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grv413

Predicting the 2023 Penn State Nittany Lions Offensive Depth Chart - Pre Spring Game

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Welcome to the S Zone, your home for all news surrounding Penn State football. We’re going to give a depth chart outlook for Penn State football as we approach the 2023 season. After two national championships, the team has been restructured a bit by current head coach Grv413. It looks a little different than the Penn State teams of old, but this should be another step back towards the upper echelon of college football for our Nittany Lions. This piece we look at how the offensive depth chart is shaping up for our Nittany Lions. In the coming days we will have a follow up post looking at how the defensive depth chart is shaping up in our eyes.

 

Quarterback

Two years ago, Coach Grv took two quarterbacks in the same class, Jack Ramey and Dillon Sneed. Ramey took the reigns as a true freshman, whereas Sneed redshirted. Following his redshirt season, Sneed took the starting job back from Ramey and hasn’t looked back. Barring something crazy in this spring game or in camp leading up to the season, Sneed should retain the starting job. This position group closes with walk ons Andrew Olsen and Aden Zeigler.

 

Projected Depth Chart:

QB Dillon Sneed 5-11 187 (So) Eastmoor Academy (Columbus OH) 3.5 of 5.0 [Hybrid]

QB Jack Ramey 6-6 218 Jr Pocono Mountain West (PA) 4.0 of 4.0 [Pocket]

QB Andrew Olsen 6-2 222 Sr Penn Cambria (Cresson PA) 3.0 of 3.0 [Scrambling]

QB Aden Zeigler 6-3 213 Jr Dwight Englewood (Englewood NJ) 2.0 of 2.0 [Pocket]

   

Runningback

Last season, Coach Grv brought in junior college running back Sione Salanoa to help bridge the loss of Ricky Vega to the NFL. Salanoa has played well overall, but has struggled with his consistency at times. Even with this inconsistency, he still retains the starting job. Sophomore Aden McDonough will more than likely have a larger role than he did last season, taking the majority of third down snaps and providing a solid option to give Salanoa a break. Beyond that, senior Lance Kennedy and junior Harry Draper will be competing for the third and fourth spots on the depth chart. Incoming freshman Kai King will more than likely redshirt.

 

Projected Depth Chart:

RB Sione Salanoa 5-8 193 Jr Henry Ford Community College (Dearborn MI) 3.5 of 4.5 [Speed]

RB Aden McDonough 6-1 184 (So) Dwight Englewood (Englewood NJ) 3.0 of 4.0 [Speed]

RB Lance Kennedy 6-0 188 Sr Clairton (Clairton PA) 3.0 of 3.0 [Speed]

RB Harry Draper 5-11 196 Jr Olympic Heights (Boca Raton FL) 2.5 of 3.0 [Speed]

RB Kai King 5-9 192 Fr Wayne County (Jessup GA) 1.5 of 3.0 [Power]

 

Fullback

Fullback is a quiet position in the Lions offense. They are only used in very specific situations, but that does not mean we don’t have a battle on our hands. Junior Albert Sapa and sophomore Jamel Womack both are vying for the starting spot. At this point, we believe Womack is going to take the job from Sapa, however, the spring game may change that.

 

Projected Depth Chart

FB Jamel Womack 5-9 235 So Notre Dame (Lawrenceville NJ) 3.0 of 3.0 [Pass Blocking]

FB Albert Sapa 5-8 244 Jr L.E. Dieruff (Allentown PA) 2.5 of 3.5 [Pass Blocking]

 

Wide Receiver

Coach Grv has some interesting decisions in the receiver room this year and I believe the spring game will go a long way in showing who will be starting game one of the 2023 season. Right before the end of the season, coach Grv was able to gain the commitment of Dominic Dixon, a highly ranked junior college wide receiver out of Palomar College in California. Right now, he seems to be a shoe in to start in one of the outside wide receiver positions and should provide a great safety net for Sneed’s second season under center. Past that, the depth chart is less clear. Seniors Bryan Hinds and Derrick Hammonds have been a part of this program for a while and have earned the opportunity to start. Junior Gabriel Moore has the size and strength to be a commanding presence on the outside, while sophomore Lareto Liuga seems to be locked into the slot. Coming off his redshirt season, freshman Antoine Barrow may see some time, however due to the crowding in front of him, he may not see significant time until 2024. Incoming freshmen, Savion Saunders and Giovanni Capps should be redshirting.

 

Project Depth Chart:

WR Dominic Dixon 6-2 212 Sr Palomar College (San Marcos CA) 5.0 of 5.0 [Target]

WR Derrick Hammonds 6-5 208 Sr Leavitt Area (Turner ME) 3.5 of 3.5 [Target]

WR Gabriel Moore 6-5 232 (Jr) Corry Area (Corry PA) 3.0 of 4.0 [Target]

WR Bryan Hinds 6-5 201 Sr Cumberland Valley (Mechanicsburg PA) 3.0 of 3.0 [Target]

WR Lareto Liuga 5-9 192 (So) Huntsville (Huntsville TX) 3.0 of 4.0 [Speed]

WR Antoine Barrow 6-3 231 (Fr) Penn Cambria (Cresson PA) 2.5 of 4.5 [Target]

WR Jon McIntosh 6-0 217 Jr Grady (Atlanta GA) 2.5 of 3.0 [Target]

WR Nicolas Stamper 6-4 221 So Northwestern (Hyattsville MD) 2.0 of 3.0 [Target]

WR Giovanni Capps 6-1 225 Fr North Springs (Atlanta GA) 1.0 of 3.0 [Target]

WR Savion Saunders 6-1 232 Fr Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey NJ) 1.0 of 5.0 [Target]

 

 

Tightend

The tight end position for the Nittany Lions is pretty cut and dry. Senior James Mulholland is the leader of this group, and should remain until he graduates at the end of this season. The junior college transfer has been productive in this offense and looks to build his draft stock this season. Junior Jalen Rouse will be his backup, while sophomores Abdul Nebitt and Nikolas Chavarria look to get special teams reps. Incoming freshman Michael Lofton and Preston Sample will more than likely be redshirting.

 

Projected Depth Chart

TE James Mulholland 6-6 246 (Sr) Lackawanna (Scranton PA) 4.5 of 4.5 [receiving]

TE Jalen Rouse 6-3 208 (Jr) Valley Forge (Parma Heights OH) 4.0 of 4.0 [Receiving]

TE Abdul Nesbitt 6-0 219 So Lake Highland Prep (Orlando FL) 2.0 of 3.5 [Blocking]

TE Nikolas Chavarria 6-3 212 So Brevard Christian (FL) 1.5 of 3.0 [Receiving]

TE Michael Lofton 6-4 191 Fr Episcopal (Jacksonville FL) 1.0 of 4.0 [Receiving]

TE Preston Sample 6-2 213 Fr Slippery Rock Area ( PA) 1.0 of 3.5 [Receiving]

 

Offensive Tackle

The Tackle positions seem to be pretty set in stone with Lanier coming off of his redshirt to slide into Alex Vasili’s vacated position. On the other side, Bart Abel will maintain his starting right tackle position. This is a position that coach Grv will have to address moving forward, as the two backup tackles, Harrison Purvis and Rongo Esera, move on following this season.

 

Projected Left Offensive Tackle Depth Chart

OT Eric Lanier 6-3 324 (Fr) Saltsburg (Saltsburg PA) 3.5 of 5.0 [Run Blocking]

OT Harrison Purvis 6-2 300 Sr Saltsburg (Saltsburg PA) 3.0 of 3.0 [Pass Blocking]

OT Finn Melton 6-6 280 Fr Southern (Oakland MD) 1.0 of 3.0 [Pass Blocking]

 

Projected Right Offensive Tackle Depth Chart

OT Bart Abel 6-3 273 (Jr) Manchester Central (Manchester NH) 4.0 of 4.0 [Pass Blocking]

OT Rongo Esera 6-4 287 (Sr) Williamson (Williamson, WV) 3.0 of 3.0 [Run Blocking]

OT Saul Bueno 6-5 269 So North Harford (Pylesville MD) 1.5 of 3.5 [Run Blocking]

OT Kristian Heard 6-2 310 Jr Gilmour Academy (Gates Mills OH) 2.0 of 2.0 [Run Blocking]

 

Offensive Guard

The interior of the offensive line is much less certain than the outside. Entrenched at right guard is senior Saul Echols. The left guard spot is up for grabs between sophomore Jermaine Neal and redshirt freshman Brad Rock. The spring game should be the deciding factor, however we believe Rock is going to get the edge. Behind them are juniors Victor Koch and Aden Moya.

 

Projected Left Offensive Guard Depth Chart

OG Brad Rock 6-6 257 (Fr) Notre Dame (Lawrenceville NJ) 3.0 of 4.5 [Pass Blocking]

OG Aden Moya 6-5 298 (Jr) Avon Lake (Avon Lake OH) 3.5 of 3.5 [Run Blocking]

OG Victor Koch 6-2 259 (Jr) Clairton (Clairton PA) 3.0 of 3.0 [Pass Blocking]

OG Leo Wing 6-1 336 Sr Redbank Valley (New Bethlehem PA) 1.5 of 1.5 [Run Blocking]

 

Projected Right Offensive Guard Depth Chart

OG Saul Echols 6-5 285 (Sr) Baltimore City Community College (Baltimore, MD) 4.0 of 4.0 [Run Blocking]

OG Jermaine Neal 6-6 322 (So) Wayne Hills (Wayne NJ) 4.0 of 4.0 [Run Blocking]

OG Ryder Ball 6-4 274 Sr Shade (Cairnbrook PA) 2.5 of 2.5 [Run Blocking]

OG Benjamin Glass 6-6 334 Jr Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey NJ) 2.5 of 2.5 [Run Blocking]

 

Center

Center is another position that does not have a clear leader coming out of spring ball. Senior Chase Kinney was the starter last season, however sophomore Alex Ness is making a real name for himself to challenge for the starting role this season. We are leaning with experience in this one and naming Kinney the starter, however a lot can change in the next couple months before the season begins. Behind those two, junior August Ayers appears to have the third spot locked down. Sophomore Marco Bray will continue developing and incoming freshman Russell Donnelly will more than likely redshirt.

 

Projected Depth Chart

C Chase Kinney 6-1 296 (Sr) Cummings (Burlington, NC) 4.0 of 4.0 [Pass Blocking]

C Alex Ness 6-4 290 (So) L.E. Dieruff (Allentown PA) 3.5 of 5.0 [Run Blocking]

C August Ayers 6-1 282 (Jr) Penn Cambria (Cresson PA) 3.5 of 3.5 [Pass Blocking]

C Marco Bray 6-3 248 So Northview (Bratt FL) 2.0 of 3.0 [Pass Blocking]

C Russell Donnelly 6-2 296 Fr Susquenita (Duncannon PA) 1.5 of 3.0 [Run Blocking]

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