QB Anthony Morelli

2006 Statistics

Coach: Joe Paterno
363-121-3, 41 years
2006 Record: 9-4
at Notre Dame LOST 17-41
at Ohio State LOST 6-28
at Minnesota WON 28-27 (OT)
at Purdue WON 12-0
at Wisconsin LOST 3-13
Tennessee WON 20-10

2006 Final Rankings
AP-24, Coaches-25, BCS-UR

2007 Outlook

As long as he keeps bringing in great recruiting classes and can stand on the sideline (or sit in the booth, as he was forced to do last year), Joe Paterno will continue producing a winner there at State College. He solved their losing woes when he brought in Galen Hall to replace his son Jay as OC, but QB Anthony Morelli struggled last year as a junior first-year starter in Hall’s system, so the difference between finishing with three or more loses and contending for the Big Ten title as a top 15 team will be the strong-armed senior. In ’06, State lost to the teams that were better than them and beat the rest, solidifying the conclusion that there are just a few adjustments needed for them to return to the upper echelons of college football, but that they are a respectable club that has an especially strong back seven and offensive line. Besides Morelli needing to step up, the other major component most needing attention is the defensive front, which was gutted by departures. And just in case you are new to this sport/team, PSU will continue to play “Pennsylvania Mountain Ball” – old-school, smashmouth, no-frills offense with a big, speedy defense that grinds out physical wins. The good news is Wisconsin, Ohio State and Notre Dame all come to Happy Valley; the bad news is State lost to all of them in ’06, making the results against these three (plus Michigan) the simplest measurements of how far the Lions have come. Expect the same disappointing three-to-five loss season that keeps Penn State from climbing back to prominence.

Projected 2007 record: 9-3
QB - 4 DL - 3
RB - 3 LB - 4
WR - 4.5 DB - 4
OL - 4 ..

Passing: Anthony Morelli, 208-386-8, 2424 yds., 11 TD

Rushing: Rodney Kinlaw, 39 att., 199 yds., 0 TD

Receiving: Deon Butler, 48 rec., 637 yds., 2 TD

Scoring: Kevin Kelly, 22-34 FG, 30-30 PAT, 96 pts.

Punting: Kevin Kelly, 1 punt, 30.0 avg.

Kicking: Kevin Kelly, 22-34 FG, 30-30 PAT, 96 pts.

Tackles: Dan Connor, 113 tot., 70 solo

Sacks: Sean Lee, 5.5 sacks

Interceptions: Anthony Scirrotto, 6 for 122 yds.

Kickoff returns: A.J. Wallace, 16 ret., 24.2 avg., 0 TD

Punt returns: Derrick Williams, 25 ret., 12.0 avg., 1 TD


LB Dan Connor
OFFENSE: BranDon Snow-FB, Tony Hunt-TB, Levi Brown-OT, Robert Price-OG
DEFENSE: Jay Alford-DT, Ed Johnson-DT, Paul Posluszny-ILB, Donnie Johnson-FS, Jeremy Kapinos-P

After huge self-made expectations resulted in a rather ho-hum 2006 performance, QB Anthony Morelli can hopefully take a modest step back and realize that he doesn’t automatically have what it takes to lead this team. That doesn’t mean the hugely talented senior can’t learn/acquire the tools for success; he just has to put that much more work in. After the team struggled on offense (only broke the 30-point barrier four times), the tall Pittsburgh native will show why he was such a highly regarded recruit (No.2 dropback prospect), especially if he doesn’t try to win games by himself. Losing Tony Hunt shouldn’t mean a step back at TB – Rodney Kinlaw looks ready to again be a workhorse and produce accordingly, while the biggest surprise on this side of the ball may continue to be A.J. Wallace (2006’s top CB prospect) as a regular rock carrier. The speed these two bring is enough to keep foes chasing them for an entire 60 minutes, especially with senior starting FB Matt Hahn again plowing holes. Where Hunt may be most missed is in the flat (27 receptions) as neither new TB is a proven snarler. Not to worry…all of the Lion’s receivers (three deep) are back, giving Morelli proven role players whom he should know well. Look for Derrick Williams to continue to get at least three or four carries per game in an attempt to get the speedster more touches. The loss of All-American left tackle Levi Brown should be minimally felt with four of the other five starters back on the line. The well-sized unit needs to get back to superior run blocking – State’s backs averaging 4.3 ypc will not get this team back into the top 10. Some bad news...OG Elijah Robinson's football career has ended as a result of a neck injury sustained in spring practice. Morelli coming to fruition would make coordinator Galen Hall’s system again flourish. As Morelli’s worth goes this season, so goes Penn State.


WR Deon Butler


Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB Anthony Morelli-Sr (6-4, 232) Daryll Clark-Jr (6-2, 232)
FB Matt Hahn-Sr (6-0, 236) Dan Lawlor-Sr (6-2, 244)
TB Austin Scott-Sr (6-0, 222) Rodney Kinlaw-Sr (5-9, 201)
WR Derrick Williams-Jr (6-0, 203) Brett Brackett-So (6-6, 241)
WR Deon Butler-Jr (5-10, 168) Terrell Golden-Sr (6-3, 217)
WR Jordan Norwood-Jr (5-10, 172) Chris Bell-So (6-2, 210)
TE Andrew Quarless-So (6-5, 252) Jordan Lyons-Jr (6-5, 249)
OT Gerald Cadogan-Jr (6-5, 313) Johnnie Troutman-Fr (6-4, 311)
OG Lou Eliades-So (6-4, 305) Rich Ohrnberger-Sr (6-2, 289)
C A.Q. Shipley-Jr (6-1, 293) Patrick Weber-Sr (6-1, 272)
OG John Shaw-Sr (6-4, 303) Austin Hinton-Jr (6-2, 288)
OT Dennis Landolt-Jr (6-4, 294) Ako Poti-Jr (6-3, 302)
K Kevin Kelly-Jr (5-7, 167) ..



Inverse to the offense, the line on this side only returns one starter. Obviously, this is sure to impact last year’s No.7 run stopping unit. Junior end Josh Gaines is solid in his efforts, and the youth movement seen here will infuse new guys sure to become household names there in central PA. Maurice Evans, proven in run support, looks a lot like the other end after earning 3.5 TFLs out of his 12 tackles last year. Big men (especially tackles) are stacked in the wings, and how long they take to procure will be the other major factor (besides Morelli) that dictates how far PSU goes. All-American Dan Conner could move inside (ala Posluszny last year), and after having more sacks, INTs, safeties and forced fumbles than Posluszny, the Wallingford-native seems poised to be the next great one to grace the Lion’s LB Hall of Fame. Returning starter Sean Lee has proven why the junior is also in line after his breakout campaign on the outside. This area is also laden with four-star recruits hungry to play for Joe Pa, so expect little drop off from the corps and expect they can lend a hand up front. Junior corners Justin King and Tony Davis are smother-types who can take chances and still recover if they seem beat. Classmate Anthony Scirrotto had a breakout 2006, earning all-Big Ten honors as his six INTs tied for most in the nation amongst underclassmen. “HERO” Scirrotto plays deep center, focusing his speed on foe’s passing game way more than run stopping. The rest of the secondary looks extremely underdeveloped, meaning new nickel, dime and other types of role players have to be found before State is solid here. Sure, the starters are great, but after them…one big question - will A.J. Wallace switch back to DB or possibly play two ways, like King did? It’s all just another wacky year under coordinator Tom Bradley, who has done better with worse, so expect holes to be filled and guys to be ready by fall.


DB Anthony Scirrotto


Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Josh Gaines-Jr (6-1, 264) Aaron Maybin-So (6-4, 238)
DT Phillip Taylor-So (6-4, 337) Jared Odrick-So (6-5, 280)
DT Abe Koroma-Fr (6-3, 312) Chris Baker-Jr (6-2, 305)
DE Maurice Evans-So (6-2, 269) Chris Rogers-Sr (6-2, 261)
OLB Sean Lee-Jr (6-2, 232) Jerome Hayes-So (6-2, 236)
ILB Dan Connor-Sr (6-3, 233) Dontey Brown-Jr (6-2, 236)
OLB Navorro Bowman-Fr (6-1, 228) Tyrell Sales-Jr (6-2, 237)
CB A.J. Wallace-So (6-1, 195) Lydell Sargeant-Jr (5-10, 186)
CB Justin King-Jr (6-0, 186) Knowledge Timmons-So (5-10, 186)
HERO Anthony Scirrotto-Jr (6-0, 195) Cedric Jeffries-Fr (6-2, 207)
FS Tony Davis-Jr (5-10, 197) Spencer Ridenhour-Jr (6-0, 193)
P Jeremy Boone-So (5-9, 183) ..




Junior kicker Kevin Kelly has to work on his consistency – he was 3-for-10 from 40+ in the Lion’s last eight ’06 scrimmages. Kelly has the leg, and maybe he will become the new punter as he is the only one on the roster with a try last year. Derrick Williams and A.J. Wallace are solid return men on kicks and punts, respectively.