Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Penn State releases first depth chart with no designated starting QB

In releasing his first depth chart since the start of pre-season camp, Penn State coach Bill O'Brien still hasn't announced his starting quarterback for Saturday's season opener.

Penn State releases first depth chart with no designated starting QB

Penn State quarterbacks Tyler Ferguson and Christian Hackenberg. (Nabil K. Mark/Centre Daily Times/AP)
Penn State quarterbacks Tyler Ferguson and Christian Hackenberg. (Nabil K. Mark/Centre Daily Times/AP)

The first depth chart for the season released Monday by Penn State coach Bill O’Brien gave no clues as to the identity of the starting quarterback for the Nittany Lions’ season opener against Syracuse on Saturday at the Meadowlands.

The depth chart listed sophomore Tyler Ferguson “OR” freshman Christian Hackenberg where the first-team player;s name would be. For you detectives out there, Ferguson was listed first, but it could have been in alphabetical order or numerical order (Ferguson wears No. 5, Hackenberg No. 14).

O’Brien had said at the start of pre-season that he would name a starting quarterback about two weeks in. He is expected to comment on the situation Tuesday during his first weekly teleconference of the season.

Two other positions were deemed neck-and-neck on the depth chart – offensive right tackle, where junior Garry Gilliam and senior Adam Gress are battling, and at safety, with senior Malcolm Willis and junior Ryan Keiser.

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Who should start at quarterback for Penn State?
Tyler Ferguson
  108 (31.8%)
Christian Hackenberg
  232 (68.2%)
Total votes = 340

Junior Bill Belton (Winslow Township High) is listed as No. 2 running back behind Zach Zwinak, and also as the No. 1 kickoff returner and the No. 2 punt returner.

Some true freshmen have found their way on to the depth chart. Brandon Bell (Oakcrest) is a second-team outside linebacker. Andrew Nelson is No. 3 at offensive left tackle. Freshman walk-on D.J. Crook is listed as No. 3 quarterback behind Ferguson and Hackenberg.

Other true freshmen on the depth chart include second-team tight end (Y/F position) Adam Breneman, second-team wide receiver Richy Anderson (tied with Matt Zanellato), second-team cornerbacks Jordan Smith and Anthony Smith and kicker Chris Gulla.

O’Brien also announced that he has awarded scholarships to five walk-ons: sophomore defensive end Carl Nassib (Malvern Prep), junior guard Bryan Davie, junior cornerback Devin Pryor, junior defensive tackle Tyrone Smith and sophomore running back Deron Thompson.

--Joe Juliano

Inquirer Staff Writer
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About this blog
Joe Juliano has been a staff writer for The Inquirer for 30 years, covering covering Penn State football, Villanova basketball and other college sports, along with golf and the Penn Relays. This is his seventh season on The Inquirer’s Penn State beat. He previously covered the Nittany Lions for United Press International from 1976-84.

Joining Joe this season is Erin McCarthy, an intern for The Inquirer and a junior at Penn State majoring in print and digital journalism. This is Erin's first season on the Penn State football beat. She previously spent two summers as an Inquirer summer intern on the Pennsylvania and South Jersey desks. She is also an editor for the Daily Collegian, the university's student newspaper. A Delaware County native, Erin graduated from Episcopal Academy.

Joe Juliano Inquirer Staff Writer
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