Penn State Football: Five Positions Still Up for Grabs
After Bill O’Brien and his staff released the week one depth chart heading in to the season opener against the Ohio Bobcats, Penn State fans had a chance to see who came out on top of spring and summer practices.
While positions such as wide receiver are potentially six or seven players deep, not all of the positions are settled in the final week of August.
Redshirt freshman Deion Barnes and senior Pete Massaro:
Working back into the rotation after a minor injury kept him out of camp for a few practices, Massaro is looking to reclaim his role on defense following a knee injury which kept him sidelined for the 2011 season. Barnes has been impressive in camp and the defensive end position might not be decided before the week is out.
Junior DaQuan Jones and senior James Terry:
There is little doubt that senior Jordan Hill is the foundation of the defensive line, but the two lesser known interior linemen are still battling it out. At 6-foot-3, 324 pounds, Jones has a slight body edge on Terry, but both should see playing time as part of a linemen rotation. Larry Johnson ought to get the most out of both players as the defensive line isn't particularly deep this season.
Junior Stephen Obeng-Agyapong and senior Jake Fagnano:
Penn State’s secondary is far from experienced, but the play of Obeng-Agyapong and Fagnano could make the difference. Obeng-Agyapong has been a vocal leader on the defensive side of the ball, earning some praise from Bill O’Brien. Fagnano has a few inches on his teammate which could prove to work in his favor if Penn State’s secondary is called on more to break up passes if the pass rush struggles early.
Senior Mike Farrell and junior Adam Gress:
Battling all offseason for the right tackle position, Farrell and Gress have both put on size and weight to add to what is already a massive offensive line. Both players ought to see time this weekend, but the sooner the line can jell, the happier offensive line coach Mac McWhorter will be.
Senior Derek Day and freshman Akeel Lynch:
With the loss of Silas Redd to transfer, Bill O’Brien will take anyone who can run the ball and not turn it over. Bill Belton is the obvious number one in the clubhouse, but Day and Lynch will both provide supplementary running duties. Lynch has been impressive in camp but Day is no slouch himself. This isn’t a pure position battle, but it will be interesting to see which one gets called on more often.