Penn State 2009 Position Breakdown: Quarterback

Dan DiBaccoCorrespondent IApril 14, 2009

STATE COLLEGE, PA - SEPTEMBER 06:  Quarterback Daryll Clark #17 of the Penn State Nittany Lions during play against the Oregon State Beavers at Beaver Stadium on September 6, 2008 in State College, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Penn State had a very desirable quarterback situation heading into last season. There were three capable quarterbacks battling for the starting spot. Fifth year senior Paul Cianciolo, although talented, was a long shot because he was a traditional drop back passer and wouldn't fit the spread offense the coaches were implementing.

Though Coach Joe Paterno would tell you otherwise, it was mainly a two horse race between the two mobile quarterbacks, sophomore Pat Devlin and junior Darryll Clark.

It was a long drawn out battle between the two, but Daryll Clark was eventually named the starter just days before Penn State's first game of the season. 

Clark went on to be first team All Big Ten, wile Devlin, a much sought after quarterback in the 2006 recruiting class was obviously disappointed in how his career was panning out at Penn State. It looked like he'd only get one year as the starter, so he transferred to FCS Delaware before Penn State's trip to the Rose Bowl.

After the Rose Bowl, Paul Cianciolo's career at Penn State was over, leaving the quarterback position uncomfortably thin.


What We Know

Thanks in part to Penn State's failure to get a quarterback in two consecutive signing classes, there's the star Daryll Clark and then walk-on redshirt freshman Matt McGloin and true freshman Kevin Newsome. Quite a difference from last year.


The Unknown

Who will back up Clark?

The leading candidate right now is Newsome, who enrolled early, but McGloin has an obvious advantage on him because he's had a year to get to know the playbook. However, Newsome is the better talent and will likely be handed the second string duties.


Report from Spring Practice

While Clark is wearing the red jersey to remind the defense not to hit him, the defense has all the right in the world to hit the backups, and the report from practice so far is both McGloin and Newsome are struggling against the rush, and making mistakes.

Both have been inconsistent with their throws, but Newsome is consistently showing he's a threat on his feet, and is already taking a large leadership role with the second team offense.


Projected Two Deep (Starter-Backup)

QB: Daryll Clark/Kevin Newsome


Final Thoughts

Daryll Clark is a very good quarterback and, to many, a Heisman candidate for 2009, and as long as the offensive line can give him enough time to drop back and survey the field, Penn State will have no problems at quarterback.

Newsome will learn a lot from Clark and should be ready to back him up if need be. With the cupcake schedule at the beginning of the season, all three quarterbacks should see valuable playing time, which will be very beneficial.

Next week, defensive line.