Five New Faces


Smell that?  That’s the glorious aroma of Penn State Preseason Football.  The boys started two days ago, and the one common denominator among the players: hurt.  Every player that tweets said something to the effect of, “That was the hardest thing I had to do in m life”.  Didn’t matter if it was a RS SR or a True Frosh, Joe and Co. put them to work, and it’s only the beginning.

Since preseason practice started yesterday, here are five players who will just start to (potentially) contribute this year.  Some of these guys you may know, some you may not know, but all these guys aren’t household names.  Although, they may be known after this season.

None of these guys have gotten major time, mostly minimal.  Guys like Silas Redd and Curtis Drake won’t be on this list because they are already pretty well known players, more so Redd.

Honorable Mention: Sam Ficken (Possible Kicker), Brandon Beachum (Short Yardage RB/Backup), James Terry (Back up 1-Tech), Mike Hull (Special Teams Demon), Kevin Haplea (TE).


Name/Class: Derrick Thomas/RS SO

Where is he on the depth chart?  2nd String behind D’Anton Lynn.

Why is he on here?  Thomas is one of the most talented CB prospects in quite some time.  Standing 6’0 and weighing in at 178, Thomas is probably one of the best athletes at CB on the Penn State roster.  He was starting to get decent playing time last year, until he was suspended for the year for breaking team rules.  Now, he is back and playing behind Lynn.  Not to mention, he could easily play over at the other CB spot if Morris and/or Powell aren’t playing up to standard.  We could even see Thomas in the Nickel package.  Bottom line, Thomas is talented and could be a guy that finds some playing time.


Name/Class: Shawney Kersey/RS SO

Where is he on the depth chart?  2nd String behind Justin Brown.

Why is he on here?  Kersey is known for two things.  First, the end around against Alabama.  And second, he was going to transfer last year, but decided to stay instead.  Now, Kersey is looking to break into the WR rotation this year.  He has good size at 6’1/6’2 203, and has very good speed.  There was a rumor he was going to go to Rutgers to run track so the speed is legitimate.  Even if Kersey doesn’t break through into the rotation, he could even be a KR.  Kersey has a boatload of talent, and this year he could prove his worth.


Name/Class: Sean Stanley/JR

Where is he on the depth chart?  2nd String behind Jack Crawford.

Why is he on here?  One of the most important parts of PSU’s defense, really any defense, is having a good pass rush.  Well, Stanley could provide that.  He isn’t very big at 6’1 250, but if anyone breaks out, it’s probably him.  He has shown some flashes here and there, but has gotten in some trouble off the field (suspended for a bit last year).  If he is able to contain the run better, mixed in with Crawford struggling, Stanley could be in the starting line-up.  Very important one of the two break out this year, and I’ll take Stanley on this one.


Name/Class: Kyle Baublitz/RS FR

Where is he on the depth chart?  3rd String behind Eric Lattimore and Daquan Jones at DE.

Why is he on this list?  If there is one thing to be sure of through the last two years, it’s that Lattimore isn’t very reliable.  He’s 6’6 280, but just can’t make plays on the field, or stay healthy.  So this is where Baublitz comes in.  He played MLB in high school, and was recruited to PSU as a Strongside DE, or a 3-Tech DT.  Obviously, he’s a DE right now, but a move to DT in the future could also happen.  Just depends on how he does here.  Anyway, if Baublitz can come in and do well, he could easily start this year.  Daquan Jones is already  is also the backup 3-Tech so I’m sure the staff would love if Baublitz can have a breakout season this year to just help with the overall depth.


Name/Class: John Urschel/RS SO

Where is he on the depth chart?  (Probably) Starting RG

Why is he on the list?  John Urschel didn’t come into Penn State highly regarded at all.  Actually, his offer was ridiculed.  He only had offers from Boston College and Buffalo, and many claimed the staff took the “lowest hanging fruit”.  Well, it looks like the staff got this one right, as Urschel is fighting for a starting spot this summer.  You may remember Urschel started in the Indiana game, and for the most part did well.  He was only 285 back then, but he was still impressive given he was just a RS FR.  The biggest knock on him that game was that he wasn’t strong enough, or that he wasn’t big enough.  Urschel looks to have put those questions to rest, as some are saying Urschel looks to be the 2nd strongest OL this year.  If I had to guess, he’s probably tipping the scales at 295.  Which added to his 6’3 frame, makes him the ideal OG.  Did I mention he’s a Dean List’s student who carries a 4.0 GPA (Math Major) that will be graduating this coming spring?