Nittany Lions taking their time on depth chart

Penn State’s opening-week depth chart was not released by press time Monday, and it appears the coaching staff is taking things down to the wire with some of the position battles.

The starting tailback job between Bill Belton and Zach Zwinak is basically a 1 and 1A situation, offensive coordinator John Donovan said Monday. Donovan praised Beeton’s ability as a pass blocking back, saying he has “very good vision” to pick up the blitz.

The punting job remains an open competition between freshmen Chris Gullah, Robby Liebel and Danny Pasquariello.

“We’ve got a really good battle going on right now,” special teams coordinator Charles Huff said.

The starting cornerback spot opposite Jordan Lucas appears set to go to Trevor Williams, who has drawn good reviews from coaches this preseason. Freshman Grant Haley also still has a chance to play a good bit early.

The coaches have decided on the backup quarterback to starter Christian Hackenberg, although Donovan would not reveal who it is Monday. Freshmen Trace McSorley and Michael O’Connor have been battling it out for that spot, and McSorley might have the edge at this point.

McSorley led his team to four state championship game appearances in high school, winning three, and threw for 150 TDs.

The offensive line, the team’s biggest question mark, has developed good depth during the preseason, Donovan said.

“I like where we’re at,” he said. “I think we’ll continue to get better there. But those guys have asked everything we’ve asked them to do.”

Defensive coordinator Bob Shoop said he expects to have four cornerbacks and five safeties ready to play. Shoop also said the strong defensive line has helped the offensive line make progress in the preseason.

A full depth chart should be released today.