Penn State releases spring depth chart
Lions’ Blue-White game was canceled
UNIVERSITY PARK –Penn State didn’t get to play its annual Blue-White Game as scheduled Saturday because of the coronavirus, but the football program did release a spring depth chart.
Actually, it released two depth charts within a span of a few hours, with the second providing two big changes.
On the first depth chart released, star linebacker Micah Parsons was listed as the top kickoff returner. But the revised depth chart changed that, putting Parsons atop the added spot labeled “off returner” for kickoffs, while Journey Brown and Devyn Ford were the top two for the actual return spot.
There was a lot of talk about Parsons returning kicks last season, but it never materialized. Parsons did return kicks in high school.
The initial depth chart Saturday also showed Jordan Stout as the No. 1 place-kicker, ahead of Jake Pinegar, the primary field-goal kicker last year. But on the revised release, Pinegar was in the top spot and Stout listed as the backup.
KJ Hamler’s departure to the NFL leaves the Nittany Lions looking for a No. 1 receiver. At the three receiver spots, these are the top three players listed on the depth chart: Jahan Dotson, Isaac Lutz and Justin Weller at one spot; Daniel George, Cam Sullivan-Brown and KeAndrew Lambert-Smith at another; TJ Jones, John Dunmore and Jaden Dottin at the other.
At running back, Brown is in the top spot, followed by Noah Cain and Ford.
Tyrone Area High School product Denver Light, a walk-on redshirt freshman, has cracked the three deep and is listed as a third-string outside linebacker.
Here’s the top three listed at each spot on rest of the depth chart, starting with the offense:
•Quarterback: Sean Clifford, Will Levis, Ta’Quan Roberson
• Tight end: Pat Freiermuth, Zack Kuntz, Brenton Strange
• Left tackle: Rasheed Walker, Des Holmes, Collin De Boef
• Left guard: Mike Miranda, Sal Wormley, Nick Dawkins
• Center: Michal Menet, Juice Scruggs, Blake Zalar
• Right guard: C.J. Thorpe, Anthony Whigan, Justin Kopko
• Right tackle: Will Fries, Caedan Wallace, Bryce Effner
Here’s a look at the defensive side:
• End: Shaka Toney, Adisa Isaac, Nick Tarburton
• Tackle: PJ Mustipher, Judge Culpepper, Hakeem Beamon
• Tackle: Antonio Shelton, Fred Hansard, Damion Barber
• End: Jayson Oweh, Shane Simmons, Smith Vilbert
• Outsider linebacker: Micah Parsons, Charlie Katshir, Robbie Dwyer
• Middle linebacker: Ellis Brooks, Jesse Luketa, Max Chizmar
• Outside linebacker: Brandon Smith, Lance Dixon, Denver Light
• Cornerback: Tariq Castro-Fields, Keaton Ellis, Daequan Hardy
• Safety: Jaquan Brisker, Jonathan Sutherland, Enzo Jennings
• Safety: Lamont Wade, Tyler Rudolph, Trent Gordon
• Cornerback: Donovan Johnson, Marquis Wilson, Joey Porter Jr.
• Star: Lamont Wade, Donovan Johnson, Daequan Hardy
On special teams, Jahan Dotson and Marquis Wilson are the top two punt returners, and Carson Landis is the backup punter.
The depth chart did include the disclaimer that it “does not reflect ‘or’ status for positions as it would be too numerous to list due to competition at many, if not all, positions.”
Athletic director Sandy Barbour said Saturday that Penn State will honor the NCAA’s rule, in response to the coronavirus, allowing spring sports seniors to return for an extra year of eligibility. Barbour said it will cost the school about $700,000 to cover scholarship costs for those seniors.
“That decision was an easy one,” Barbour said during a radio interview Saturday.
Wisconsin already has stated it will not allow the spring sports seniors another year, and other schools could decide that, as well, to cut costs.
Penn State received a commitment from three-star cornerback Jeffrey Davis on Friday for the class of 2021. Davis is listed as the No. 2 overall recruit in Connecticut and No. 39 cornerback in the country by 247Sports.