POSITION REVIEW: Receivers & Tight Ends

Penn State staged its annual Coaches Clinic Scrimmage April 10. We offered live coverage from the event and reports right after it. Now, after taking a bit of time to collect our thoughts and bounce things off some people we trust, we are going to offer a position-by-position breakdown of what went down and where various players at those positions stand. Let's review the receivers and tight ends.


The passing game wasn't exactly hitting on all cylinders in the Coaches Clinic Scrimmage. But it was still easy to see why everyone is so excited about the young receivers at Penn State.

You already know about veterans Graham Zug and Derek Moye. Expectedly, both played well in the scrimmage -- Zug had a handful of catches and Moye was open on at least two occasions when QB Kevin Newsome missed him.

In the meantime, the depth at the position is amazing. I know we are not far removed from an era where three of the top four pass-catchers in PSU history were all playing at the same time, but this sure looks like the deepest Nittany Lion receiving corps in a long time, if not ever.

Sophomore Justin Brown is even bigger and faster than last year and classmate Curtis Drake has come along so quickly that it allowed the staff to ship 2009 starter Chaz Powell to cornerback.

Redshirt freshman Shawney Kersey showed his much-talked-about speed on his second play in the scrimmage, getting behind the cornerback for a 34-yard gain that would have been a touchdown if QB Matt McGloin had hit him in stride.

Brandon Moseby-Felder, another redshirt freshman, is painfully skinny at 6-2, 170. But he seemed to do a good job getting off the line and even drew a pass interference penalty on one throw to the end zone, giving the offense possession inside the 5-yard line.

And that doesn't even take into account Christian Kuntz, the redshirt freshman who injured his left knee in the scrimmage, or Devon Smith, the speedy sophomore who has been slowed by an ankle injury this spring. Redshirt sophomore A.J. Price also had a nice catch in the scrimmage, gaining 44 yards against the third-team secondary.

Considering Zug and Brett Brackett are the only senior wideouts in the program, this area appears to be stacked for years to come.


At tight end, it was difficult to tell too much at the scrimmage because the sets were very basic. I don't recall any two-tight end sets outside of goal-line formations. By comparison, PSU started four games last season with two tight ends.

With Andrew Quarless and Mickey Shuler both off to the NFL, redshirt junior Andrew Szczerba is the only returning player with real experience. He caught a few balls in Drill 6 but didn't have anything thrown at him in the scrimmage. But we've seen enough of him in the past to know what he offers -- good hands, not nearly as fast as Quarless or Shuler, but a little bigger (260), which should translate into better blocking skills.

The most intriguing tight end prospect is redshirt freshman Garry Gilliam, who spent most of last season playing defensive end on the foreign team. At 6-6, 245, he runs extremely well for his size. He had a first-down catch on a quick slant from McGloin and later did a good job of settling into a seam of the defense on a 13-yard hookup with Newsome.

I'd expect that duo to get the bulk of the tight end reps come fall.

FightOnState.com is the exclusive home of the BEST content and community covering Penn State football.


Fight On State Top Stories