Big Ten fall camp preview: Penn State

2013-08-04T23:00:00Z 2013-08-04T23:04:04Z Big Ten fall camp preview: Penn StateBy BRIAN ROSENTHAL / Lincoln Journal Star

Date camp opens: Monday

First game: Aug. 31, Syracuse

Big man on campus: Allen Robinson. The junior led the Big Ten in receiving last season with 77 catches for 1,013 yards and 11 touchdowns. He’s only the second receiver in Penn State history to surpass 1,000 receiving yards in a season and should have another productive season in Bill O’Brien’s offense.

To-do list: Penn State’s biggest question marks are at quarterback and linebacker. Quarterback Matt McGloin, who thrived in one season playing O’Brien’s system after struggling the previous season, is gone. Now, O’Brien must choose a starter between two players who’ve never taken a snap with the Nittany Lions: junior college transfer Tyler Ferguson and true freshman Christian Hackenberg. Ferguson participated in spring practices, and Hackenberg is just now arriving on campus. Finding and grooming a quarterback may be the only thing holding back an offense that returns its leading rusher (Zach Zwinak), leading receiver (Robinson) and a veteran offensive line along with some big tight ends. On defense, Penn State loses a pair of outstanding linebackers in Gerald Hodges and Michael Mauti. Among the Nittany Lions’ top defenders is Adrian Amos, a defensive back who also may get some looks at linebacker.

What’s new?: Up-and-coming defensive end Brad Bars, who moved to No. 2 on the summer depth chart, suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon in July and will miss the entire season. A redshirt junior, he played in eight games last season and was a key player on special teams.

Reach Brian Rosenthal at 402-473-7436 or You can follow him on Twitter @HuskerExtraBR.

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