Penn State Football Preview–Part 3–Wideouts
There is a good chance if you’re reading this, the fact that three of Penn State’s best Wideouts in school history just left has crossed your mind. Now this leaves you with a few choices: You can A. Cry a lot B. Cry a little C.Worry a lot..or D. Take a step back and look at it objectively…reasonably I think we’ve all taken part in A B or C…so that really only leaves us to deal with D, however I think that by doing so we can prevent anymore eye sweating for now.
First things first, the depth chart
|6 Derek Moye | 6-5, 195, Jr., 1V|
|14 A.J. Price | 6-4, 173, So., RS|
|84 Patrick Mauti | 5-10, 190, Sr., 3V|
|83 Brett Brackett | 6-6, 231, Sr., 2V|
|8 James McDonald | 6-2, 204, Sr., 3V|
|26 J.D. Mason | 6-4, 208, So., RS|
|5 Graham Zug | 6-2, 178, Sr., 2V|
|2 Chaz Powell | 6-1, 195, Jr., 1V|
|81 Ryan Scherer | 5-6, 169, So., RS|
The first thing that comes to mind? Size, and if you’ll remember USC had really big receivers last year– it made for great targets. Leaving your comments about playing Zone Defense at the Rose Bowl aide, those guys where just big targets and tough to bring down. Moye and Brackett are both much larger than the Fab 3. In fact Brackett is a full 8 inches taller than Deon Butler, that in my eyes at least makes Brackett this years go-to guy.Moye is also going to bring a lot of speed to the table, so the squad hasn’t lost all of its burner speed. The freshman class should make a early impact on this crew, which in the long run will be really helpful for the future of the team. All in all this group of wideouts are talented, and a really being overlooked by many Penn Staters. They have speed, size, and talent. Any other offseason the wideout core wouldn’t be in question. But after losing the Fab 3, anybody seems pale in comparison.
Another thing to consider is Norwood and Butler. When they came to Penn State nobody was really sure what to expect, its true Williams was pretty hyped up, but Butler, even more so for Norwood weren’t really that hyped. They then ended up being really really good. The point is that you have no idea how people will play, even Aaron Maybin was somewhat of a surprise, and now he’s in the NFL. Brackett and Zug have both caught balls, worked hard, and know the system well; Clark can throw and they can catch. Will they be as good as the Fab3? Its not very likely, but at the same time, they’re in just as a good position to succeed as Norwood, Butler, and Williams were.
In the end, as important as those three players were, they weren’t players that put up amazing numbers season after season. Butler had a lot of catches, its true, but there were many receivers who caught more yards, or more touchdowns than those guys did. For example, the MSU top three receivers were less than a 100 yards away from the total the Fab 3 put up last year. Im not taking anything away from what they did while they were here, I am saying however that you don’t have to be Deon Butler to be successful.
Hopefully by now the eye sweating has gone down, and you still have tissues. If I were you, I wouldn’t worry too much. We’ve been spoiled with the receiving core these past few years, but there isn’t any reason to think these guys wont be able to get the job done. Plenty of teams have lost their star players, when that happens other players have stepped up to take their place. Its the nature of the beast of College Football.
One last thought, the run game. That’s right, when it comes to national rankings the run game last season was ranked higher in the nation and the Big Ten.
It could very well turn out that the running game will be the focus of this season. Jay Pa has said we’ll run the ball more, and it makes sense to. That could really take the stress of the wideouts, and in the end better for the whole team. All in all I expect the wideouts to be good enough to get the job done. And you never know who the next thing will be….thats why they play the game.