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Penn State notebook: LB Hull should be ready for UCF, O'Brien says

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Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013, 7:21 p.m.

Linebacker Mike Hull “will be good to go” — assuming there are no setbacks — for Saturday's game against UCF, Penn State coach Bill O'Brien said. Hull has been limited to less than a half of action this season because of a knee injury.

Hull's backup, Ben Kline, also will play against the Knights after being held out of a win against Eastern Michigan because of an undisclosed injury.

Stephen Obeng-Agyapong, a safety by trade, had been playing extensively at outside linebacker in place of Hull.

• Obeng-Agyapong was listed as a second-team outside linebacker on the depth chart for the first time. He also remained in his customary position as the No. 2 strong safety. “He'll have a role in the game just like he's had the past two weeks,” O'Brien said. Kline was moved from being listed as Hull's primary backup to being No. 2 behind the other starting outside linebacker, Nyeem Wartman. O'Brien said Wartman will play Saturday despite a minor injury, and he said safety Ryan Keiser is “questionable.”

• After relying heavily on Zach Zwinak as their feature back throughout the second half of last season and during the season opener, the Nittany Lions now officially have a three-man running back corps. O'Brien split carries between Zwinak, Bill Belton and Akeel Lynch against Eastern Michigan, and all three were listed as co-starters on the depth chart. “If one of them gets hot, more than likely, we would stick with that guy,” O'Brien said. “Running back-by-committee isn't so bad when you have three good running backs.”

• Among other minor depth-chart adjustments: Eugene Lewis was anointed the Lions' top kick returner; Carl Nassib was promoted to second-string defensive tackle; Adam Cole was moved from outside linebacker to middle linebacker; and Shaler graduate Jesse Della Valle is listed as a reserve at both safety spots. Of little consequence but interesting to note: A cornerback – Anthony Smith – will perform duties as long snapper; an “OR” was officially reinserted between Garry Gilliam and Adam Gress at right tackle; no player replaced the injured Matt Lehman as the No. 2 “Y” tight end; and freshman Gregg Garrity (North Allegheny) was added as a punt returner. Lehman had successful season-ending knee surgery Tuesday.

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