The Impact Of Transfers On An Already Thin Depth Chart

Aug 6, 2012; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions head coach Bill O'Brien speaks with members of the media following the first day of practice at the Lasch Football Building practice fields. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-US PRESSWIRE

Eleven Penn State players have moved on since the release of the June 5 depth chart, nine of whom have chosen to take advantage of the NCAA ruling that allows them to transfer out of Happy Valley without having to sit out a year, as would normally be the rule. With Penn State fall practice now in full swing, figuring out who will be lining up where, and what the depth chart will look like, is now an even bigger question.

As of June 5, the official Penn State depth chart looked like this (scholarship players in bold; Class of 2012 recruits added at the end of each respective position and shown in italics):

WR
A. Robinson
S. Kersey
M. Zanellato
B. Moseby-Felder
E. Lewis
J. Warner

WR - Slot
D. Smith
A. Kenney

RB
S. Redd
B. Belton
D. Day
Z. Zwinak
A. Lynch

QB
M. McGloin
P. Jones
R. Bolden
S. McGregor
S. Bench

FB
M. Zordich

WR
J. Brown
S. Kersey
C. Kuntz
M. Golden
T. Williams

TE - Y
G. Gilliam
J. James

M. Lehman

LT
D. Smith
N. Cadogan
L. Graham

LG
M. Dieffenbach
M. Arcidiacono
A. Mangiro
A. Stanko

C
M. Stankiewitch
T. Howle
A. Mangiro
F. Figueroa

RG
J. Urschel
E. Shrive
A. Alosi
W. Laurent

RT
A. Gress
M. Farrell
A. Alosi

TE - F
K. Carter
K. Haplea
D. Royer
B. Irvin

Left End
S. Stanley
C.J. Olaniyan
B. Bars
B. Wilkerson

Left Tackle
J. Hill
K. Baublitz
J. Pollard
A. Johnson

Right Tackle
D. Jones
J. Terry
B. Gaia
D. Dowrey

Right End
P. Massaro
D. Barnes
A. Zettel
E. Schwan

Punter
A. Fera

OLB
G. Hodges
M. Hull
N. Wartman

MLB
G. Carson
K. Fortt
M. Yancich

OLB
M. Mauti
B. Kline

Kicker
A. Fera
S. Ficken

LCB
S. Morris
J. Della Valle
J. Kiley

SS
J. Fagnano
S. Obeng-Agyapong

FS
M. Willis
T. Buckley
J. Lucas

RCB
A. Amos
D. Thomas
D. Davis

Even before the sanctions were handed down, you could see that the depth chart was dangerously thin at certain spots (entire seconday, kicking). Then the NCAA went and did what they did, which led to the departure of the following players:

QB Rob Bolden
RB Silas Redd
TE Kevin Haplea
WR Justin Brown
DT Jamil Pollard
LB Khairi Fortt
FS Tim Buckley
P/K Anthony Fera
(Ryan Nowicki, who is headed to Illinois, was not on the June 5 depth chart)

Additionally, WR Devon Smith and CB Derrick Thomas each left the team for "personal reasons" prior to the sanctions, adding to the losses on the depth chart. So who is left? Removing these eleven players from the June 5 depth chart yields the following, heading deeper into fall practice...

WR
A. Robinson
M. Zanellato
B. Moseby-Felder
E. Lewis
J. Warner

WR - Slot
A. Kenney

RB
B. Belton
D. Day
Z. Zwinak
C. Dukes
A. Lynch

QB
M. McGloin
P. Jones
S. McGregor
S. Bench

FB
M. Zordich

WR
S. Kersey
C. Kuntz
M. Golden
T. Williams

TE - Y
G. Gilliam
J. James

M. Lehman

LT
D. Smith
N. Cadogan
L. Graham

LG
M. Dieffenbach
M. Arcidiacono
A. Mangiro
A. Stanko

C
M. Stankiewitch
T. Howle
A. Mangiro
F. Figueroa

RG
J. Urschel
E. Shrive
A. Alosi
W. Laurent

RT
A. Gress
M. Farrell
A. Alosi

TE - F
K. Carter
D. Royer
B. Irvin

Left End
S. Stanley
C.J. Olaniyan
B. Bars
B. Wilkerson

Left Tackle
J. Hill
K. Baublitz
A. Johnson

Right Tackle
D. Jones
J. Terry
B. Gaia
D. Dowrey

Right End
P. Massaro
D. Barnes
A. Zettel
E. Schwan

Punter

OLB
G. Hodges
M. Hull
N. Wartman

MLB
G. Carson
M. Yancich

OLB
M. Mauti
B. Kline

Kicker
S. Ficken

LCB
S. Morris
J. Della Valle
J. Kiley

SS
J. Fagnano
S. Obeng-Agyapong

FS
M. Willis
J. Lucas

RCB
A. Amos
D. Davis

Losing 11 players hurts, but there is still some solid depth at some positions. Of the players that left, the losses of Redd and Fera should have the most impact, especially Fera, who was a real asset in the kicking game.

As expected, the secondary remains the weakest link, on paper at least. There are only three scholarship safeties, and only four scholarship cornerbacks, though it's entirely possible that one of the former walk-ons earns a scholarship, if they haven't already.

We'll keep a close eye on what happens to this chart throughout camp, as shifts and position changes are almost a certainty. Needless to say, though, Bill O'Brien has some challenges facing him with this year's depth chart.


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