In mid-June, the Nittany Lions depth chart listed the No. 1 quarterback spot as “Tyler Ferguson OR Christian Hackenberg.” Two months later, and a handful of days ahead of the opener, it’s lather, rinse, repeat as both players share the top spot on the depth chart released Monday morning.
Penn State opens the season Saturday in the new Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ, against Syracuse.
Following the transfer of Stephen Bench to USF in late May, the Nittany Lions’ quarterback competition was essentially a two-man battle between Ferguson (pictured, right) and Hackenberg (pictured, left).
Ferguson was an early enrollee at Penn State this past January after spending the 2012 season at a California junior college. Hackenberg, on the other hand, came to Happy Valley with a very heft recruiting résumé.
The five-star player was rated by Rivals.com as the No. 2 pro-style quarterback in the Class of 2013; the No. 3 player in the state of Virginia; and the No. 24 player in the country at any position. 247Sports.com was even higher on Hackenberg, rating him as the top player at his position as well as the No. 6 player overall.
Unlike Ferguson, Hackenberg didn’t participate in spring practice and didn’t join the team until the summer.
In another interesting note related to the position, true freshman D.J. Crook is listed as the third-team QB. Crook, a walk-on who came to PSU this past January, is one of 10 true freshmen listed on the Nittany Lions’ three-deep roster.