Starters: Sr. Dennis Landolt (6-4, 303) said he moved to LT this summer; that means So. DeOn'tae Pannell (6-5, 313), the projected starter there, would move to RT; nothing is finalized, however, though it would make sense to have the more experienced Landolt protecting QB Daryll Clark's blindside; So. LG Johnnie Troutman (6-4, 322); Jr. C Stefen Wisniewski (6-3, 302); Jr. RG Lou Eliades (6-4, 305)
Backups: Sr. T Nerraw McCormack (6-5, 295); Fr. LG Matt Stankiewitch (6-3, 290) is battling Troutman for starting job; So. C Quinn Barham (6-3, 288). It's presumptuous to list many more backups since lack of experience will create lots of position battles in camp.
2008 stats: Landolt started every game at RT; Wisniewski started 11 games at RG and one at LG.
Mirror file photo
Stefen Wisniewski is moving from guard to center this season.
Pressure on to keep pressure off: This unit is considered by many to be the team's biggest concern, and the players have heard the criticism. "We kind of don't like hearing that all the time, that we're a question mark," Wisniewski said. "I think if anything, it's just challenging us to work harder and to really make sure that we're doing all we can to protect Daryll and open up holes for [Evan] Royster."
They will be missed: Gone from last year's O-line are second-team All-American C A.Q. Shipley, third-team All-American LG Rich Ohrnberger and all-Big Ten LT Gerald Cadogan. They helped form one of the best lines in recent school history. "We lost three really fine offensive linemen," Joe Paterno said.
Landolt likes left side: "I've played plenty of left [tackle]; that's what I played all the way up through high school," Landolt said. "So really, it's not much of an adjustment for me. I can play either side. I feel comfortable either side." Wouldn't it be best for the offense to know as early as possible in camp who will be at LT? "There's some merit in making [the decision] sooner," Landolt said. "But with the athletes we have, Daryll has confidence in us. He knows that the coaches are going to put the guy there that can get the job done."
Twitter with the Mirror
Follow Cory Giger on Twitter for updates on Penn State football and links to the Mirror's coverage. Go to http://twitter.com/cgsports12 or log on to Twitter and search for Cory Giger to follow his updates.
Best-case scenario: The new linemen get comfortable enough playing together during the three easy games - Akron, Syracuse and Temple - that they are a cohesive unit by the time conference play starts in week four.
Worst-case scenario: All it takes is one blown assignment for Clark to get a crushing hit that knocks him out of action. If that happens, the season could collapse in a hurry.
The bottom line: Last year's line was outstanding, and this one probably will not be anywhere near as good. But as long as the line doesn't stink, the offense should be effective.