Last Saturday, Stephen Obeng-Agyapong broke blocks and intercepted a pass. This Saturday, he could be setting up blocks and receiving a pass.
Bill O’Brien hinted as much on Tuesday when he said Obeng-Agyapong was a multipurpose player for Penn State. The coach said Obeng-Agyapong practiced with the linebackers on Monday, the safeties on Tuesday, the fullbacks on Wednesday, and, maybe, the tight ends today.
But Obeng-Agyapong doubts he’ll get any gameday reps on offense in the near future.
“I played a little receiver, running back [in high school]…tight end is a little different, but I can probably see myself there, but I don’t think that’ll be a possibility, honestly,” Obeng-Agyapong said.
Obeng-Agyapong, primarily a safety, jumped into more of a linebacker role against Syracuse when Mike Hull left the game with an injury. Inside the box for most of the game, Obeng-Agyapong recorded one pick, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, one sack and eight tackles.
Obeng-Agyapong said he initially felt undersized and unsure at linebacker when he first started practicing there. He picked the brains of natural linebackers Glenn Carson and Hull on the mechanics of blitzing.
“I felt like I wouldn’t be that successful down there [in the box], especially going against bigger guys,” Obeng-Agyapong said. “They probably see me and are like, ‘He’s 200 pounds, I can block him easy.’ So, I mean that kind of discouraged me, but after the game on Saturday…I could actually compete and make some plays. That kind of changed my whole mindset.”
The Bronx native didn’t rule out a full-time switch to linebacker in the future. The Nittany Lions have depth concerns at the position when Hull is healthy (he’s currently day-to-day). Obeng-Agyapong didn’t start at safety in Saturday’s contest, sitting below Adrian Amos on the depth chart.
The bulk of his contribution may come outside the secondary this season.
“I just got to go out there and keep practicing every day and the coaches know what’s what, so they’ll do what they have to do,” Obeng-Agyapong said.