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No starting QB announced

August 27, 2013
By Cory Giger (cgiger@altoonamirror.com) , The Altoona Mirror

The gamesmanship continues between Penn State coach Bill O'Brien and Syracuse coach Scott Shafer as neither has named a starting quarterback for Saturday's season opener.

The Nittany Lions and Orange both released their week one depth chart Monday, and both list two quarterbacks as the potential starter. For Penn State, the depth chart says Tyler Ferguson OR Christian Hackenberg, and for Syracuse it says Drew Allen OR Terrel Hunt.

There's been a lot of speculation among those who follow the PSU program closely that O'Brien already knows who his starting quarterback will be, he just hasn't announced it yet. The coach will have another opportunity to do so when he holds his weekly news conference this afternoon.

Shafer has said several times he won't name his starter until Saturday.

Penn State's depth chart shows two other positions where there's still uncertainty who will start.

One of the safety spots lists Malcolm Willis or Ryan Keiser as the projected starter.

The other spot up for grabs is at right offensive tackle, where projected starter Adam Gress has been dealing with a knee injury during training camp. If he's not ready to go, Garry Gilliam would fill in as the starter. Gilliam is a converted tight end who has gained about 30 pounds to bulk up so he can play on the line.

There were no surprises on PSU's depth chart, which hasn't changed much since the summer.

Of note in the return game, Jesse Della Valle is listed as the top punt returner, while the kickoff returners are Bill Belton and Akeel Lynch or Von Walker.

Scholarship players

O'Brien has decided to put five run-on players on scholarship for this season. That brings the Lions' total to 71 scholarship players. They don't have to be down to the NCAA-mandated limit of 65 until next year.

The five players put on scholarship are:

n G Bryan Davie (Jr. 6-3, 282), who weighed 350 pounds when he made the team during a tryout in January of 2012 but has lost nearly 70 pounds.

n DE Carl Nassib (So. 6-6, 244), younger brother of former Syracuse quarterback and current New York Giant Ryan Nassib.

n CB Devin Pryor (So. 5-10, 174), who went to high school in England and played for a team located on the Royal Air Force Base.

n DT Tyrone Smith (Jr. 6-4, 264), a Pittsburgh native who was all-city in high school and made the Lions during a tryout in January of 2012.

n RB Deron Thompson (So. 5-10, 205), who played in six games on the punt return unit last year and was named Academic all-Big Ten.

 
 

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