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Penn State Football: Position Preview: Secondary

by on April 13, 2016 2:00 PM

Who's Gone:

Jordan Lucas ended his career at Penn State with an injury which was an unfortunate and unceremonious conclusion for a tenure in the Blue and White that saw the safety make more than his fair share of big plays. Lucas joins Trevor Williams as the only departures in the secondary, both with meaningful playing time under their belts. Lucas was probably the more valuable of the two after the rising stars of John Reid and Grant Haley at corner and occasional appearances deeper in coverage.

Who's Still Here:

Despite the loss of two fixtures in the secondary Penn State still returns a fairly sizable allotment of secondary talent anchored by Marcus Allen at safety with Haley and Reid taking up spots at the corner. Nick Scott also flips from running back to corner but will probably have his fair share of work cut out for him before he's taking meaningful game reps. At the open safety spot Penn State could plug in returning prospects in Koa Farmer and Malik Golden. Both have proven to be capable in coverage but Farmer's size and experience might win him the edge at safety next to Allen. Jarvis Miller and Ayron Monroe are also in the mix as new faces to break into the secondary. Penn State will welcome two DBs this summer but enter Zech McPherson or TJ Johnson are likely candidates to play their first season on campus.

Watch To Watch For:

The biggest question for this unit is really who fills Lucas' safety spot and if the combo of Reid and Haley can stay healthy all year. Haley missed the start of the season with a knock but was stellar for a second straight year while Allen continued to be a solid anchor in the back. With starters more or less penciled in, it's a question of depth behind those players. That's going to mean new faces picking up new roles. While there's nothing wrong with that, it does leave more questions than answers.

The Short Version:

If healthy this unit can be as strong as any of Penn State's should-be stout defensive groupings. Haley, Reid and Allen each have All-Big Ten potential, and if they can stay healthy and limit mistakes, it's not unreasonable to think this group can't be even better than it was last year.

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