Apr 20, 2013; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions quarterback Tyler Ferguson (5) looks down the line of scrimmage in the first quarter of the Blue White spring game at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O

O’Brien Says Ferguson “Ahead” Of Hackenberg


You know, sometimes on this here weblog, the headlines aren’t exactly the most informative.  Funny, yes, but not really to the point of what you’re about to read.  This, however, is not one of those.  On Tuesday, Bill O’Brien appeared on 93.7 in Pittsburgh, and discussed among other things, the quarterback situation.  This should probably be obvious to most fans, but he did give JUCO transfer Tyler Ferguson a slight lead over incoming freshman Christian Hackenberg.

Why should that be obvious, you ask?  Simple, BOB has seen Ferguson with his own eyes.  He’s coached him, and and watched him in his offense.  As talented as Hackenberg is, and as much as he’s studied the PSU offense, he hasn’t taken a single snap or thrown a single pass under the tutelage of O’Brien or Charlie Fisher.  Of course the known quantity is going to have a slight edge at this point.  What still baffles me is the insistence of some (many?) that Hackenberg has to start.  I have absolute faith that if he does, it’s because he’s the best option, and he’s 100% ready.  But I’m not exactly rushing to throw another true freshman into the fire.  He’s not Rob Bolden, and this is not the old coaching staff.  But I can count on 1 hand the number of quarterbacks in BCS conferences that have started as true freshman, and gone on to big things.

One other area BOB addressed was the transfer of Steven Bench.  He said that over the course of the 15 spring practices, not just the Blue-White Game, Ferguson had pulled slightly ahead of Bench.  It has been speculated, and confirmed by Bench’s father, that O’Brien had told Steven that Ferguson would be splitting time with Hackenberg with the first team upon his arrival, leaving little chance to compete for the starting position.

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