WR Derrick Williams

2007 Statistics

Coach: Joe Paterno
372-125-3, 42 years
2007 Record: 9-4
FIU WON 59-0
at Michigan LOST 9-14
at Illinois LOST 20-27
at Indiana WON 36-31
at Temple WON 31-0
at Michigan State LOST 31-35
Texas A&M WON 24-17

2007 Final Rankings
AP-27, Coaches-25, BCS-UR

2008 Outlook

The longest tenured head coach in the FBS today, Joe Patterno has grown into a legendary figure across this football land. Better known by the familial JoePa, he’s become one of three active coaches or players to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. 42 years, god bless him…and he has proven in the past three seasons with his 29-9 record that the modern game has not passed him by, like many argued after he had four losing seasons in five years prior to 2005’s comeback.

Though the team bounced back, it hasn’t reached its potential lately. The past two years featured the ego-laden escapades of QB Anthony Morelli, the self-proclaimed savior of the program who never did as well as the 11-1 record the year prior to his arrival. When you break down the recent consecutive 9-4 records, findings confirm he was a major reason the loads of talent didn’t instead have double-digit win seasons. We wish Anthony the best with his degree, but the turnover at QB should bring back the ability for Penn State to compete for the Big Ten title. Daryll Clark isn’t the arm needed, and Pat Devlin doesn’t have great feet, but together they have what the other doesn’t and will be a good one-two punch if used together wisely. Running backs coach and offensive coordinator Galen Hall knows how to figure a spread attack based on two things – 1. The personnel available, and 2. Starting with the run and growing from there. This is what spring revealed, a return to the looks used in 2005 under past QB Mike Robinson. The line looks strong, always important, but especially so with the bevy of changes in store for the offense.

The defense just has to pick up where it left off. Consistency problems – that led to three of PSU’s last six foes getting 31 or more points, and two of those 31+ games were losses – will be alleviated by 10 guys with significant starting experience coming back to the No.11 total and No.7 scoring defense. The run D is a true Nittany Lion asset – it has finished ranked 7th three years straight and gave up only nine TDs in ’07. The passing D only gave up 14 scores, playing a smart bend-but-don’t-break game. Sean Lee is the defensive captain here on the ‘Amazing Penn State Linebacker Show’, an annual display of (one of) the nations top linebacking corps. This year won’t disappoint, but the guys past Lee have a ways to go to assure we tell the truth. The DBs are all back but one, so the unit will continue to improve.

The schedule looks daunting. PSU faces all of the toughest conference foes, and Oregon State as the second game of the year is no Labor Day picnic (a week later, so maybe they’ll have one then). The fact that State is a combined 0-5 versus Wisconsin, Ohio State and Michigan the past two years depicts why this year’s five game stretch - the one that starts with Illinois and ends with the Nittany Lions facing these three giants in succession - tells all. Two of those big three are away, but the Wolverines and the Badgers both have new QBs, too, to even the odds.

This team has a history of being put in lower preseason rankings only to then unpredictably rise from their unassuming perch for a top ten finish. A win over Ohio State would mean a special campaign is at hand, one that vaults the team into an even more special 2009 as an incumbent QB rides the wave of success into the next season. With the way the Big Ten looks, they can realistically finish as high as second in the conference, nailing 10 or 11 wins and lurking around as a possible BCS wildcard. That would mean a top ten finish (likely teetering on their bowl game being won), so fans can’t be upset that the new-look offense will take time to get up to full speed. Once that happens, the “White Out” that will occur weekly here in Happy Valley will have Penn State the feared program they once were.

Projected 2008 record: 9-3
QB - 3 DL - 4.5
RB - 3 LB - 4.5
WR - 5 DB - 4
OL - 4.5 ..
2007 Statistical Rankings
Total Off:
Sacks Allow:
Total Def:

Passing: Daryll Clark, 6-9-0, 31 yds., 0 TD

Rushing: Evan Royster, 82 att., 513 yds., 5 TD

Receiving: Derrick Williams, 55 rec., 529 yds., 3 TD

Scoring: Kevin Kelly, 20-26 FG, 44-45 PAT, 110 pts.

Punting: Jeremy Boone, 59 punts, 43.0 avg.

Kicking: Kevin Kelly, 20-26 FG, 44-45 PAT, 110 pts.

Tackles: Sean Lee, 138 tot., 54 solo

Sacks: Maurice Evans, 12.5 sacks

Interceptions: Anthony Scirrotto, 3 for 98 yds.

Kickoff returns: A.J. Wallace, 22 ret., 26.4 avg., 1 TD

Punt returns: Derrick Williams, 23 ret., 11.0 avg., 1 TD


DE Maurice Evans
OFFENSE: Anthony Morelli-QB, Matt Hahn-FB, Rodney Kinlaw-TB, Austin Scott-TB, Terrell Golden-WR, John Shaw-OG
DEFENSE: Dan Connor-ILB, Justin King-CB (NFL), Chris Baker-DT (dismissed), Phil Taylor-DT (dismissed)

Times are-a-changin’ in Happy Valley, and the offense will spread back out (like it was in 2005 with dual-threat QB Michael Robinson) to take full advantage of the two new QBs' talents. Who succeeds Morelli? The inside track has to be with Daryll Clark, a senior (for now, since he may get an extra year) who proved his worth amply in the Alamo Bowl. Clark, a Youngstown native, really put Texas A&M on their heels in the ’07 closer with his feet, though, teams will be more prepared for the new-look Lions come this fall. Listed at 232lbs, Clark is tough to bring down, and he will provide OC Galen Hall a distracting ground option that defenders will have to mark. Pat Devlin was considered the No.5 pro-style QB prospect by Rivals (No.4 by Scout) in 2006, and he gave up a chance to go to Quarterback U. (Miami) to play for JoePa. The Pennsylvania Gatorade Player of the Year (set many in-state prep records) is who many Blue-and-White fans are clamoring for…his feet are sure to be on the field many times come September. Devlin is taller at 6’4, and his wheels are decent, too, allowing for the same wide-open play-calling as with Clark. (Either of) These two will eventually bring this team to a higher competitive level than the Nittany Lions were under Morelli (total offense ranked a mundane 55th). With Clark’s (al)readiness, the transition from Morelli-to-him can be more like a baton pass-off in a sprint relay rather than the offense having to stop and start up again. And to put Devlin in (suddenly) will mean defenses have to be ready for his drop-back approach. Sophomore Devlin as the starter would allow Galen Hall to develop a hurler over time and make the future as bright as if No.1 recruit Terrelle Pryor had come here. Most want Devlin for that reason, too.

Then there is the running back succession – Evan Royster has that speed-power combo coaches covet. This D.C.-native finds gaps between the tackles as well as he takes the corner. Almost the exact same stature, fellow soph Brent Carter mirrors these abilities. One of them will have to prove his hands soft for dump-offs. Ex-DB Stephfon Green has been getting carries and looking as good as anyone in practice…but making the field on game day may take a bit of time. Hall needs to expand the fullback role with the lack of depth behind the first three TBs, and Dan Lawlor has the talent to be an all-around H-Back-type that will keep defenses honest. Injuries to any of the four mentioned above would really test the non-scholarship dimensions of PSU’s roster, for that is likely who we will see since there is a huge gap in the roster at these positions.

State is blessed with a powerful, gifted set of senior receivers. Just four seasons ago coaches were having trouble finding someone (anybody) capable of helping the failing passing game. Then came those couple of great recruiting classes that included the likes of Williams, Butler and Norwood. The first (Williams) was considered by many to be the best player at any position out of high school. For his fourth and final season, he continues to give this offense a threat in terms of having the ability to turn a simple pattern into a long score via the YAC. He is also one of the better return men in the college game. All three of these WRs are capable of playing at the next level come 2009. TE Andrew Quarless has been another anchor since his true frosh campaign; he has the physical set to block well and can run just as well after catching the rock. Quarless would be the biggest target, except we expect to see the emergence of 6’6 RS frosh Brett Bracket.
Chris Bell , the No. 5 WR prospect a few years back, has been dismissed from the team so Brackett, Graham Zug and James McDonald are all vying for some playing time at WR. None has stepped up yet, but they are good enough to push each other and have the team benefit from that.

Lucky for the new backfield starters the entire starting front five is back. All but one is a senior, with five four-star backups awaiting their turns. Tackles Landolt and Cadogan are possibly the best pair in the land, and both are happy being unsung on a team that champions not displaying its player names on their jersies. RG Lucian has transitioned exceptionally well from the DL, and Ohrnberger is just as versatile (ex-punter as well as ex-DE). Senior Lucian has to really try hard to keep the quality efforts of Stephan Wisniewski from displacing him, to the delight of coaches and fans. Not to be outshone, ex-DT A.Q. Shipley is truly the glue at center. Most of these bigmen were two- or three-sport prep stars, another testimonial to how athletic they are for pulling, lateral movement and downfield assignments. As stated, quality depth exists up front, but is rather undeveloped since three second-teamers graduated.

DB A.J. Wallace should see reps on this side of the ball (like he did in 2006) as things open up. This team will run it (over) 60% of the time until the passing game finds its wings…they already run it 56%, and a rushing QB will only make it easier to keep it on the ground.


WR Deon Butler


Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB Daryll Clark-Jr (6-2, 231) Pat Devlin-So (6-4, 222)
FB Dan Lawlor-Sr (6-2, 244) ..
TB Evan Royster-So (6-1, 212) Stephfon Green-Fr (5-10, 192)
Brent Carter-So (6-2, 211)
WR Derrick Williams-Sr (6-0, 194) James McDonald-Jr (6-2, 198)
WR Deon Butler-Sr (5-10, 170) Brett Brackett-So (6-6, 235)
WR Jordan Norwood-Sr (5-10, 171) Graham Zug-So (6-2, 176)
TE Andrew Quarless-Jr (6-5, 250) (susp.) Mickey Shuler-Jr (6-4, 250)
OT Gerald Cadogan-Sr (6-5, 314) Nerraw McCormack-Sr (6-5, 292)
OG Rich Ohrnberger-Sr (6-2, 291) Johnnie Troutman-Fr (6-4, 318)
C A.Q. Shipley-Sr (6-1, 297) Doug Klopacz-So (6-3, 288)
OG Mike Lucian-Sr (6-2, 292) Stefen Wisniewski-So (6-3, 292)
OT Dennis Landolt-Jr (6-4, 309) Ako Poti-Jr (6-3, 304)
K Kevin Kelly-Sr (5-7, 164) ..



The newness of the offense will be counterbalanced by the stabilizing continuity of PSU’s 11th-ranked total defense. That’s what kept this team viable in ’07, and ten starters are back. It all starts with the DL, a deep group that also has its reserves broken-in and can hold its own with little needed from the LBs. Middlemen Chris Baker and Phil Taylor slaughtered as sophomores, and along with classmate Jared Oderick and soph Ollie Ogbu, State has four athletic 300+ guys who combined for 28 tackles-for-loss. Oderick was seen limping from his ’07 ankle problems still this spring, but he expects to be at full strength by late summer. Outside, First Team All-Conference selection Maurice Evans somehow didn’t make All-American, despite finishing sixth nationally with 21.5 TFLs. Evans doesn’t lose his run-stopping prowess when bull rushing, proven by his five forced fumbles and status as the team’s top tackling lineman. Senior Josh Gaines is no less athletic, making foes who choose his side just as sorry. Aaron Maybin has not fully realized his immense talents, but with his 12.5 tackles boasting four sacks, 2008 should be a breakout season for this heady soph. After the second-team, there is some drop-off on the DL. UPDATE: DTs Chris Baker and Phil Taylor have been dismissed from the team.

Depth is not a problem at (arguably) the best school for LBs this millennium. The cream of the ’08 corps is Sean Lee, the best linebacker you may never have heard of…until now. Conner may have won the Bednarik Trophy, but Lee had only seven less tackles (T-17th nationally) and had more passes defended, forced fumbles and fumble recoveries than his departed mate. Lee plays like the ex-safety/RB/PR he is, assured of becoming the next Nittany Lion All-American LB. Like Lee with a hamstring pull, junior Jerome Hayes wouldn’t play this spring as he recovered from an ACL tear/surgery, but the hybrid (solid at DE) is slated for the vaunted MLB slot, regardless…he is that good. We’ll keep you cued to his progress. Tyrell Sales will again be the biggest of the Penn State LBs at 237lbs, but he has failed to impress so far as a starter. With nine four-star prospects in the last three years (four just in this year’s class!) Sales will again see his reps diminish as the latest Lion wanna-be’s vie for more. Chris Colasanti is pushing for time…the coaches love him. Still, the top reserve linebacker last year was a walk-on – junior Josh Hull is that smart player who can actually lift this already strong corps with his example of hard work and commitment. The fastest of the LBs, Bani Gbadyu, ran the corps in 7-on-7 drills this spring while Sean Lee was out, so his time in the middle will soon come.

NationalChamps.net Preseason All-American linebacker Sean Lee tore a knee ligament during spring practice and most likely will miss next season. He injured the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. Lee will have surgery within the next month and then will need about nine months of rehabilitation, the team doctor said. Lee, the leading returning tackler for the Nittany Lions, has a year of eligibility left. He was expected to be a captain this year. The projected starting unit for the fall is Josh Hull, Tyrell Sales at the "Fritz" outside linebacker position and Bani Gbadyu at the "Sam" outside linebacker position. But really, none of these competitions for a starting job are fully secured coming out of spring practice. It will be especially interesting to see what happens at the 'Sam' OLB position behind Gbadyu. Presently listed on the depth chart behind Gbadyu are redshirt freshman Andrew Dailey, walk-on Shaine Thompson and incoming freshman Michael Zordich Jr. However, another player will also be in the mix this fall and that player's name is redshirt sophomore Navorro Bowman. Just several days ago, Penn State sent out a press release saying that the four suspended players from spring practice are now allowed to use the weight training facilities and work out with the team informally this summer. Bowman will step in on the depth chart at the 'Fritz' OLB position but it is clear that when Bowman makes his anticipated full-time return at the beginning of pre-season practice in August, he'll be looked at both OLB positions.

The secondary has been left to fend for itself lately and has done an adequate job. Losing Justin King will only hurt a bit – A.J. Wallace is also a five-star recruit who can shut his side down. Overall, King’s early departure shouldn’t impact this unit’s quality with three other starters returning, too. Wallace found himself exclusively on D in ‘07 (played offense, too, as a frosh), thriving in coverage as a nickel. At 6’1, he matches up nicely with any sized WR. Lydell Sargeant may only be 5’10, but he plays his side responsibly…little gets by him without either a reception-stopping hit or a solid tackle. Then there is a huge drop off in developed talent and everyone will be testing the new faces until they prove themselves. The safeties should be led by Tony Scirrotto (legal troubles due to a fight are behind him now), one of the most feared hitters in the country (ask his lawyer) as he roams in the HERO position. An ex-QB (prep), Scirrotto’s nose for the ball should mean he again leads PSU in INTs (three in ’07). He and FS Tony Davis actually intermingle as to who drops back to roam in coverage and who plays up close to/in the box, and the two seniors will use their well-established rapport to lock down the deep areas and prevent big plays. Mark Rubin has battled his way through ankle injuries to become a solid reserve for Davis. The secondary will continue to bear the load of play-calling focus as long as the run stopping continues to be strong. As has been true the past few years, follow the DB progress to see how well the entire team is doing.

This has all the makings of a really great Penn State defense, one that the ages can look back upon and preen…if they can pull it together and become the dominant group they are destined to be.


LB Sean Lee

Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Josh Gaines-Sr (6-1, 275) Eric Latimore-Fr (6-6, 262)
DT Abe Koroma-So (6-3, 316) Jared Odrick-Jr (6-5, 308)
DT Ollie Ogdbu-So (6-1, 292) Tom McEowen-So (6-4, 274)
DE Maurice Evans-Jr (6-2, 264) Aaron Maybin-So (6-4, 236)
OLB Tyrell Sales-Sr (6-2, 233) Nathan Stupar-So (6-1, 220)
Navorro Bowman-So (6-1, 230) (susp.)
ILB Josh Hull-Jr (6-3, 231) Chris Colasanti-So (6-2, 232)
OLB Bani Gbadyu-Jr (6-0, 221) Andrew Dailey-So (6-2, 230)
Sean Lee-Sr (6-3, 234) (inj.)
CB Lydell Sargeant-Sr (5-10, 186) Tony Davis-Sr (5-10, 195)
CB A.J. Wallace-Jr (6-1, 188) Drew Astorino-Fr (5-10, 190)
HERO Mark Rubin-Sr (6-2, 216) Chaz Powell-Fr (6-1, 194)
FS Anthony Scirrotto-Sr (6-0, 192) Cedric Jeffries-So (6-2, 210)
P Jeremy Boone-Jr (5-9, 184) Ryan Breen-Fr (6-2, 194)




Senior Kevin Kelly has a real dilemma once kicking from the 30 yard line – he was 18-for-18 from inside this mark, but 2-for-8 in his tires of 40+. His kickoffs are solid, but we expect the powers that be to bring Collin Wagner, a State College local in the tradition of Robbie Gould, David Kimball and the Bahr Brothers, in to push Kelly. Junior Jeremy Boone was 19th in the nation and the net put results were ranked 3rd, a real win for PSU when those tough field position battles are grinding out. A.J. Wallace will continue to man the punt return slot and Derrick Williams is sure to continue his electrifying returns with the kickoffs...giving Penn State a solid field advantage. The two combined for two special teams TDs in 2007.