Penn State Football: 5 Players with Potential to Move Up Depth Chart
Penn State released its first official depth chart this week. Matt McGloin was officially named the starting quarterback, with Paul Jones listed second on the depth chart. Tight end was officially split into two separate positions, Tight End Y and Tight End F.
Now that the depth chart is out, fans will be watching to see if any players can make a move up to a starting job before the start of the season.
Here are five players who could earn starting jobs between now and the season opener against Ohio.
Shawney Kersey, Wide Receiver
Justin Brown and Devon Smith have all but secured two of three starting receiver positions. But the third is up for grabs. Allen Robinson and Shawney Kersey are listed at the top of the depth chart at the third receiver position and could end up splitting time.
Kersey was fourth on the team in receiving last season with 108 receiving yards, while Robinson had three catches for 29 yards as a freshman.
But Kersey, a redshirt junior now in his fourth year in the program, should be able to take command of the third receiver spot with a strong showing in training camp.
Eric Shrive, Right Guard
Eric Shrive has the size to be a starting guard, but he will head into the fall behind John Urschel, who is expected to be the starter at right guard.
Shrive was a highly rated prospect out of high school who has two years of eligibility remaining. It will be interesting to see how quickly he develops under new offensive line coach Mac McWhorter.
Kevin Haplea, Tight End
There is no question that tight ends will be key to Bill O'Brien's new offensive philosophy. That means there will be plenty of opportunities to make an impact.
On the first depth chart, Kevin Haplea sits behind Kyle Carter at Tight End-F position. But Haplea, a junior, could win the starting job by showing a little more consistency in training camp.
Khairi Fortt, Linebacker
Photo via Penn State Athletics
Khairi Fortt is listed as one of the two possible starters for Penn State at middle linebacker.
The athletic and physical linebacker showed good poise in brief playing time last season and showed some good signs in the Blue-White game.
But he may have even more to offer and could replace Glenn Carson, last year's middle linebacker, as the starter.
Alex Kenney, Wide Receiver
Photo via 247Sports.com
In addition to Shawney Kersey, one receiver to keep an eye on will be Alex Kenney.
He will begin the season behind Devon Smith on the depth chart. But the redshirt sophomore from State College has good speed and could be used to exploit slower defenses, perhaps in Wildcat formations.
If he can also show good hands, he may be a valuable asset in the passing game. Penn State's top two wide receivers this season, Justin Brown and Devon Smith, have struggled to hang on to the football at times.
So if Kenney can show he can be trusted to haul in a pass thrown in his direction, he could have more of an impact in the passing game than Smith.
Kevin McGuire is the host of the No 2-Minute Warning podcast, managing editor of Nittany Lions Den and a member of the Football Writers Association of America and National Football Foundation. Follow him on Twitter, like him on Facebook and add him to your Google+ circle.