Bing, Sanu get starting nods

Following his press conference to open the season, head coach Greg Schiano released the Scarlet Knights' two-deep for the Cincinnati game. Although a total of five "or"s appeared on the depth chart, a series of the smaller position battle appear to be decided.

Junior Brandon Bing is listed as the outright starter at cornerback, alongside senior Devin McCourty, although Schiano said that David Rowe, Brandon Jones and Billy Anderson will all see playing time at cornerback.

"I think Brandon played the best, but David will be our starting nickel back as he was last year. He'll be playing a lot. We'll go from there," Schiano said. "He's always been able to make spectacular plays. He's a gifted, gifted athlete. But he did it over the course of time. Now he has to do it in games. Right now it's practice. Now he has to do it in games, and I believe he will."

Freshman wide receiver Mohamed Sanu is the official starter alongside Tim Brown, with the primary backups listed as junior Mason Robinson and redshirt freshman Tim Wright.

"I think Mohamed is a mature guy," Schiano said. "He went through winter conditioning, went through spring football, and a full summer. He's a little older. He's not just more mature than some other guys, but he's older, physically older.

"I think he's ready. We're going to have freshmen mistakes now. When you play freshmen, you get freshmen mistakes. Our goal is to limit those and hopefully not let them be fatal freshmen mistakes."

Other surprising definites on the two-deep include true freshman linebacker Steve Beauharnais and junior right end Sorie Bayoh.

Beauharnais, a 6-foot-2, 230-pound freshman from Saddle Brook, N.J., cracked the two-deep behind Damaso Munoz.

"Steve Beauharnais is going to be a true freshman backing up Damaso," Schiano said. "He doesn't get to that spot unless he's very talented. He may have a chance to play some."

Sanu is the starter at kick return with McCourty returning punts. Junior Joe Lefeged is the backup at both positions.

The undecided or unannounced spots as of today are quarterback, running back, left guard, defensive tackle and weakside linebacker.

The quarterback battle is between Dom Natale, Tom Savage and Jabu Lovelace and, although Schiano has decided on a starter, all will likely play and the starter will not be revealed publicly.

"I have a starter; I'm just not making it public yet," he said. "We know. I think we have a pretty good idea of what the plan is going to be. How it unfolds in the game is different. I think some of that will be determined on how it goes."

With Kordell Young still hurt, sophomores Joe Martinek and Jourdan Brooks will likely co-start yet again at running back with no real starter named.

"The reason I prefer it is I think both those guys are guys that are strong," Schiano said.

"Ray was a very strong back. These two are strong backs. They can take it. You just get a little better feel. But I think they can ham and egg it. I think these two guys are a little different. Although they're both big backs, they can give you a different look. We're going to have to see how it plays out."

Blair Bines and Scott Vallone are still in competition for the starting defensive tackle spot alongside Charlie Noonan after Vallone filled in well while Bines was out with an ankle. Antonio Lowery and Manny Abreu are still in competition at the Will, as well, in what may last beyond week one.

"I don't know how that's going to play out," Schiano said. "I think this week of practice is still important, who practices better. Cincinnati is different than we are offensively. So we had 15 or 16 practices against Rutgers, and you're evaluating them. Now we've had four practices against Cincinnati, and we'll have another three or four. I think we're still in the evaluation of who plays this style of offense better. That will probably dictate."


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