Redskins

Penn St replenishes QB depth with JUCO prospect

Penn St replenishes QB depth with JUCO prospect

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) Penn State coach Bill O'Brien has turned to a junior college prospect to help replenish depth at quarterback.

Tyler Ferguson signed a letter of intent Thursday to play for the Nittany Lions. Ferguson, who played this year at the College of the Sequoias in Visalia, Calif., will be eligible next season and plans to enroll in January.

The sooner he arrives, the better for Penn State's depth chart, which is woefully thin at quarterback with record-setting starter Matt McGloin and third-stringer Shane McGregor both seniors and out of eligibility.

Ferguson will join Steven Bench, the backup to McGloin as a freshman this year, as the only two scholarship quarterbacks come January. They'll likely compete for the starting job during spring practice.

The 6-foot-4, 210-pound Ferguson threw for 2,614 yards and 22 touchdowns in 10 games for College of the Sequoias this year, completing 55 percent of his passes.

Ferguson will have four years to finish three remaining years of eligibility. He was initially committed to Houston until O'Brien called last week.

``I mulled it over, called Houston the next day and de-committed and then the next morning (Saturday), I called and committed to Penn State,'' Ferguson said during a signing ceremony in his hometown of Bakersfield, Calif., The Bakersfield Californian reported.

Bench played sparingly behind McGloin, who broke the school record with 46 career touchdown passes, including 24 in 2012 to tie Daryll Clark (2009) for the team's single-season mark.

O'Brien said this week that Bench seems to be off to a good start in the offseason.

``He's working hard, doing all the things that a good quarterback has to do,'' O'Brien said in an interview with The Associated Press. ``At the end of the day, it's going to be how he does in the spring, just like every other player.''

Bench worked his way up the depth chart and supplanted Paul Jones, a sophomore, as the backup by Week 2. Jones left the program in September, further depleting Penn State's depth after Rob Bolden transferred to LSU over the summer.

Bolden, who began the previous two seasons as starter before losing the job to McGloin, left Penn State in the summer after O'Brien settled on McGloin as his first stringer following spring practice. Both Bolden and Jones were once highly touted recruits under the late coach Joe Paterno.

O'Brien, in his first season on the job, spiced up the Penn State passing game and turned McGloin, a former walk-on, into one of the top quarterbacks in the Big Ten.

Penn State also has a verbal commitment from blue-chip high school prospect Christian Hackenberg of Fork Union, Va. While Hackenberg cannot officially commit until February, he has been vocal about his dedication to the Nittany Lions despite the sanctions handed down by the NCAA in July against the school for the child sex abuse scandal involving retired assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.

Ferguson became a priority for Penn State after Iowa Western's Jake Waters, considered one of the country's top junior college quarterbacks, chose Kansas State over Penn State last week.

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Follow Genaro Armas athttp://twitter.com/GArmasAP

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Injuries to Marshall and Perine will open the door for Kapri Bibbs to make the Redskins

Injuries to Marshall and Perine will open the door for Kapri Bibbs to make the Redskins

Following the Redskins' Week 2 preseason win over the Jets on Thursday, Jay Gruden said both Byron Marshall and Samaje Perine were "OK" after the two running backs each left the game with injuries. Marshall's was labeled a lower-leg issue, while Perine's injury was called a twisted ankle.

Timetables for their recoveries were then reported on Friday, and while the two members of the backfield escaped anything too severe, they will each be sidelined for decent chunks of time.

Perine will miss a week, according to Mike Garafolo. Marshall, meanwhile, is looking at a longer two-to-four week recovery, per Tom Pelissero. Those pieces of news hurt them in more ways than one.

Derrius Guice's torn ACL in Week 1 of the team's exhibition schedule meant that Marshall and Perine both had a big-time opportunity to step up and earn a spot on Washington's 53-man roster, spots that were harder to envision for them when Guice was healthy.

Overall, the two were slated to compete with Kapri Bibbs for what will likely be two spaces on the depth chart behind the absolutely safe Chris Thompson and Rob Kelley. Now, though, they'll be forced to sit until they're healed up, giving Bibbs more chances in practice and the two remaining August contests to earn Jay Gruden's trust.

Against New York, Bibbs struggled on the ground but led the offense with seven grabs, including a 29-yard gain off a screen play. That performance absolutely brought him closer in the race with Marshall, who scored vs. the Patriots a week earlier. Next, he'll need to prove he can run effectively between the tackles vs. the Broncos in Week 3, which will put some heat on Perine as well.

The 'Skins have 15 days left until they have to finalize their regular season roster. As things stand now amongst the running backs, Bibbs presently has a real shot at stealing a job from the two shelved RBs. But with the way this race has unfolded thus far, that can all change in a split second. 

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Familiarity for coach and GM should allow Capital City Go-Go to hit ground running

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Associated Press

Familiarity for coach and GM should allow Capital City Go-Go to hit ground running

Despite being a brand new franchise with a new roster and new facilities, the Capital City Go-Go will carry into their inaugural season a level of continuity. Both their general manager and head coach are familiar with what they are getting into and the people they will be working with.

GM Pops Mensah-Bonsu is no stranger to the D.C. community and the Wizards franchise. He made a name for himself starring at George Washington University, spent time with the Wizards as a player in their 2013 training camp and remained a frequent visitor to Wizards games as a scout for the Spurs in recent years.

"To be back in the community and the first general manager of the G-League team is special," Mensah-Bonsu said. "This is D.C.’s team. I want them to embrace us."

Head coach Jarell Christian played college ball in Virginia and goes back several years with Wizards coach Scott Brooks. Christian joined the Oklahoma City's G-League staff when Brooks was in his final year as head coach of the Thunder.

Christian began his coaching journey with an eye trained on how Brooks goes about his job.

"My introduction to pro basketball was under Coach Brooks and his philosophies. A lot of that stuff, I believe in wholeheartedly. That’s my foundation," Christian said. "I got a chance to know him through training camp and throughout that season. He and I developed a bond and a relationship that stood the test of time. To this day, we still talk often. It’s just another chance for me to reconnect with him and to continue to grow our relationship."

The Go-Go intend to make what they do as similar to the Wizards as possible. When guys like Devin Robinson, one of their two-way players, is called up he can step right in without a learning curve of the playbook or how they practice.

Having Christian in place will help that process in particular.

"There won’t be any issue or any slippage with guys going up and down to know what’s in store for them," Christian said. "A lot of the stuff that the Wizards will do, we will implement with the Go-Go. Just some offensive and defensive concepts. Some of the playcalls and the terminology will be the same."

"Whatever you see the Wizards doing, you will probably see the Capital City Go-Go doing, too," Mensah-Bonsu said.

The symmetry between the G-League and the NBA teams will also be helped by the fact they will share the same practice facility. Their proximity will come with many advantages from the Go-Go perspective.

"I think it’s going to help motivate these guys. We’re going to be practicing in the same place that the Wizards do and the Mystics do," Mensah-Bonsu said. "I think if these guys can see Dwight Howard and John Wall and Bradley Beal walking around every day, it will help motivate them to get to that next level."

"The exposure our players get with the Wizards [front office], the Wizards personnel, being able to watch them practice daily, watching their practice habits and what their routines may be, is really big," Christian said.

That element will also apply beyond the players. Christian, who is just 32 years old, will get to watch how an NBA coaching staff operates on a daily basis.

Christian has yet to take a tour of the new building in Ward 8, but he has seen blueprints. Among the amenities the Go-Go will enjoy that other G-League teams do not usually have is a dedicated dining area.

Many G-League teams do not go to that length.

"A lot of organizations do not provide food for their players on a daily basis, but we will. That’s the No. 1 thing in my opinion that’s gonna set us apart from our competitors," he said.

The Go-Go won't take the floor for their first game until November, but it seems like a good foundation is starting to take place.

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