Big Ten: Lebron Daniel

Michigan State-Iowa pregame

November, 12, 2011
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IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A few pregame notes before kickoff between No. 17 Michigan State and Iowa at Kinnick Stadium.
  • Michigan State linebacker Chris Norman (shoulder) worked with the first-team defense during warm-ups and didn't appear to be limited. Cornerback Darqueze Dennard (concussion) also warmed up without limitations. The only uncertainty for the Spartans is linebacker Steve Gardiner (neck).
  • Iowa defensive end Lebron Daniel returns to the starting lineup today in place of Dominic Alvis, who tore his ACL in last week's win against Michigan. There shouldn't be any other lineup changes for the Hawkeyes.
  • Iowa tight end Brad Herman has his hand wrapped. Not sure if it will limit him. Herman has moved to the second team in favor of C.J. Fiedorowicz.
  • The winds were kicking up when I shot my pregame video. It seems to be more of a swirling wind right now.

Big Ten lunchtime links

November, 9, 2011
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Once again, we'll split up the links between what's going on in State College and the rest of the Big Ten:

Penn State
Elsewhere in the Big Ten
Some bad news for Iowa's defense after the big win against Michigan, as coach Kirk Ferentz announced defensive end Dominic Alvis tore his ACL in the fourth quarter and will miss the remainder of the season.

Alvis has appeared in all nine games this season, recording 30 tackles, including 3.5 for loss and 1.5 sacks. He also has a forced fumble.

Alvis recorded three tackles in the 24-16 win against Michigan.

"The only thing that could have been worse is if he was a senior, but you hate for any player to deal with something that's going to require surgery and rehab and all those types of things," Ferentz said. "He's a young guy that's been working really hard and playing a lot better and improving each week, so it's a loss to our team, but our thoughts are more so with him right now."

Alvis had split time with Lebron Daniel, who will see more time in his absence opposite Broderick Binns.

Iowa releases Week 1 depth chart

August, 26, 2011
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It has been a fairly quiet training camp at Iowa despite some position competition on both sides of the ball.

The Hawkeyes on Friday released their depth chart for the season opener against Tennessee Tech. Not too many surprises here.

A few notes:
  • Only three spots list co-starters: Matt Tobin and Brandon Scherff at left guard, Matt Meyers and Jonathan Gimm at fullback, and Thomas Nardo and Dominic Alvis at defensive tackle. Alvis also is listed as a backup at defensive end behind Lebron Daniel. Fullback Brad Rogers, sidelined before the Insight Bowl with a heart issue, isn't listed on the two-deep.
  • Redshirt freshman quarterback A.J. Derby seems to be stepping up his game, as he's listed as a co-backup with junior John Wienke.
  • After starting last season at cornerback, Micah Hyde is listed as Iowa's starting free safety, ahead of Tanner Miller. Hyde also is a backup cornerback behind Greg Castillo. Junior Collin Sleeper is listed as the starting strong safety, while Jordan Bernstine is a backup at both strong safety and cornerback. There's not a ton of depth in the Iowa secondary, which could be a problem.
  • Junior Jason White is listed as the backup running back behind Marcus Coker.
  • Sophomore Christian Kirksey is listed as the starting weak-side linebacker ahead of classmate Anthony Hitchens.
  • Iowa's return men for both kickoffs and punts are to be determined.

Big Ten lunchtime links

August, 18, 2011
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T-minus two weeks 'til kickoff ...
The position rankings move from offense to defense. We'll start with the group that has produced more Big Ten stars than any other position group in recent years.

The Big Ten had five defensive linemen, all from different teams, selected in the first round of April's NFL draft: Wisconsin's J.J. Watt, Illinois' Corey Liuget, Purdue's Ryan Kerrigan, Iowa's Adrian Clayborn and Ohio State's Cameron Heyward. Iowa lost three starting D-linemen to the draft, and almost every Big Ten squad has to replace major contributors.

The personnel losses make the preseason D-line rankings both tricky and fun. The first three groups look very good, while there's not much difference in the middle of the league.

Let's take a look:

[+] EnlargeJared Crick
Brett Davis/US PresswireJared Crick and Nebraska join the Big Ten as the league's top defensive line.
1. Nebraska: The Big Ten's newest member should fit in well with its strong play up front. Star defensive tackle Jared Crick stiff-armed the NFL draft and returned for his final season, giving Nebraska a terrific centerpiece up front. He'll be complemented by veterans Baker Steinkuhler and the mustachioed Cameron Meredith. If converted linebacker Eric Martin builds off of a strong spring, Nebraska should be fine at the end spot.

2. Ohio State: Heyward's leadership and versatility will be missed, but Ohio State always finds ways to fill the gaps up front. Junior John Simon should be primed for a breakout season. Like Heyward, Simon can play both line spots but might see more time on the edge this fall. Nathan Williams adds experience at end, and promising sophomore Johnathan Hankins could wreak havoc on the interior this fall.

3. Michigan State: Like several Big Ten teams, the Spartans build their line around a potential superstar tackle in Jerel Worthy. The junior already is projected as a potential first-round pick in the 2012 draft after recording four sacks last fall. Anthony Rashad White emerged this spring as a nice complement to Worthy. Michigan State needs a better pass rush from the end spots, and hopes are high for William Gholston and Tyler Hoover.

4. Wisconsin: Watt is a huge loss because he contributed in so many ways, but Wisconsin could account for his production with greater depth. Ends Louis Nzegwu and David Gilbert both have played a lot of football, and junior Brendan Kelly came on strong toward the end of spring practice. Senior tackle Patrick Butrym has emerged as one of the leaders on defense. Wisconsin needs young tackles like Jordan Kohout and Beau Allen to help Butrym.

5. Michigan: This is a projection pick, but I think Michigan's defensive front takes a significant step forward this season. Senior tackle Mike Martin is a bona fide NFL prospect and will lead the way, and players like Ryan Van Bergen and Craig Roh should be among the primary beneficiaries of the new defense under coordinator Greg Mattison. Michigan needs to build depth with Jibreel Black, Will Campbell and others, but there's great potential here.

6. Iowa: The Hawkeyes face a tough task in replacing multiyear starters in Clayborn, Christian Ballard and Karl Klug. Senior tackle Mike Daniels is ready to lead the group after recording 11 tackles for loss and four sacks in 2010. The biggest key is getting Broderick Binns back to his 2009 form. Iowa also needs to build depth with Lebron Daniel and others, and avoid major injuries.

7. Purdue: Defensive tackle is a major strength for Purdue as Kawann Short and Bruce Gaston Jr. form one of the league's top tandems. Short quietly turned in an extremely productive season last fall (12.5 TFLs, 6 sacks). The big unknown is how Purdue replaces Kerrigan. The Boilers need veteran Gerald Gooden to stay healthy and others to emerge alongside him.

8. Penn State: Much like Purdue, Penn State looks strong at tackle and has question marks at end. Devon Still could contend for All-Big Ten honors after a terrific performance in the Outback Bowl against Florida. Still and Jordan Hill should lock up the middle, but Penn State needs Jack Crawford and Eric Latimore to get healthy at the end spots. If not, the Lions will turn to unproven players to spark their pass rush.

9. Illinois: Liuget is a significant loss in the middle and Illinois also must replace veteran end Clay Nurse. The Illini will rely on Akeem Spence to step in for Liuget, and Spence showed some good things this spring. There's talent on the edges with Michael Buchanan, Whitney Mercilus and others, but Illinois needs more consistent production.

10. Northwestern: This group took a step back last fall and got manhandled down the stretch as Northwestern hemorrhaged yards and points. Senior end Vince Browne is a playmaker who put up impressive numbers (15.5 TFLs, 7 sacks) in 2010. He'll need help from tackles Jack DiNardo and Niko Mafuli, and Tyler Scott could provide a lift at the other end spot. The Wildcats need their line to regain the edge it displayed in 2008.

11. Indiana: It wouldn't surprise me to see Indiana's front four rise up these rankings during the season. There are some nice pieces back, namely senior end Darius Johnson, who can be a force when healthy. Junior Adam Replogle has been productive at defensive tackle. There's plenty of competition at the other two spots as Indiana tries to turn a page on defense.

12. Minnesota: The Gophers' pass rush was practically invisible in 2010, as they finished last nationally in sacks (9). The good news is new defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys will turn his linemen loose more often, giving players like Brandon Kirksey chances to make plays. We've heard a lot about Minnesota's talent up front but haven't seen nearly enough production on Saturdays.

Hope and concern: Iowa

May, 11, 2011
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The Hope and Concern series marches on with the Iowa Hawkeyes.

Biggest reason for hope: Returning players who stepped up in Insight Bowl

When a team loses a group of seniors like Iowa does, you want to see evidence of who will carry the torch. Several Hawkeyes underclassmen provided the proof Dec. 28 against Missouri. Running back Marcus Coker rushed for an Iowa bowl record 219 yards and two touchdowns on 33 carries. By all accounts, Coker has built on his bowl performance and continued to develop throughout the winter and spring. Sophomore defensive back Micah Hyde had the decisive 72-yard interception return for a touchdown against Missouri and looks ready to take over Tyler Sash's defensive playmaker role. Other returning players like linebacker James Morris also stepped up in the bowl game, and an offensive line that returns three starters held an edge at the line of scrimmage.

Biggest reason for concern: Depth in the defensive front seven

Iowa's defense doesn't feature a ton of blitzing or additional defensive backs on the field, even against the spread. Coordinator Norm Parker relies on his front four to generate consistent pressure, and his linebackers to fill gaps and make tackles. The Hawkeyes exit the spring feeling pretty good about three down linemen -- Mike Daniels, Broderick Binns and Lebron Daniel -- and Tyler Nielsen and Morris will occupy two of the starting linebacker spots. But who fills the gaps elsewhere? And more important, what will Iowa do if injuries crop up to returning players with experience. It's tough to reload when you lose three defensive linemen to the NFL draft, and Iowa's lack of depth at linebacker hurt the defense at times last season.

More Hope and Concern

Iowa spring wrap

May, 4, 2011
5/04/11
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2010 overall record: 8-5

2010 conference record: 4-4 (T-4th)

Returning starters

Offense: 4; defense: 5; kicker/punter: 1

Top returners

DT Mike Daniels, LB Tyler Nielsen, LB James Morris, DB Micah Hyde, CB Shaun Prater, WR Marvin McNutt, LT Riley Reiff, C James Ferentz, RB Marcus Coker

Key losses

DE Adrian Clayborn, DT Karl Klug, DL Christian Ballard, LB Jeremiah Hunter, S Tyler Sash, S Brett Greenwood, QB Ricky Stanzi, WR Derrell Johnson-Koulianos, TE Allen Reisner, G Julian Vandervelde, RB Adam Robinson

2010 statistical leaders (*returners)

Rushing: Adam Robinson (941 yards)

Passing: Ricky Stanzi (3,004 yards)

Receiving: Marvin McNutt* (861 yards)

Tackles: Jeremiha Hunter (90)

Sacks: Karl Klug (5.5)

Interceptions: Brett Greenwood (5)

Spring answers

1. King James: Most of us haven't seen James Vandenberg since he nearly led Iowa to a Big Ten title-winning victory against Ohio State in 2009, but the junior quarterback has made strides on the practice field. Vandenberg impressed the coaches in bowl practice and continued his progression during the winter and into spring ball, where he locked up the starting quarterback spot. Coach Kirk Ferentz had high praise for Vandenberg this spring and seems comfortable with No. 16 as his guy.

2. Davis emerges: Iowa needed a No. 2 wide receiver to emerge this spring, and junior Keenan Davis answered the call. Davis stood out in the spring scrimmage with several nice catches and drew good reviews for his play throughout the 15 practice sessions. After taking a little longer than expected to impact games, Davis seems ready for a bigger role.

3. O-line ready to shine: The team's biggest question mark last spring should be its strongest unit in 2011. Iowa returns three starters, including NFL prospect Riley Reiff at left tackle and center James Ferentz, an All-Big Ten candidate. Guard Adam Gettis drew good reviews this spring after an injury-plagued 2010 season. The overall depth looks good and the line should be able to protect Vandenberg and give Coker rushing lanes this fall.

Fall questions

1. Micah Hyde's position: Hyde, best known for his Insight Bowl pick-six, played safety for much of the spring after starting all 13 games at cornerback last season. Iowa must replace two multiyear starters at safety (Tyler Sash and Brett Greenwood), and Hyde certainly could be an answer there. If he makes the move, who starts at cornerback opposite Shaun Prater? Where do guys like Jordan Bernstine fit in? We should learn more about the secondary in preseason camp.

2. Filling out the front seven: Although Iowa lost three starting defensive linemen to the NFL draft and two contributors at linebacker, it has a decent idea of who will step in. The starting line should feature Mike Daniels, Broderick Binns and Lebron Daniel. But who occupies the other defensive tackle spot next to Daniels? Tyler Nielsen and James Morris will occupy two starting linebacker spots, but several players remain in the mix for the third position.

3. Running back depth: Coker built on his record-setting Insight Bowl performance and has earned the trust of his coaches and teammates as Iowa's top running back. But depth at running back has been an issue the past few seasons and it could crop up again this fall. Jason White and De'Andre Johnson got a lot of reps this spring, but several incoming freshmen should be in the mix as well as Iowa must find insurance for Coker. There's also a possibility Adam Robinson, the team's leading rusher in 2010, could be reinstated.
Our Big Ten spring preview continues with a look at the Legends Division.

IOWA

Start of spring practice: March 23
Spring game: April 16

What to watch:
  • Succession plan for Stanzi: Remember James Vandenberg? The plucky young quarterback who nearly led Iowa to a milestone win at Ohio State in 2009 returns to the spotlight as Iowa looks to replace three-year starter Ricky Stanzi. Vandenberg had only eight pass attempts in 2010, so it'll be interesting to see how he adjusts to a potential featured role. John Wienke and A.J. Derby also will be in the mix.
  • A new-look defensive front: Iowa loses three multiyear starters along the defensive line, all of whom likely will go onto the NFL. Mike Daniels and Broderick Binns return, but Iowa must begin building depth around them after not playing a large rotation of linemen in 2010. It'll be a big spring for reserve defensive linemen like Lebron Daniel and Steve Bigach.
  • Rhabdo fallout: Iowa expects the 13 players hospitalized last month with rhabdomyolysis to be ready for spring ball, but there are questions about how the group responds to the rigors of practice. Expect the staff to take every precaution to make sure the players are ready to go. Iowa's internal investigation into what happened could reach its conclusion during the spring practice session.
MICHIGAN

Start of spring practice: March 19
Spring game: April 16

What to watch:
  • Hoke springs eternal: All eyes will be on new coach Brady Hoke as he oversees his first 15 practice sessions as the leading man in Ann Arbor. Hoke and his staff introduce new offensive and defensive systems, and Hoke likely will spend much of his time with a defense that reached historic lows during former coach Rich Rodriguez's tenure. An adjustment period can be expected, but Hoke wants to get things rolling as soon as he can.
  • Denard Robinson: The 2010 Big Ten offensive player of the year thrived in Rodriguez's spread offense. How will he be used in coordinator Al Borges' system? Will Robinson's unique talents still be maximized? After making major strides last offseason, Robinson must continue to grow as he adjusts to a new offense. This is also a big spring for backup quarterback Devin Gardner.
  • The move to the 4-3: Michigan is going back to a 4-3 defensive alignment under coordinator Greg Mattison, and the transition begins this spring. The defensive front has to lead the way, and the personnel is there to get it done. The Wolverines are a little thinner at linebacker, but saw some encouraging signs from Kenny Demens this past fall. Others must emerge at the position this spring.
MICHIGAN STATE

Start of spring practice: March 29
Spring game: April 30

What to watch:
  • Familiar face, new leadership: Dan Roushar takes over as Spartans offensive coordinator, and while you shouldn't expect many dramatic changes, the veteran assistant will put his personal touch on the system. Roushar wants to fully re-establish the run game Michigan State displayed in the early part of the 2010 season. It'll also be interesting to see how he works with quarterback Kirk Cousins.
  • Reloading at linebacker: Michigan State loses two of the more productive linebackers in recent team history in Greg Jones and Eric Gordon. Returning starter Chris Norman will take on an enhanced role, and the spring will be big for younger linebackers like Max Bullough, Steve Gardiner and Denicos Allen.
  • Elevating the O-line play: You can bet Roushar will have an eye on his old position group, the offensive line, as it replaces starters at both tackle spots and at center. If Michigan State can get its offensive line play where competitors like Iowa and Wisconsin have it, the Spartans will be Big Ten title contenders for years to come. Michigan State has some nice pieces like veteran guard Joel Foreman, but it must build depth this spring.
MINNESOTA

Start of spring practice: March 24
Spring game: April 23

What to watch:
  • A time to Kill. Jerry Kill conducts his first 15 practices as Minnesota's coach and he has no shortage of challenges. He and his assistants must install new systems on both sides of the ball and, perhaps more importantly, get across their expectations for the players going forward. Kill wasn't overly thrilled with his first impression of the squad, so he has a lot of work to do.
  • Gray back at QB: After a season playing primarily wide receiver, MarQueis Gray is back at his preferred position of quarterback. Kill and his assistants made no secret of the fact that they see tremendous potential in Gray, a dual-threat signal-caller who could end up being a terrific fit for Kill's offense. It will be interesting to see how much Gray can absorb this spring as he prepares to lead the unit.
  • Kim Royston's return: Minnesota's defense got a huge boost when the NCAA somewhat surprisingly granted safety Kim Royston a sixth year of eligibility. Royston, who had a strong season in 2009 before breaking his leg last spring, is ready to go and should provide some much-needed leadership in the secondary. New defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys will be on the lookout for playmakers and leaders this spring, and he'll find one in Royston.
NEBRASKA

Start of spring practice: March 12
Spring game: April 16

What to watch:
  • New vision on offense: Nebraska likely will have a championship-level defense in 2011, but will the offense bounce back from a poor finish to last season? Tim Beck is the man pegged to get things back on track. Coach Bo Pelini promoted Beck to offensive coordinator, and Beck will begin to implement his vision for the unit this spring. Nebraska figures to stick with the spread, but what version Beck wants to use remains to be seen.
  • The quarterbacks: Taylor Martinez stiff-armed the transfer rumors, and in January said he looked forward "getting healthy and getting my strength and speed back." The big question: Will he also get his job back as Nebraska's starting quarterback? Martinez can help himself with a strong spring, but Cody Green also is in the mix and things could get very interesting if Bubba Starling decides to stick with football rather than pursue a pro baseball career.
  • New faces on staff: In addition to promoting Beck, Pelini hired three new assistants: Corey Raymond (secondary), Ross Els (linebackers) and Rich Fisher (receivers). Raymond takes over a talented group that must replace three standout players, including cornerback Prince Amukamara. It'll be interesting to watch Fisher, who most recently coached in high school and also served as a golf teacher, as he transitions back to big-time football.
NORTHWESTERN

Start of spring practice: March 7
Spring game: April 16

What to watch:
  • Rebuilding the defense: Northwestern figures to have one of the Big Ten's top offenses this fall, but there are major issues on the other side of the ball. The Wildcats' defense flat-lined in the final three games, surrendering 163 points and getting dominated at the line of scrimmage. It's a big spring for coordinator Mike Hankwitz, who must fill gaps at spots like linebacker, but more importantly must restore the aggressiveness seen in 2008 and part of 2009.
  • The backup QB race: Dan Persa is still rehabbing his surgically repaired Achilles' tendon and won't do much in spring ball. It provides an opportunity for Northwestern to hold an extensive competition to see who backs up Persa this coming season. Kain Colter provided a spark in the bowl game and could be the answer. Evan Watkins needs a bounce-back spring, and Trevor Siemian will be in the mix after redshirting this past fall.
  • Here's the kicker: Northwestern loses four-year starting specialist Stefan Demos and will look to identify a replacement this spring. Neither Jeff Budzien nor Steve Flaherty has attempted a field goal in a game -- they have combined for two PAT conversions -- so the race will be wide open. Special teams has cost Northwestern at inopportune times over the years, but it could be an area of strength in 2011 if the kicker situation is sorted out.
Welcome to National Depth Chart Day. No day on the college football calendar inspires more curiosity about depth charts than the Monday before the season, when most teams release their Week 1 two-deeps.

(And then there's Purdue, which didn't include a depth chart in its game notes for Notre Dame. Ugh.)

I've had the chance to review depth charts from those programs that released them today -- two-deeps from Illinois, Michigan State and Minnesota are coming soon -- and I checked in on several coaches' news conferences.

Here's what stood out:

INDIANA
  • Even though Indiana will shift to a 3-4 defensive alignment this year, the depth chart lists a 4-3 with Darius Johnson and Fred Jones as the starting ends and Chad Sherer and Tyler Replogle flanking junior college transfer Jeff Thomas at linebacker.
  • Interesting to see several veteran offensive linemen like Justin Pagan and Cody Faulkner listed as backups rather than starters. Junior Andrew McDonald steps into some big shoes at left tackle as Rodger Saffold departs to the NFL.
  • The backup quarterback job remains open, as Dusty Kiel and Edward Wright-Baker are both listed as No. 2 behind Ben Chappell.
  • Indiana expects big things from redshirt freshman Duwyce Wilson, listed as a starter at wide receiver, kick returner and punt returner.
IOWA
  • Sophomores Micah Hyde and Greg Castillo are listed as the starting cornerbacks. Shaun Prater doesn't appear on the depth chart after dealing with a leg injury in camp. Prater hasn't been officially ruled out for the Eastern Illinois game, but I wouldn't expect to see much of him on Saturday.
  • James Ferentz is listed as the starting center, a spot where Iowa might be a little thin following Josh Koeppel's motorcycle accident Monday morning.
  • Starting defensive end Broderick Binns is suspended for the opener, so Christian Ballard is listed as a possible starter at both end and tackle. Mike Daniels and Lebron Daniel are the next options behind Ballard.
MICHIGAN
  • Sophomores Denard Robinson and Tate Forcier and freshman Devin Gardner are listed as co-starters at quarterback. Head coach Rich Rodriguez reiterated Monday that Gardner won't redshirt this fall.
  • Vincent Smith and Michael Shaw are listed as co-starters at running back, with Michael Cox behind them.
  • True freshman Carvin Johnson is listed as the starter at the spur position (safety/linebacker). Pretty big surprise here, and a testament to Johnson's work in camp.
  • Senior James Rogers steps into Troy Woolfolk's starting cornerback spot opposite J.T. Floyd.
  • Receivers Martavious Odoms and Kelvin Grady clearly showed enough in camp to be listed as starters or possible starters against Connecticut.
NORTHWESTERN
  • Sophomore running back Arby Fields returned to practice Monday and wore a no-contact jersey after being sidelined with a shoulder problem. He's listed as a co-starter at running back with Jacob Schmidt and Stephen Simmons. Northwestern wanted a clear No. 1 running back to emerge in camp, but Fields' injury changed the plan.
  • Junior Bryce McNaul is listed as the third top linebacker alongside returning starters Quentin Davie and Nate Williams. McNaul won the job in camp.
  • Venric Mark is the only true freshman listed on the depth chart, both as a backup wide receiver and a co-starter at punt returner. I'll go out on a huge limb (sarcasm) and predict Mark will be the man on returns for the Wildcats very shortly.
OHIO STATE
  • Junior defensive end Nathan Williams, a projected starter, will miss the Marshall game with a knee injury. He should be back shortly thereafter. Solomon Thomas will start in Williams' spot Thursday night.
  • Starting cornerback Chimdi Chekwa (hamstring) is questionable for the Marshall game, but corner Devon Torrence (hamstring) should be fine.
  • Sophomore C.J. Barnett's strong performance in camp lifted him ahead of Orhian Johnson on the Week 1 depth chart. Johnson missed a chunk of camp with an injury.
  • Start salivating, Buckeyes fans, because running backs Jordan Hall and Jaamal Berry likely will handle kickoff returns against Marshall.
PENN STATE
  • Sophomores Kevin Newsome and Matt McGloin and freshman Robert Bolden are listed as co-starters at quarterback for the Youngstown State game.
  • Sophomore Devon Smith's strong camp landed him a starting spot at both receiver and kick returner, and a backup role on punt returns.
  • Redshirt freshman Garry Gilliam is listed as the starting tight end, as Andrew Szczerba likely will miss the opener with a back injury. Penn State obviously is thin here after losing Andrew Quarless and Mickey Shuler.
  • Veterans Nate Stupar, Chris Colasanti and Bani Gbadyu are listed as the starting linebackers, with promising younger players like Michael Mauti and Gerald Hodges right behind them.
WISCONSIN
  • After a very impressive camp, freshman running back James White appears at No. 3 on the depth chart behind both John Clay and Montee Ball. White also is the No. 2 punt returner behind David Gilreath. His emergence likely will result in veteran Zach Brown redshirting the season.
  • Senior Blake Sorensen likely will start at outside linebacker, as Mike Taylor continues to rehab after undergoing a second procedure on his knee in camp. Culmer St. Jean and Chris Borland are listed as the other starting linebackers.
  • The starting cornerback spots remain open, as Niles Brinkley, Antonio Fenelus and Devin Smith will compete in practice this week.

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