By The Stars: 2012 Penn State Depth Chart

Defensive tackle Evan Hailes was one of the big four-star pickups for Penn State in the 2010 recruiting class. Will this be the year he breaks into the starting rotation? (MIke Pettigano/BSD)

It feels like all I've done lately is depth chart stuff. But hey, for me it's fun. And today we're doing it in a somewhat different way... by using OMGSTARZ! to breakdown the roster and projected spring depth chart.

The internet has been mainstream for quite some time now. But most recruiting services/sites have not been, and weren't so quick to archive all their stuff old (like, for you youngsters, a time when we played CDs, recently discovered the joys of texting, and had no idea what a Tweet or Status Update was...) for easy reference. But as time passes, more stuff is thrown into the "Past Stuff..." dropdown menus, landing us in a fortunate situation here. I won't need to go back and dig too deeply for all the main recruiting sites' star ratings for Penn State signers the last few years.

Jumping right in, below the jump is the current (best guess) 2012 Penn State depth chart, with respective stars attached to each player...

Key: S=Scout / R=Rivals / L=247Sports (Lions247)

Offense Starters Backups Reserves
WR1 J. Brown - S:4/R:4 B. Moseby-Felder - S:3/R:3 M. Zanellato - S:4/R:2/L:3, A. Robinson - S:3/R:3/L:3
WR2 D. Smith - S:3/R:3 B. Belton - S:4/R:4/L:3 C. Drake - S:3/R:2
WR3 S. Kersey - S:3/R:3 C. Kuntz -S:2/R:2 A. Kenney - S:4/R:4/L:4
TE G. Gilliam - S:3/R:2 K. Haplea - S:4/R:3/L:3 K. Carter - S:3/R:2/L:3
OT Don. Smith - S:4/R:4/L:4 A. Gress - S:3/R:3 N. Cadogan - S:3/R:3
OG M. Arcidiacono - S:4/R:4 K. Kolb - S:3/R:3/L:3 A. Mangiro - S:4/R:3/L:4
OC M. Stankiewitch - S:4/R:3 M. Dieffenbach - S:4/R:4/L:4 T. Howle - S:3/R:3
OG J. Urschel - S:2/R:2 E. Shrive - S:5/R:4 F. Figueroa - S:2/R:2
OT M. Farrell - S:2/R:2 R. Nowicki - S:3/R:3/L:3
QB M. McGloin - NR R. Bolden - S:4/R:4/L:4 P. Jones - S:5/R:4/L:4
FB M. Zordich - (OLB) S:4/R:4 Z. Zwinak - S:4/R:4/L:3
RB S. Redd - S:5/R:4/L:4 C. Dukes - S:4/R:3 B. Beachum - S:4/R:4
Defense Starters Backups Reserves
DE S. Stanley - S:3/R:3 C. Olaniyan - S:4/R:4/L:4 S. Oakman - :S:4/R:4/L:4, J. Kerner - S:3/R:3/L:3
DT J. Terry - S:2/R:2 D. Jones - S:4/R:3/L:3 A. Zettel - S:4/R:4/L:4, A. Alosi - (OL) S:3/R:3/L:3
DT J. Hill - S:3/R:2 E. Hailes - S:4/R:3/L:3 L. Graham - (OL) S:3/R:3/L:3
DE P. Massaro - S:3/R:3 K. Baublitz - S:4/R:4/L:4 B. Bars - S:2/R:2/L:3 , D. Barnes - S:3/R:4/L:4
OLB G. Hodges - S:4/R:4 M. Hull - S:4/R:4/L:3 D. Royer - S:4/R:4/L:4
MLB G. Carson - S:4/R:4 K. Fortt - S:4/R:4/L:4 M. Yancich - S:4/R:4
OLB M. Mauti - S:4/R:4 B. Kline - S:3/R:3/L:3
CB S. Morris - S:3/R:3
CB A. Amos - S:3/R:3/L:3 D. Thomas - S:3/R:4 M. Wallace - S:2/R:2
SS M. Willis - S:3/R:3
FS S. Obeng-Agyapong - S:3/R:3
PK A. Fera - S:3/R:3 S. Ficken - S:2/R:2/L:2
P A. Fera - S:3/R:3

On first glance... There are quite a few starters missing from 2011; many of those were seniors and highly rated recruits. But Penn State has had a history developing mid-range recruits. How that will change with the new staff remains to be seen. There is reason to be optimistic, thought everything is still unknown.

The stars... I'll break this down into first team, backups, and reserves.

Unit 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star/NR
Starters OFF 6 3 2 1
Starters DEF 3 7 1
Specialists 1 1
Backups OFF 1 5 5 1
Backups DEF 5 3
Reserve OFF 4 6 1
Reserve DEF 5 3 2

On the surface, what sticks out the most is Penn State's lack of five-star recruits overall on this roster. Are star-ratings the most important thing in the world? Just ask Deon Butler, Paul Posluszny, Tony Hunt or Daryll Clark. (Hint: The answer is "no"). But it does show how poorly Penn State has done the past five recruiting classes in landing the super-elite talent. The only five-star recruit on the chart was Paul Jones Eric Shrive and even he was a split (I gave players the higher of the two ratings if it were a tie) between Scout and Rivals.

But much of the analysis anyone can derive from this chart will end up moot, as the new coaching staff could scrap all that we have come to accept as the starting lineup. Still, with recruiting on the stage lately, it's fun to look at where Penn State stands heading into spring practice.

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