(Photo: AP via Fox Sports)
Of all the problems Penn State head coach Bill O'Brien faces, the one he'll probably grumble about least is his quarterback quandary. The kid everyone is talking about is Christian Hackenberg, the true freshman Rivals.com 5-star quarterback from Fork Union, Va.
As the No. 2 overall quarterback recruit taken in the class of 2013, and with Penn State badly needing to replace a solid signal caller like Matt McGloin, everyone expects Hackenberg to be the Nittany Lions' go-to guy this fall.
But with NCAA sanctions taking a larger and larger chunk of Penn State's ability to develop depth, we're curious about O'Brien's thought process when it comes to his next starting quarterback.
If Hackenberg starts in 2013, he'll realistically have just one season—as a senior—to compete for any kind of championship. If he redshirts in 2013, he'll be in a much better position to guide the Nittany Lions back to conference and even national relevance with two seasons to chase down some sort of title.
Which brings us to Tyler Ferguson. Unlike Hackenberg, Ferguson has at least some experience, a JUCO transfer to Penn State as a junior this season from College of the Sequoias (California). Ferguson, despite not receiving the bulk of the national attention, has been leading the quarterback battle, at least in the eyes of O'Brien.
We still think that Hackenberg will start this season, but the fact that we're even talking about Ferguson even slightly leading the battle for the starting job this fall is pretty impressive and speaks to the strength of talent at the top of the Nittany Lions' depth chart.