Ferguson back in QB derby

Tyler Ferguson is back with the Penn State football team and took part in the first practice of training camp Monday, so there will indeed be a quarterback competition between him and prized freshman Christian Hackenberg.

Ferguson had been away from the team for about three weeks as he returned home to California to visit his family, and there had been speculation the sophomore junior college transfer wouldn’t return to school. But in a practice highlight video posted at, Ferguson was shown throwing next to quarterbacks coach Charlie Fisher and taking snaps.

The 6 a.m. practice was for returning players only, while Hackenberg and the other true freshmen practiced separately later Monday evening. The entire team will begin practicing together starting today.

“It felt real good to get back out here with our team, get acclimated,” receiver Allen Robinson, speaking in the online video, said of the first practice. “I think as a team we had a pretty good start today.”

Penn State practices aren’t open to the media, but the video at provided some notable glimpses to provide updates about ongoing story lines.

Starting running back Zach Zwinak still had his left wrist heavily taped as he took a handoff from Ferguson. Zwinak suffered an injury during the Blue-White Game, and coach Bill O’Brien expects to have him fully healthy by the middle of camp.

Backup running back Bill Belton was shown taking a handoff on the video, which would indicate he has cleared the classwork requirements he had to get taken care of during the summer to be able to play.

The Lions took part in 7-on-7 drills, positional workouts and special teams work during the first practice. They wore shorts and helmets and can’t work out in full pads until the sixth preseason practice.

The team will practice once per day each day this week and will take part in media day activities Thursday. Saturday is the first day players can wear full pads and the first day of two-a-day practices.