September 3, 2011; State College, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions cornerback Amos Adrian (4) intercepts a pass during the game against the Indiana State Sycamores at Beaver Stadium. Penn State defeated Indiana State 41-7. Mandatory Credit: Rob Christy-US PRESSWIRE

2012 Penn State Depth Chart: Defensive Backs

This unit is going to look entirely different after the entire secondary from 2011 has moved on. The new staff will be charged with the responsibility of replacing a group with a great amount of starting experience. Each member of the 2011 starting defensive backfield had more starts than all of the current players combined. Unlike yesterday’s linebacker depth chart, this one is full of questions.
Despite all that, this group should be very athletic. There is quite a bit of speed and potential in the defensive backfield, but they are going to have to learn on the job.
Another quick story: The strong safety used to (not as much these days) be referred to as the “monster back.” Rip Engle, head coach at the time, thought that “monster” sounded like a derogatory term and decided to call the position “Hero.” 60 years later, guys like Drew Astorino still hold down the Hero position. I can’t say for sure if the new staff intends to retain the “Fritz” and “Hero” monikers but they will live forever in Nittany Lion history.

* indicates incoming freshman

RCB
Adrian Amos (So.)
Mike Wallace (RS Jr.)

Hero
Stephen Obeng-Agyapong (RS Jr.)
Malik Golden (Fr.)*

Free Safety
Malcolm Willis (RS Jr.)
Jordan Lucas (Fr.)*

LCB
Stephon Morris (Sr.)
Derrick Thomas (RS Jr.)

Others
DaQuan Davis (Fr.)*
Tim Buckley (RS Fr.)
Jake Kiley (Fr.)*
Trevor Williams (Fr.)*

Malik Golden was apparently told that he will play WR and Trevor Williams was also recruited as a wideout. The problem is, we have over a dozen WRs and around 6 serviceable defensive backs. Something has to give and I think Golden has the athleticism to contribute early on defense and special teams.

Adrian Amos was our VBR 2011 Freshman of the Year and will be the top CB entering the Spring. Some think his best position may be safety, but that won’t matter until there is some depth in the secondary.

Malcolm Willis started most of the 2010 season after Nick Sukay went down with an injury. he will most likely be the leader of this group. He is very athletic and is a hard-hitting safety but will have to play more disciplined football in Ted Roof’s aggressive scheme.

This is an area of the team where we are almost guaranteed to see some freshmen. Keep an eye on CB Da’Quan Davis. I think he could see the field this year and get some significant snaps. The same could be possible for Jordan Lucas and Jake Kiley as well, as this group is very thin and in need of athleticism.

Check out the projected Defensive Line  and Linebacker depth charts to round out the defense!

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Tags: Adrian Amos Bill O'Brien Malcolm Willis PSU

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