Another week, another mailbag.
As a reminder, every week I plan on answering your Penn State football questions — which can be sent via email or Twitter (@jmcgonigal9).
Last week, we touched on Chris Godwin’s possible NFL destinations and alcohol at Beaver Stadium, among other topics.
Let’s see what questions we had this week.
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When (offensive coordinator Joe) Moorhead leaves, do they go outside for a hire or hope someone like (passing game coordinator and tight ends coach Ricky) Rahne picked up his system enough? Steve, @stevedavis17111 on Twitter
That’s a tough question. I think at the very least he would be considered. The experience he’s gained working alongside Moorhead can’t be overlooked. Plus, Rahne is one of James Franklin’s longtime guys — with stops at Kansas State, Vanderbilt and Penn State, he’s been an assistant under Franklin for seven seasons. Rahne’s role as passing game coordinator and his responsibility for Penn State’s offensive resurgence is kind of unclear, though. If Franklin feels like Rahne knows Moorhead’s offense well enough, he’ll be a strong candidate. But keep in mind that if Penn State has another season like 2016 and Moorhead moves on, the Nittany Lions’ offensive coordinator position will be one of the most coveted jobs in college football. Franklin will have his pick of the litter nationwide.
Around these parts people are big Johnathan Thomas fans. Any chance he gets some real game action whether at running back or linebacker? Prescott, from Boston
Thomas is in an interesting spot. A former three-star prospect out of St. John’s Prep (Bill O’Brien’s alma mater), Thomas switched from running back to linebacker after the 2015 season and is now moving back to the offensive side of the ball. The problem for Thomas is that running back is a bit crowded. Not only do the Nittany Lions have Saquon Barkley, but also former five-star recruit Miles Sanders and a couple guys — bowling ball Andre Robinson and shifty pass-catcher Mark Allen — who’ve carved out niche roles for themselves. If I had to guess, he’ll likely contribute on special teams, not much more than that. But at least one teammate has been impressed with his spring so far. “I’m really excited to see JT come back,” Barkley said after Wednesday’s practice. “Obviously being on defense for a whole year, you might lose a little something, but he’s continued to show us that he hasn’t lost a step at all.”
Any chance of seeing more of Trace McSorley under center? Randall, from Binghamton, N.Y.
Outside of a goal-to-go trick play with Jason Cabinda at fullback — wouldn’t that be something? — I don’t think you’re ever going to see Trace McSorley under center in this offense. It’s not what Moorhead is about; that much was clear last season. Everything the media saw at practice on Wednesday was out of the shotgun, and I expect that to remain the same throughout Moorhead’s tenure at Penn State.