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Penn State Football: Projecting the Defensive Spring Depth Chart


We are exactly one week away from the start of spring practice at Penn State. There are several questions surrounding the team at a few different positions. Some of those questions should start to be answered over the next few weeks. Like we did with the offense last week, VBR now brings you the defensive depth chart heading into the spring.

This depth chart only takes into account players who are on are the roster for spring practice. Due to depth issues, several incoming freshman will likely be needed to fill holes on the depth chart.

Some of these projections are bound to change, but for now, it’s a good starting point to preview the upcoming season.

DE- Deion Barnes, C.J. Olaniyan, Anthony Zettel, Evan Schwan Garrett Sickels

DT- Austin Johnson, Derek Dowrey, Tarow Barney, Brian Gaia, Anthony Zettel

LB- Mike Hull, Nyeem Wartman, Brandon Bell, Gary Wooten, Ben Kline

CB- Jordan Lucas, Trevor Williams, Da’Quan Davis, Jordan Smith, Anthony Smith

S- Adrian Amos, Ryan Keiser, Jesse Della Valle, Kasey Gains

The defensive depth chart may not be finalized until right before the season starts. There are several combinations that could be used. On the defensive line, Anthony Zettel has bulked up and could play at defensive tackle to try to fill the hole left by DaQuan Jones. At linebacker, only Mike Hull is a sure starter. In the secondary, Adrian Amos is officially listed again as a safety. However, as I stated in the secondary preview, I see Amos moving back to his natural position of cornerback at some point.

Check back with VBR for live coverage of the first practice on March 17th.

Follow VBR Lead Editor Barry Leonard Jr. on Twitter

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  • GregInPitt

    Not sure what you are trying to accomplish here. A depth chart by definition lists starters and then the backups at each position, but at LB where MLB and OLB are different positions you don’t give an opinion of where any of the candidates will line up.
    Also, I find it hard to believe anyone thinks Wooten will be listed ahead of Kline. Kline has played very well when healthy, as he and Bell were the two best PSU LB’s on the field at the end of 2014. Whereas Wooten, last year when Kline and other were hurt and numbers were slim, still didn’t see the field much if at all with games on the line.
    At Safety, you forgot (or did you) Golden, who although new to the position showed athleticism in the B/W game last spring and was seeing increasing playing time the last few games of 2014. He is a better athlete with better size and speed than any of the safety’s listed except for Amos, and I would not be surprised to see him as a co-starter this year. CJF has also let it be known that Anthony Smith will be practicing at Safety this spring.
    At DE you forgot Cothran, who has as much chance of being in the depth chart as Sickels as both are RS Fr. and Cothran looks to be just as big and athletic, if not more so.
    At DT, if Zettel move to DT it will likely be to start. The last third of 2014 he was our most productive DE as he put consistent pressure on the QB and also is big enough to play well against the run. So if you list him at DT it should be no worse than as the top backup.