It’s no secret that the Penn State Nittany Lions have some big holes to fill on defense this season. Graduation, injuries and off-field problems have caused depth chart issues at some key positions. One key member of the unit who does return this season is Adrian Amos. The junior could see time at a few different positions in 2013.
Amos has played in every game the last two years on special teams and at cornerback. Last season, he started every game and finished eighth on the team with 44 total tackles. He also grabbed two interceptions.
Although Amos is a great cover corner, he may not play a down at that position this season. He came into spring practice a few pounds heavier and stronger, prompting new defensive coordinator John Butler to have him practice with the safeties. Butler, who was the secondary coach last year, saw a need to fix some of the depth issues in the defensive backfield.
Amos played safety during the annual Blue-White Game and is projected to start there when the season begins. However, depth issues at another position may force him to change once again.
The Nittany Lions are very thin at linebacker heading into this season. The graduations of Gerald Hodges and Michael Mauti left Glenn Carson as the only regular starter from last year. In fact, only four current linebackers saw time on the field last season.
Head coach Bill O’Brien mentioned during a press conference at Big Ten Media Days last week that he may give both Amos and fellow safety Stephen Obeng-Agyapong looks at linebacker during camp. Both players could make good linebackers due to their size, hard-hitting ability and coverage skills.
With the season-opener a mere month away, it’s still yet to be seen exactly how Amos will be used. A situation where he sees time at both safety and linebacker seems likely. He’s a talented player who needs to step up as a leader on the defense this season.
While there are still questions, one thing is for sure. No matter where Amos lines up on the field, he will be an important playmaker and needs to have a big season for Penn State to be successful.