Penn State football is on the right path to returning to a successful program.
Head coach Bill O’Brien, who took over the team during the school’s darkest hours, turned the 2012 season into a strong year with a strong finish.
Now in 2013, O’Brien continues to face challenges, none much bigger than the current quarterback situation.
The second-year head coach will need to develop a game plan early in the season to prevent Penn State from experiencing the growing pains of a young, new quarterback.
Although the Lions have three solid signal-callers set to compete for the starting spot, none of them have started a game on the Division I level.
But getting any of these three through the growing process will be tough.
Hackenberg is the top-rated pocket passer by ESPN’s Recruiting Nation, but he will not be joining the team until this summer.
Ferguson, who has enrolled for the spring semester at Penn State, saw success at College of the Sequoias, but he has only played at the junior college level.
Bench is the only scholarship quarterback on the roster in State College with a year under O’Brien’s system and offense, but saw very limited action.
The fact is that in 2012, the Lions' situation at quarterback was much more favorable.
Former quarterback Matt McGloin was an experienced, savvy fifth-year senior that had seen playing time in the years prior to O’Brien’s hiring.
Without an experienced signal-caller, O’Brien will have to take the following steps to detour around the mistakes of a young quarterback.