Quarterback Tyler Ferguson impressed Penn State coach Bill O'Brien with his performance in spring practice. (AP)
By Zac Ellis
Penn State's quarterback race was expected to be tight heading into the fall. After Thursday's release of the Nittany Lions' post-spring depth chart, that notion has only been reinforced: Bill O'Brien listed sophomore Tyler Ferguson and incoming freshman Christian Hackenberg as his team's co-starters.
Penn State is looking to replace departed quarterback Matt McGloin, and following the transfer of Steven Bench to USF last month, Ferguson and Hackenberg emerged as the clear frontrunners for the role. Ferguson performed well in Penn State's spring game in April, completing 9-of-15 passes for 90 yards and two touchdowns. He was also sacked three times. Hackenberg is set to arrive on campus later this summer.
Ferguson was an early enrollee in January after transferring from junior college, while Hackenberg was Rivals.com's No. 2 pro-style quarterback prospect in the class of 2013. Hackenberg completed 156-of-291 attempts for 2,144 yards and 24 touchdowns during his senior campaign at Fork Union (Va.) Military Academy.
Penn State averaged 273.6 passing yards per game last season, second in the Big Ten. It brings back wideout Allen Robinson, who finished last year with 1,018 receiving yards and 11 scores, and a stable of pass-catching tight ends.
Nittany Lions players are slated to report to State College for fall camp on Aug. 4.