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Thursday, January 31, 2013
Lions spotlight: QB Tyler Ferguson

By Josh Moyer

Every weekday until signing day, NittanyNation will break down a commitment from Penn State’s 2013 recruiting class.

Vitals: Quarterback Tyler Ferguson, Bakersfield (Calif.) College of the Sequoias, 6-foot-4, 200 pounds.

Committed: Dec. 14, 2012.

ESPN.com grade: 77. Three-star prospect.

ESPN.com rankings: N/A

Picked Penn State over: Akron, Florida Atlantic and Houston.

Tyler Ferguson
Tyler Ferguson is expected to compete for the starting QB job next fall.
State of the position: Only Steven Bench returns from last year, so the quarterback position definitely needed a mid-year player to step up. ESPN's No. 1-rated high school passer, Christian Hackenberg, will join the team over the summer, while walk-ons D.J. Crook and Austin Whipple have already have enrolled and will also compete.

Pros: "Ferguson is a tall, athletic quarterback with good production out of the spread. ... He can make plays in a gunslinger-type of fashion. ... He is more precise when throwing with timing and rhythm. Overall, you appreciate Ferguson's ability to keep plays alive and move the chains, but he might face some challenges at the next level." -- ESPN scouting report

Cons: "He throws well outside the pocket and on the run but gets rattled easily in the pocket. His unrefined mechanics and delivery might catch up with him at the next level, and a lot will be dictated by scheme. He has a live arm but not a powerful one in terms of downfield strength. His accuracy fades  on intermediate to deep throws and when going outside the numbers." -- ESPN scouting report

Similar to/potential role: He's one recruit who's not going to redshirt in his first season. He'll be expected to compete with Bench for the starting job, but he's still a little raw -- and likely will be relegated as the backup. However, that's still a valuable role this season, because it allows PSU to redshirt Hackenberg and prepare for the future.

Expected impact: 2013. He might not get closer to a starting job than this season. Hackenberg is the heir apparent here and has a higher ceiling and stronger tools than Ferguson. The only reason Ferguson likely will have a better chance than Hackenberg to play this season is because he'll be better prepared by having more time to spend with the playbook and the coaching staff. Hackenberg is the future, but Ferguson could be the band-aid. Ferguson could very well be the third-string QB in his final two seasons.