2007 Penn State Football Preview

Big Ten football fans

2007 Penn State football preview

2006 Record: 9-4, 5-3
Head Coach: Joe Paterno

Players Drafted:
Levi Brown - OT - Round 1 - Arizona
Paul Posluszny - OLB - Round 2 - Buffalo
Jay Alford - DT - Round 3 - NY Giants
Tony Hunt - RB - Round 3 - Philadelphia
Tim Shaw - OLB - Round 5 – Carolina

Top Recruits:
Chris Colasanti – LB – 6’3” – 210 – Lakeville, MI
Stefen Wisniewski – OL – 6’3” – 275 – Pittsburgh, PA
Andrew Dailey – LB – 6’2” – 210 – Massillon, OH
Chaz Powell – S – 6’1” – 185 – New Freedom, PA
Devon Still – DE – 6’6” – 250 – Wilmington – DE
Nick Sukay – S – 6’3” – 200 – Greensburg, PA
J.B. Walton – OL – 6’3” – 275 – New Berlin, NY

Key Players Returning:
Anthony Morelli – QB – Sr.
Deon Butler – WR – Jr.
Derrick Williams – WR – Jr.
Justin King – CB – Jr.
Dan Connor – LB – Sr.
A.Q Shipley – C – Jr.
Sean Lee – LB – Jr.
Anthony Scirrotto – S – Jr.
Andrew Quarless – TE – Soph.
Jordan Norwood – WR – Jr.

2007 Penn State Offensive Outlook

Senior QB Anthony Morelli will get the chance in 2007 to live up to the hype that accompanied his name when he first came to Penn State. Although Morelli hasn’t been overly impressive, he has given the PSU faithful flashes of what he can do, and this year Morelli will look to put together a consistent season. Morelli threw for nealy 2,500 yards in his first year as a starter, but the mixture of eight interceptions along with his 11 touchdowns leaves room for improvement. With a full season under his belt, Morelli will use the weapons around him to give the Lions one of the top offenses in the Big Ten.

RB Tony has moved on to the NFL which gives senior Austin Scott a chance to carry the load for the Lions. Scott won’t be handed the position as senior Rodney Kinlaw will push for carries as well. The Nittany Lions have a history of filling the backfield with runners that are capable of filling the shoes of the previous running back.

The receivers should be the key to the offense this year. The trio of juniors: Derrick Williams, Deon Butler, and Jordan Norwood have been billed as the best group of receivers to come to Happy Valley, but a lack of production in terms of finding the end zone leaves that title to be questioned. Considering the QB situation two years ago with Michael Robinson, the offense wasn’t designed to throw the ball to a group of freshman at the time. Morelli entered last year as a new starter which means this should be the year the receivers sync up with their QB to become scoring threats. Sophomore TE Andrew Quarless will provide an additional target with scoring capabilities for Morelli.

The offensive line has three starters returning, but it hard to improve a unit after losing Levi Brown. A.Q. Shipley returns as the starting center along with guards John Shaw and Rich Ohrnberger. The new starting tackles will be Gerald Cadogan and Dennis Landlot. The line should be decent, but it may take a little time for the tackles to settle in and sure up the outside.


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2007 Penn State Defensive Outlook

The Penn State defense has been rock solid the past few years, but this season only one senior is starting, although, that one senior is All-American LB Dan Connor. Connor finished with 113 tackles last year, just three behind Paul Posluszny. Connor will be the face of the 2007 defense, but Sean Lee and Navarro Bowman will provide plenty of assistance from their respective linebacker positions. Lee finished last season with 90 tackles.

The defensive line has just one returning starter in junior DE Josh Gaines. The rest of the line will be young with sophomores Jared Odrick and Phillip Taylor playing inside with freshman Abe Koroma. Also, sophomore Maurice Evans will start at DE. The defensive line will need Koroma to eat up space with his 300 pound frame, and Gaines will need to become more involved since Jay Alford has moved on to the NFL.

The secondary should be a strength for the defense considering three starters are returning. Junior safeties Tony Davis and Anthony Scirrotto bring speed to the defense, and Scirrotto picked off six passes last year. Junior Justin King is a lock-down corner that will match up with any receiver in the Big Ten. The final CB spot will be determined between A.J. Wallace and Lydell Sargeant.


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2007 Penn State Special Teams

Junior Kevin Kelly converted 22 field goals last season, but will need to cut down the amount of misses. Kelly missed 12 attempts in 2006, but look for Kelly to build off of his experience to become one of the better kickers in the conference.

Sophomore Jeremy Boone will step in as Penn State’s new punter after losing one of the nation’s best last year in Jeremy Kapinos.

Derrick Williams is a constant threat to turn a kick into a touchdown. He had one return for a TD last season, and the defense should give him opportunities to improve that number this year.


2007 Penn State Football Prediction

Coach Paterno has loads of talent on both sides of the ball this season, but that talent needs to prove their worth. The offense desperately needs the line to protect the rush from the outside and the rest should fall into place. Morelli should be better this year with a season of experience that included nine victories, and the running back situation should not be a concern despite the loss of Tony Hunt. The defense will be strong with Connor and the linebackers leading the way. Expect at least nine wins for the Nittany Lions. Major battles at home with Wisconsin and Ohio State, and a tough road trip to Michigan will determine where Penn State finishes among the top four places in the conference this year.

Penn State Nittany Lions 2007 Football Schedule
September 1 - Florida International
September 8 - Notre Dame
September 15 - Buffalo
September 22 - @ Michigan
September 29 - @ Illinois
October 6 - Iowa
October 13 - Wisconsin
October 20 - @ Indiana
October 27 - Ohio State
November 3 - Purdue
November 10 - @ Temple
November 17 - @ Michigan State



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