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How are Penn State’s scholarships broken down per position?

By Audrey Snyder/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 3 years ago

NEW YORK, NY -- James Franklin said it several times since the NCAA sanctions were lifted in September and continues to reiterate that Penn State needs time for the impact of the scholarship reductions to subside.  

The Nittany Lions, who were the second youngest team in the FBS last season, will continue to be a roster full of younger players where the number of scholarship underclassmen  continues to greatly outnumbered the scholarship upperclassmen, particularly when examining the senior class. When looking at scholarship players per position (see the breakdown below for my best interpretation and the most updated numbers) it’s easy to see how the program lacks depth per class at most positions as well as what areas will need to be recruited heavier than others in the coming years. 

Franklin said Tuesday he’d like to have five quarterbacks on scholarship. Penn State has three. He sees the future at defensive tackle as one where they need to land more commitments to help make up for at least two players (Anthony Zettel and Tarow Barney) who will be gone after this season. Austin Johnson could join them if he opts to leave early following a strong season. 

Franklin said the team’s overall scholarship number is around 81 or 82. With the departure of scholarship defensive backs Kasey Gaines and Da’Quan Davis this spring, plus the addition of former walk-on Von Walker who was rewarded with a scholarship this month, I have Penn State at 82 (40 scholarship players on offense, 42 on defense, zero on special teams). 

Franklin likes to keep the breakdown of scholarship players very close to the vest so again, this is my best estimate, and doesn’t make this list official by any means. There could be players added or subtracted to this list at any time as semesters and seasons change. Here’s what I have, including the 2015 signees who arrive at the end of June: 

Quarterback (3)

  • Christian Hackenberg (Jr/Jr)
  • Trace McSorley (So/Fr)
  • Tommy Stevens (Fr/Fr)

Running back (6)

  • Akeel Lynch (Sr/Jr)
  • Mark Allen (So/Fr)
  • Nick Scott (So/Fr)
  • Johnathan Thomas (So/Fr)
  • Saquon Barkley (Fr/Fr)
  • Andre Robinson (Fr/Fr)

Wide receiver (10)

  • Matt Zanellato (Sr/Sr)
  • Geno Lewis (Sr/Jr)
  • Jake Kiley (Sr/Jr)
  • DaeSean Hamilton (Jr/So)
  • De’Andre Thompkins (So/Fr)
  • Saeed Blacknall (So/So)
  • Chris Godwin (So/So)
  • Juwan Johnson (Fr/Fr)
  • Irvin Charles (Fr/Fr)
  • Brandon Polk (Fr/Fr)

Tight ends (6)

  • Kyle Carter (Sr/Sr)
  • Brent Wilkerson (Sr/Jr)
  • Adam Breneman (Jr/So)
  • Mike Gesicki (So/So)
  • Nick Bowers (Fr/Fr)
  • Jonathan Holland (Fr/Fr) (could end up playing DE down the road if needed )

Offensive line (15) 

Offensive tackle (7)

  • Paris Palmer (Jr/Jr)
  • Andrew Nelson (Jr/So)
  • Chasz Wright (So/Fr)
  • Noah Beh (So/Fr)
  • Brendan Brosnan (So/Fr)
  • Chance Sorrell (So/Fr)
  • Sterling Jenkins (Fr/Fr)

Guard (4)

  • Derek Dowrey (Sr/Jr)
  • Brian Gaia (Sr/Jr)
  • Brendan Mahon (Jr/So)
  • Steven Gonzalez (Fr/Fr)

Center (4)

  • Angelo Mangiro (Sr/Sr) 
  • Kevin Reihner (Sr/Sr)
  • Wendy Laurent (Sr/Jr)
  • Ryan Bates (Fr/Fr) (will likely play C or G)

Defensive line (15)

Tackles (6)

  • Anthony Zettel (Sr/Sr)
  • Tarow Barney (Sr/Sr)
  • Austin Johnson (Sr/Jr)
  • Parker Cothren (Jr/So)
  • Antoine White (So/Fr)
  • Robert Windsor (Fr/Fr)

Ends (9)

  • Carl Nassib (Sr/Sr)
  • Evan Schwan (Sr/Jr)
  • Garrett Sickels (Jr/So)
  • Curtis Cothran (Jr/So)
  • Torrence Brown (So/Fr)
  • Shareef Miller (Fr/Fr)
  • Kevin Givens (Fr/Fr)
  • Ryan Buchholz (Fr/Fr) (Could become a DT)
  • Kamonte Carter (Fr/Fr) (Could become a DT) 

Linebackers (11)

  • Ben Kline (Sr/Sr)
  • Nyeem Wartman-White (Sr/Jr)
  • Gary Wooten (Sr/Jr)
  • Brandon Bell (Jr/Jr)
  • Von Walker (Jr/Jr, put on scholarship in May)
  • Jason Cabinda (So/So)
  • Troy Reeder (So/Fr)
  • Koa Farmer (So/Fr)
  • Manny Bowen (Fr/Fr)
  • Jake Cooper (Fr/Fr)
  • Daiquan Kelly (Fr/Fr )

Defensive backs (16)

Cornerback (8)

  • Trevor Williams (Sr/Sr)
  • Jordan Smith (Jr/Jr)
  • Grant Haley (So/So)
  • Christian Campbell (So/So)
  • Daquan Worley (So/Fr)
  • Amani Oruwariye (So/Fr)
  • John Reid (Fr/Fr)
  • Garrett Taylor (Fr/Fr) 

Safety (8)

  • Jordan Lucas (Sr/Sr)
  • Malik Golden (Sr/Jr)
  • Anthony Smith (Jr./Jr.)
  • Marcus Allen (So/So)
  • Troy Apke (So/So)
  • Jarvis Miller (Fr/Fr)
  • Ayron Monroe (Fr/Fr)
  • Johnny Petrishen (Fr/Fr)

Specialists (0)

Audrey Snyder: asnyder@post-gazette.com and Twitter: @audsnyder4