Thursday, December 25, 2014

Offense depth chart

You asked and you receive. Here's my projection of how the Lions' two-deep offense depth chart will look at the end of spring practice. I'll also look ahead to some possible changes before the season opener against Akron on Sept. 5. Defense to come later.

Offense depth chart

You asked and you receive. Here's my projection of how the Lions' two-deep offense depth chart will look at the end of spring practice. I'll also look ahead to some possible changes before the season opener against Akron on Sept. 5. Defense to come later.

QUARTERBACK
Daryll Clark / Kevin Newsome OR Matt McGloin
No brainer here. Clark is the starter. The backup is the question. With Pat Devlin onto Delaware the Lions were pressed under center but luckily snagged Newsome and had him enrolled by January. McGloin is a redshirt freshman walk-on out of Scranton. He'll be listed on the second team, as well, but Newsome will be the guy even though he's still got a lot to learn.

RUNNING BACK
Evan Royster / Stephfon Green OR Brandon Beachum
Green is recovering from surgery on his broken leg and will be held out of spring drills. He should be 100 percent by the fall. The coaches will trod lightly with Royster so that sophomore Brandon Beachum gets plenty of reps. Brent Carter is skipping the spring, too, while rehabbing a torn ACL. It'll be interesting to see if Beachum can press Green in the preseason. With the Lions relatively young in the secondary I wouldn't be surprised if Carter is moved back to safety.

WIDE RECEIVER
Graham Zug / Chaz Powell
Zug is better suited to the slot and will line up there on most occasions. In limited action last year he showed that he was sure-handed. Powell may have the most ability out of all the receivers, as Joe Paterno noted on Friday, but he can be inconsistent. A lot of the plays designed for the departed Derrick Williams suit Powell, who may be faster.

WIDE RECEIVER
Brett Brackett / James McDonald
Brackett has the most experience out of the returning receivers. He's a big target at 6-foot-5 and could mold into the Joe Jurevicious type. McDonald is a fifth-year senior and will be listed as the backup after spring. But Wilmington, Del. recruit Justin Brown will probably run with the second team by September.

WIDE RECEIVER
Derek Moye / A.J. Price
Moye and Price are both tall guys -- 6-5 and 6-4 -- but Moye is a year older and is a year ahead in filling out his frame. He's listed at 195 pounds, up considerably from his incoming weight. Price is still rather slight at 173. Both have potential, though.

TIGHT END
Mickey Shuler OR Andrew Quarless / Andrew Szczerba
Has anyone seen the freshman year Quarless? The senior's numbers have dipped in both years after his promising rookie campaign. With so much talent he's been a huge disappointment. Maybe he can pull it together for his senior year. Shuler will probably get the starting nod by default. He's a better blocker than Quarless, but this position has been woefully underused in the Lions' offensive scheme.

LEFT TACKLE
DeOn'Tae Pannell / Nerraw McCormack
Arguably the most important position on offense after quarterback, left tackle lost the steadying presence of Gerald Cadagon to graduation. Pannell, a 6-5, 313-pound sophomore, will have this job by the Blue-White game. Blue chip recruit Eric Shrive, if he's as good as advertised, might step into one of the backup tackle roles by the start of the season.

LEFT GUARD
Johnnie Troutman / Matt Stankiewitch
Troutman slides into the spot vacated by jokester Rich Ohrnberger. Troutman is up to 6-4, 322 pounds, but he's untested like many of the o-line candidates. "Stank" has the goods to start at either guard position.

CENTER
Stefen Wisniewski / Quinn Barham OR Doug Klopacz
"Wiz" jumps over to center after two seasons at right guard. The junior has big shoes to fill with all-American A.Q. Shipley gone, but he's got a great head on his shoulders and should anchor the line. Klopacz is out for the spring, but early enrollee Ty Howie could compete for the backup spot by August.

RIGHT GUARD
Lou Eliades / Matt Stankiewitch
Eliades may get the nod at the end of spring because he's older, but "Stank" is even money to trump him by the preseason.

RIGHT TACKLE
Dennis Landolt / Ako Poti
Landolt is back on the outside and is a solid, if not spectacular, performer. Poti is a JUCO transfer from two years ago. Hopefully, Landolt stays healthy.

 

About this blog
Joe Juliano has been a staff writer for The Inquirer for 20 years, covering college sports, golf and the Penn Relays.

Joining Joe this season will be John Stuetz, an intern for The Inquirer and senior at Penn State majoring in print journalism and marketing. This is John's third season covering the Penn State beat. He previously covered the Nittany Lions for the Daily Collegian, the university's student newspaper. A native of Glenside, Montgomery County, John graduated from Cheltenham High School.

For Joe, this will be his fifth season on the paper's Penn State beat. He previously covered the Nittany Lions for United Press International from 1976 to 1984.

Reach Joe at jjuliano@phillynews.com.

Joe Juliano Inquirer Staff Writer
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