Projecting the Penn State football depth chart for Ohio State: Will anything change this week?
football Edit

Projecting the PSU depth chart for Ohio State: Will any changes be made?

Another Penn State game day is almost upon us, as James Franklin's Nittany Lions are all but set to hit the road and visit Ohio State.

A healthy Sean Clifford is expected on Saturday night at The Horseshoe, but will he indeed by 100 percent as his head coach said he would be on Tuesday?

We'll know before long, but either way, the quarterback situation is not vague as it was a week ago, which is a step in the right direction.

Will there be changes elsewhere across the board? It's time to predict the final depth chart of October.

Penn State switched things
Penn State switched things

Quarterback

Starter: No. 14 Sean Clifford

Backup: No. 2 Ta’Quan Roberson

Third-string: No. 9 Christian Veilleux

The lowdown: As we mentioned above, there are no splitting of reps this week in practice no question about who will take the first snap with the offense. It's Clifford all the way out of the gate in Columbus.

Running Back

Starter: No. 21 Noah Cain

Backup: No. 10 John Lovett

Third-string: No. 24 Keyvone Lee

The lowdown: Cain was clearly the most-used back against Illinois, and we'd expect him to get the starting nod again. Lee seemed to suffer some kind of injury against the Fighting Illini which leaves questions about his availability. Devyn Ford, who did not see a snap last week possibly due to injury, has also dropped off the depth chart for now.

Wide Receiver 

Wide Receiver

Starter: No. 5 Jahan Dotson

Backup: No. 6 Cam Sullivan-Brown

Wide Receiver

Starter: No 13 KeAndre Lambert Smith

Backup: No 16 Cam Sullivan-Brown

Wide Receiver

Starter: No. 3 Parker Washington

Backup: No. 89 Winston Eubanks OR No. 8 Marquis Wilson OR No. 88 Malick Meiga

The lowdown: No changes up top here, though it is notable that Meiga was used and Eubanks and Wilson were not at Beaver Stadium last Saturday.

Tight End

Starter: No. 86 Brenton Strange

Backup: No. 84 Theo Johnson

Third-string: No. 44 Tyler Warren

The lowdown: Like every other week, there is no thought required here. This order has been consistent since the opener.

Offensive Line

Left Tackle

Starter: No. 53 Rasheed Walker

Backup: No. 74 Olu Fashanu

Left Guard

Starter No. 68 Eric Wilson

Backup: No. 72 Bryce Effner

Center

Starter: No. 73 Mike Miranda

Backup: No. 72 Bryce Effner OR No. 70 Juice Scruggs

Right Guard

Starter: No. 70 Juice Scruggs

Backup: No. 73 Mike Miranda OR No. 72 Bryce Effner

Right Tackle

Starter: No. 79 Caedan Wallace

Backup: No. 72 Bryce Effner

The lowdown: There is one major question here, and that's who will start at center. Penn State shifted Scruggs to that spot and Miranda to guard at one point last weekend, but it's unclear if the line will continue to line up that way or not. Effner cut into some of Wilson's snaps at guard but not nearly enough to flip anything there.

Defensive Line

Penn State end Arnold Ebiketie has been a leader of the Nittany Lions' defense this fall. AP photo
Penn State end Arnold Ebiketie has been a leader of the Nittany Lions' defense this fall. AP photo

Defensive End

Starter: No. 40 Jesse Luketa

Backup: No. 46 Nick Tarburton

Third-string: No. 92 Smith Vilbert

Defensive Tackle

Starter: No. 99 Coziah Izzard

Backup: No. 91 D'Von Ellies

Defensive Tackle

Starter: No. 54 Derrick Tangelo

Backup: No. 91 D'Von Ellies OR No. 99 Coziah Izzard

Third-string: No. 56 Amin Vanover OR No. 54 Fred Hansard

Defensive End

Starter: No. 17 Arnold Ebiketie

Backup: No. 40 Jesse Luketa

Third-string: No. 92 Smith Vilbert OR No.36 Zuriah Fisher

The lowdown: After listing defensive tackle as an 'OR' last week, Izzard has the spot vacated by PJ Mustipher all to himself now after outsnapping Ellies, who seems to be playing through an injury. We added Vanover as a deep rotational guy inside, as well.

Linebacker

WILL Linebacker

Starter: No. 12 Brandon Smith

Backup: No. 45 Charlie Katshir

Middle Linebacker

Starter: No. 13 Ellis Brooks

Backup: No. 40 Jesse Luketa

SAM Linebacker

Starter: No. 23 Curtis Jacobs

Backup: No. 0 Jonathan Sutherland

The lowdown: There's not much to note here. Luketa did get some work at middle linebacker against Illinois, and it's clear that Katshir is the first reserve off the bench. We also moved Jonathan Sutherland to the backup spot at SAM, where we previously had Jamari Buddin listed.

Secondary

Cornerback

Starter: No. 5 Tariq Castro-Fields

Backup: No. 25 Daequan Hardy OR No. 3 Johnny Dixon

Third-string: No. 4 Kalen King

Safety

Starter: No. 16 Ji’Ayir Brown

Backup: No. 2 Keaton Ellis OR No. 0 Jonathan Sutherland

Safety

Starter: No. 1 Jaquan Brisker

Backup: No. 2 Keaton Ellis OR No. 0 Jonathan Sutherland

Cornerback

Starter: No. 9 Joey Porter Jr.

Backup: No. 25 Daequan Hardy OR 3 Johnny Dixon

Third-string: No. 4 Kalen King

Starting slot corner

25 Daequan Hardy

The lowdown: We'll leave Dixon/Hardy as an OR for now, of course, but that's one to monitor after the former outsnapped the latter for the first time this season against the Fighting Illini. Ellis didn't play against Illinois, but we'll still leave him listed for another week, though Sutherland clearly has an edge there.

Special Teams 

Kicker: No. 98 Jordan Stout

Punter: No. 98 Jordan Stout

Kickoff specialist: No. 98 Jordan Stout

Punt returner: No. 5 Jahan Dotson

Kick returners: No. 24 Keyvone Lee and John Lovett

The lowdown: Lee will be back there if he's healthy, and the same goes for Lovett. Otherwise, there are no changes to report here.

Get on the list! Click the image to get breaking news and daily headlines delivered straight to your inbox!
Get on the list! Click the image to get breaking news and daily headlines delivered straight to your inbox!

*******

• Talk about this article inside The Lions Den

• Watch our videos and subscribe to our YouTube channel

• Sign up for our daily newsletter and breaking news alerts

• Learn more about our print and digital publication, Blue-White Illustrated

• Follow us on Twitter: @BWIonRivals, @NateBauerBWI, @RivalsSnyder, @DavidEckert98, @GregPickel, @ThomasFrankCarr

• Follow us on Instagram

• Like us on Facebook