One of the more interesting developments we have seen regarding the PSU Class of 2014, especially recently, is an emphasis on players that can play all over the field. Just yesterday we reported that Penn State had offered Warren, Michigan LB Jared Wangler, who also could play safety. Last weekend, Maryland DB Alameen Murphy visited campus, able to play either safety or cornerback, and even receiver in a pinch. Another visitor, Somerville, New Jersey’s Joe Vitellio was on campus at the end of last week, could play anywhere on the defensive line, or on tight end should be flip to offense.
As scholarships get tighter and the PSU goes into the height of the sanctions, the staff is going to need to find any advantage they can to weather the storm. The run-on program will get more focus, but finding capable players able to play multiple positions may be more important.
Obviously high skill positions like quarterback, running back and receiver, where you can’t risk injury to a key player, are going to be lining up in just those spots. But a defensive lineman who can line up at tackle or end, or a DB able to play either corner or safety? That kind of ability is sure to get you on the Penn State radar. The same goes for an offensive lineman that can play multiple spots, or perhaps even a linebacker who can push back to safety. Joe Paterno moving a young linebacker to safety for a few weeks was actually one of my favorite Penn State message board meltdowns during his tenure.
By no means do I expect the PSU roster to start resembling many high schools, where everyone plays both ways But versatility, whether it’s LB/Safety, or defensive tackle/end, will be something to watch going forward.
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