though a depth chart so early in the summer isn't really needed, that being said James Franklin's decision to release a depth chart that lacks a single solidified starter is a smart move.

If Penn State is going to win this year it really will take everyone on the roster. Simply assuming returning starters can get the job done is not only foolish but closing the door on the chance that players are being overlooked on the roster.

While James Franklin may say it differently, his wide open depth chart is the visual representation of what he has preached since he took the job. "You want the starting job? You have to earn it."

Certainly some positions are all but decided. It's safe to say that a wide-open quarterback competition is going to see Christian Hackenberg win the job and it's equally unlikely that Geno Lewis will start the season on the sideline.

Even so with only 11 players with senior eligibility and more than half to roster listed as underclassmen there is plenty of room for competition, the kind of competition that makes everyone better.

Will it make a difference? That remains to be seen, but if nothing else the gesture of an open depth chart could see a few players bringing it a little harder this August.

And there are worse things for a team than internal competitions.

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