I don’t know why, but I’ve always has this idea in my head that Adrian Amos might be among the most underrated players in not only the Big 10, but perhaps nationally. When Eric and I were putting together this list, I was pretty curious to see where he ranked Amos, and was relieved when he fell at #3, right where I had him.
Bill O’Brien went out of his way early on in his tenure as the head coach at Penn State to talk about how impressive Amos had been. He was not necessarily a huge recruit (3 stars on 247), but it was pretty clear early on that he was a special player, appearing in every game both in the secondary, and on special teams, as a true freshman under Joe Paterno, including 1 start. In 2012, he ascended to the full time starter role at one corner spot, and never looked back. Leading up to 2013, there was speculation that Amos could make the move to safety, but transfers, and other departures left little depth at corner, and Amos turned in another stellar year.
With the depth chart more settled in the secondary, Amos is again slotted in at safety, and if the hints dropped by O’Brien and the staff before the 2012 season, we could be in for quite a few surprises in terms of how he is utilized. I don’t intend to compare him to a great collegiate safety like Eric Berry, who was a top 5 NFL pick, but I think John Butler has designs on using Amos all over the field in a role much like the one Berry enjoyed at Tennessee. If the cornerback position is settled, having arguably PSU’s best all around athlete lining up at safety could be a huge benefit to a PSU defense going through a transition.
Follow VBR Lead Editor Matt de Bear on Twitter for the latest on Penn State