Penn State released its opening week depth chart ahead of Tuesday’s regularly scheduled press conference.
Penn State’s Week 1 depth chart...— John McGonigal (@jmcgonigal9) August 28, 2018
Starting linebackers, as expected: Cam Brown, Jan Johnson, Koa Farmer
KJ Hamler starting at slot receiver
Yetur Gross-Matos starting at DE opposite Shareef Miller
True freshman Jake Pinegar starting field goal kicker pic.twitter.com/vWp3M62WQx
In a huge surprise to all, redshirt senior Trace McSorley was listed as the starter at quarterback.
But on a more serious note...
The interesting tidbit is the appearance of KJ Hamler as a starter at wide receiver. Hamler, a redshirt freshman who had a strong showing in the spring and in camp, will start alongside Juwan Johnson and DeAndre Thompkins.
Hamler was competing with the notably absent Justin Shorter for the spot as well as Brandon Polk and Jahan Dotson. Shorter has been dealing with injuries that are not expected to keep him out long term.
Jon Holland takes the starting tight end spot over Danny Dalton, Nick Bowers and Pat Friermuth. Dalton and Bowers have battled injuries throughout their careers, while Friermuth is a true freshman. Holland was named to the Mackey Award watch list in the preseason.
The starter offensive line from left to right appears to be as follows: Ryan Bates, Steven Gonzalez, Michal Menet, Connor McGovern and either Chasz Wright or Will Fries. Both Wright and Fries have shown the ability to kick inside to guard if necessary and Fries has played a bit of left tackle as well.
Yetur Gross-Matos starts opposite Shareef Miller at defensive end, while redshirt sophomore Shane Simmons is unlisted while dealing with an injury. Simmons was wearing a boot at Penn State’s photo day last week.
Unsurprisingly, Kevin Givens and Robert Windsor will start at defensive tackle, while Antonio Shelton and Fred Hansard appear to be second in line.
The long-awaited linebacking corps release shows Koa Farmer and Cam Brown at the outside spots, while walk-on Jan Johnson will be the man in the middle. Much talked about true freshman Micah Parsons is listed behind Farmer, while Ellis Brooks in the second-team MIKE and Jarvis Miller the second-teamer behind Brown.
John Reid and Amani Oruwariye will start at the corner back spots, while Reid is also listed as the start at nickel corner. Tariq Castro-Fields, listed behind Reid on the outside, will likely step into the lineup when Reid moves inside.
Senior captain Nick Scott occupies one safety spot, while it appears Garrett Taylor has won the starting job opposite Scott. Expect true sophomore Lamont Wade, listed behind Taylor, to also see the field a good amount.
Unsurprisingly, Blake Gilikin is your punter while true freshman Jake Pinegar won the place kicking battle. Pinegar will not, however, handle the kickoff duties. Those will be handled by true freshman walk-on Rafael Checa.
DeAndre Thompkins will once again be back returning punts, while Hamler and redshirt freshman running back Journey Brown will return kicks.
So there you have it, your Week 1 depth chart.
Questions, comments, concerns?...