Penn State Football: Why Tyler Ferguson Is the Hidden Gem of PSU's 2013 Recruits

Colin TansitsContributor IFebruary 27, 2013


As Penn State football looks ahead towards the annual Blue and White game, the quarterback battle in Happy Valley is going to pick up. 

Currently enrolled on scholarship at State College are quarterbacks Steven Bench and Tyler Ferguson.

Ferguson is coming into the program relatively unknown, playing JUCO football at College of the Sequoias during his freshman year.

But don’t underestimate Ferguson, he is the hidden gem of coach Bill O’Brien’s 2013 recruiting class.

Most likely the next thing popping in your head right now is a question asking about top quarterback recruit Christian Hackenbergand rightfully so.

Hackenberg has the build and skills to flourish in O’Brien’s pro style offense, and has already shown signs of maturity by sticking behind Penn State during the NCAA sanctions.

With Hackenberg coming into Happy Valley during the summer rather than this spring, and the fact that Penn State still has three full years of bowl bans, the likelihood of the young stud taking a redshirt season is more than possible.

If Hackenberg does take his freshman year to immerse himself in the offense and O’Brien’s program, it will give both Bench and Ferguson a 50/50 shot at earning the starting job.

My money is on Ferguson.

Much like the 6’4” 210 pound Hackenberg, Ferguson has a solid build,standing at 6’4” 200 pounds.

According to ESPN’s Recruiting Nation, Ferguson has good arm strength and accuracy in underneath routes and is athletic enough to move around in the pocket. 

Does this sound familiar?

It was only last season that we saw former walk-on Matt McGloin leading the Big Ten, with his strength being the underneath routes.

Ferguson is bigger than McGloin and has a better arm. 

Where Ferguson has struggled is in the mechanics area. The California product doesn’t throw a great deep ball and has other areas mechanically to improve upon. But with O’Brien guiding his quarterbacks, it seems as though there is a high possibility that Ferguson can get better.

After missing out on top JUCO quarterback Jake Waters, Penn State nabbed Ferguson quickly and quietly. This move was so swift that at the time, most people didn’t know that O’Brien just might have picked up his new starting quarterback in 2013 in Ferguson.

In a class with serious top tier talent in Hackenberg and Adam Breneman, the signing of Ferguson and his enrollment in the spring semester may be the biggest offseason move O’Brien has made thus far.