OK, it’s officially game week now. I know, as soon as the calendar flipped to Sunday, it was game week, but the release of the depth chart is really the surest sign yet that there’s a Penn State football game this Saturday. You can check out the whole thing here, but here are some highlights:
- By now you’ve realized there is no starting QB listed, what with the lack of big letters and a meltdown on Twitter. Christian Hackenberg OR Tyler Ferguson are listed at first string, with run-on D.J. Crook at 3rd string.
- A few true freshman are listed, but none in a starting role (Hackenberg the possible exception). Andrew Nelson is 3rd string left tackle because Donovan Smith and Eric Shrive. Adam Breneman is backing up Kyle Carter at the Y tight end spot, and Richy Anderson is 3rd at one receiver position, behind Brandon Felder and Matt Zanatello. On defense, Brandon Bell is listed as Nyeem Wartman’s backup at one outside linebacker spot, and 3rd behind Mike Hull and Ben Kline at the other. Jordan Smith and Anthony Smith will back up Trevor Williams at one cornerback. Run-on Von Walker also appears as an option returning both kicks and punts.
- Gary Gilliam, who moved to the offensive line this off season, seems to have caught Adam Gress at the right tackle starting spot, with both players being listed as a possible starter. The “OR” isn’t just for quarterbacks any longer!
- The linebacker depth is even more terrifying when you look at it spelled out. Just 6 scholarship LBs appear on the depth chart (Hull, Carson, Wartman, Kline, Wooten, Bell).
- Going into the Syracuse game, expect to see Bill Belton and Akeel Lynch returning kickoffs, with Jessee Della Valle listed first on punt returns, ahead of Belton and Walker.
- I’m a little surprised to not see Garrett Sickels listed at defensive end. While there has not been much noise about him out of camp, he was one of the freshman I expected to make a more immediate impact. I wouldn’t write him off as a redshirt just yet with a full season in front of us, but it is something to watch. The other freshman not listed don’t come as much of a surprise.
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