April 30, 2010

Depth Charting: Into the Summer

Did Paul Jones (under center) move his way up the depth chart following a great spring game? Probably not...

This would seem like a somewhat pointless exercise, going over the depth chart following the 2010 Blue-White Game. But there is still a lot to take away from the glorified practice session we all watched last weekend.

A week ago, we took a look at the last-minute depth chart heading into the game, which is one of the toughest things to project at any point in the season. Looking back, it was filled with all kinds of stuff that now needs to be cleaned up, mostly dealing with who belongs where. Here we go...


The quarterback race, despite what has exploded onto the message boards, remains the same. Kevin Newsome didn't lose his job. Matt McGloin was what you'd expect from a backup. And Paul Jones did not win the job. Sorry, but this will remain an open race until August, if not even later.

On the outside is a situation similar to the quarterbacks. Shawney Kersey had a fantastic day in the eyes of a casual fan, but did have some pretty bad drops. The coaches have said all spring how Kersey needs softer hands, and that he had been dropping plenty of passes all spring. Kersey will most likely get into the top-six rotation, but isn't exactly a starter right now.

Then there's the offensive line. I'm not even sure I want to tackle this today, as there isn't enough ibuprofen east of the Mississippi to combat the royal headache spawned from trying to break down the offensive front five.

But I'll try anyway. From what we've been hearing, there are two main contingency plans, each addressing two positions that are aleady known trouble spots: offensive center and left guard.

Situation #1 - Center

Doug Klopacz has been and still is the starter at center. However, should the move not work out well enough by summer, the staff have said that Stefen Wisnewski will move back to his 2009 position. That would open up the right guard spot, where 2009 starter Lou Eliades would return. In turn, that would leave a hole at right tackle, where Eliades started the last half of spring practice, and in the Blue-White Game.

In the first few practice sessions this spring, Mike Farrell and Adam Gress were the leading candidates, with Eric Shrive close behind. One of those three would absolutely have to step up and claim the starting role for this to work.

Situation #2 - Left Guard

DeOn'Tae Pannell started the Captial One Bowl at left guard, continuing that role in the Blue-White Game on Saturday. He displaced starter Johnnie Troutman, who had sustained a minor injury late in the season. But when Troutman wasn't able to quickly reclaim his old starting job this spring, I wasn't the only surprised pundit out there. The word around the internets is that Troutman's second-team status is partly (or mostly, depending on who you talk to) due to his inability to maintain his weight, or maintain a schedule. Troutman had been battling weight issues for a while, then failed to attend mandatory team breakfasts in March.

If Troutman gets his act together, and gets his butt out of Joe Paterno's dog house, Pannell will probably move back out to left tackle. But before you cringe, consider that this would allow the same starting interior line to maintain its cohesion from 2009. Talk all you want about how bad the right tackle position was (Pannell, Ako Poti, and Nerraw McCormack) in the first half of the season; but the interior played outstanding.

Pannell getting pushed out at left guard doesn't necessarily mean that he will get the starting left tackle job, either. Quinn Barham has become the talk of the line lately, as the coaches have praised his performance all spring.

The left side of the line all depends on whether or not Troutman can step up.


Suddenly, things aren't so crazy. The defensive line is looking fantastic as usual under Larry Johnson, Sr. The secondary will return all of its key players by this summer. Even the linebacker positions, all of which will be new full-time starters this fall, aren't nearly as scary as anything on offense.

Chaz Powell will probably be the No. 3 cornerback, behind D'Anton Lynn and Stephon Morris. This is a great move by the staff, as Powell is a great athlete who can offer superior depth in teh secondary. Andrew Dailey stepped in for Drew Astorino in the Blue-White Game, which didn't make much of a difference. Astorino will return this summer anyway.

The starting linebackers are still the same group we anticipated at the start of spring ball: Nate Stupar, Chris Colasanti and Bani Gbadyu. Barring injury, they will start in the fall. But that doesn't mean a guy like Gerald Hodges couldn't rise up and steal a starting job. Hodges was everywhere in the Blue-White Game, but one scrimmage doesn't mean he's earned anything.

Throw Michael Mauti into the mix, and Penn State is just fine at linebacker.

Pre-summer depth chart. Keep in mind that the "First Team, Second Team..." stuff isn't meant to be concrete. In most cases, Penn State has a rotation of players. It breaks down into this:

First Team = Starts or plays in nearly all situations;
Second Team = First one in to replace starter or at least one play per drive;
Reserves = Guaranteed playing time, but probably when PSU has a big lead.


First Team

Second Team


#12 Kevin Newsome, So
#11 Matt McGloin, rSo
#10 Paul Jones, Fr
#22 Evan Royster, rJr -OR- #21 Stephfon Green, So
#25 Silas Redd, Fr -OR- #26 Curtis Dukes, rFr
#30 Kykeem Brodie, So; #23 Shaine Thompson, rJr
#37 Joe Suhey, Jr
#35 Pat Zerbe, rFr
#33 Andre Dupree, Fr
#6 Derek Moye, Jr
#19 Justin Brown, So
#14 AJ Price, rFr
#7 Curtis Drake, So
#20 Devon Smith, So
#8 Brandon Moesby-Felder
#5 Graham Zug, rSr
#4 Shawney Kersey
#83 Brett Brackett, rSr
#89 Garry Gilliam, rFr
#80 Andrew Szczerba, rJr
#13 Mark Wedderburn, rSr
#67 Quinn Barham, rJr
#78 Mike Farrell, So
#58 Adam Gress, rFr
#50 De'OnTae Pannell, rJr
#74 Johnnie Troutman, rJr
#75 Eric Shrive, rFr
#68 Doug Klopacz, rSr
#54 Matt Stankiewitch, rSo
#53 Ty Howle, rFr
#61 Stefen Wisniewski, Sr
#64 John Urschel, rFr
#77 Lou Eliades, rSr
#77 Lou Eliades, Sr
#52 Chimaeze Okoli, rJr
#75 Eric Shrive, rFr
#53 Jon Rohrbaugh, rSo
#36 Collin Wagner, Jr
#28 David Soldner, rSo

First Team

Second Team


#81 Jack Crawford, Jr
#44 Kevion Katham, Jr
#90 Sean Stanley, So
#71 Devon Still, rJr
#47 Jordan Hill, So
#75 Evan Hailes, Fr
#85 Ollie Ogbu, Sr
#99 Brandon Ware, So
#72 James Terry, rSo
#56 Eric Latimore, rJr
#59 Pete Massaro, rSo
#84 Kyle Baublitz, Fr
#15 Bani Gbadyu, rSr
#51 James Van Fleet, rSo
#32 Dakota Royer, Fr
#48 Chris Colasanti, Sr
#33 Mike Yancich, rSo
#9 Mike Zordich, rSo
#34 Nate Stupar, rJr
#6 Gerald Hodges, So
#11 Khairi Fortt, Fr; #40 Glen Carson, Fr
#12 Stephfon Morris, So
#2 Chaz Powell, rJr
#5 Derrick Thomas, rFr
#10 Nick Sukay, rJr
#13 Andrew Dailey, rJr
#27 Jacob Fagnano, rSo
#13 Andrew Dailey, rJr
#23 Stephen Obeng-Agyapong, rFr
#2 Chaz Powell, rSr
#8 D'Anton Lynn, Jr
#14 Mike Wallace, rFr
#10 Malcolm Willis
Russell Nye, rFr
Graham Zug, rSr
Brandon Moseby-Felder, rFr
Shawney Kersey, rFr

Have a fantastic weekend!

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  1. Where does that leave Brandon Beachum? Also do you think Glliam starts at TE, not Szczerba?

  2. By the way, thank you very much. Great work!

  3. Keep in mind that this pseudo-depth chart is just for the end of spring. During the summer, when the players are all on campus (including the rest of the 2010 froshes), it will change again. Specifically... Beachum won't be in the DC until fall, if that... Szczerba sustained a minor injury, which allowed Gilliam to be the No. 1 TE for most of the spring... thanks for the comment!

  4. Shocked that Justin Brown isn't listed as the starting PR. I sure hope Moseby-Felder showed the coaching staff something that impressed them more than Brown did towards the end of last season.

  5. I wouldn't really count out Brown. He could end up as the No. 1 guy, as even I expected this spring. But if the staff wants to stick a burner or two back there--Kersey & Moseby-Felder--I'm totally cool with that, too. The two are apparently just as fast as Derrick Williams ever was.