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Jan. 6, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - With the start of the spring academic semester on Monday, the Nittany Lion football program welcomes five new student-athletes who are enrolled in classes and will be eligible to participate in spring practice with the Nittany Lions in 2013.
The list includes four high school players who graduated early to enroll at Penn State and one junior-college signee. The Nittany Lions welcome one quarterback, one running back, one tight end and two defensive backs for the start of the spring semester.
The January signees include running back Richy Anderson (Frederick, Md.), tight end Adam Breneman (Camp Hill, Pa.), quarterback Tyler Ferguson (Visalia, Calif.), defensive back Anthony Smith (Randolph, N.J.) and defensive back Jordan Smith (Washington, D.C.).
The five signees will join the returning Nittany Lions on campus for the culmination of the winter strength and conditioning program immediately. National Signing Day is on Feb. 6. The 2013 Blue-White Game is scheduled for April 20.
ESPN and Maxwell Football Club Coach of the Year Bill O'Brien and the Nittany Lions open the 2013 season on Aug. 31 against Syracuse at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. Penn State returns 16 starters for 2013 - eight on offense, six on defense and two specialists, along with 10 additional returnees with starting experience.
RB | Frederick, Md. | Governor Thomas Johnson High School | Ht: 5-11 | Wt: 180
The son of former Nittany Lion great and NFL running back Richie Anderson, Richy Anderson is a 5-11, 180-pound versatile all-purpose back. The Frederick, Md., native produced more than 1,700 yards of offense and 15 touchdowns as a junior at Governor Thomas Johnson High School. Rated a three-star prospect on Scout.com, Rivals.com, ESPN.com and 247Sports, Anderson helped lead Thomas Johnson HS to the Class 3A state title game in 2011. Anderson's father lettered at Penn State from 1991-92, rushing for 1,756 yards and 31 touchdowns before embarking on a 12-year NFL career with the New York Jets and Dallas Cowboys.
TE | Camp Hill, Pa. | Cedar Cliff High School | Ht: 6-5 | Wt: 230
Rated among the nation's top tight ends, Camp Hill, Pa., native Adam Breneman brings a versatile skill set to the Nittany Lion program. The 6-foot-5, 230-pound Breneman possesses great speed and quickness for a player his size. A crisp route runner with good hands, the Cedar Cliff High School standout has the tools to line up in a variety of locations on offense. Breneman's traits will fit nicely into the Bill O'Brien tight end-friendly offensive scheme. Rated a five-star prospect by Rivals, Breneman caught 72 passes for 1,120 yards and 12 touchdowns as a junior. As a sophomore, Breneman made 60 receptions for 863 yards and eight touchdowns. Off the field, Breneman played an instrumental role in a fundraising effort, "Catch the Cure", which helped raise more than $80,000 for Project A.L.S.
QB | Visalia, Calif. | College of the Sequoias | Ht: 6-5 | Wt: 210
A standout quarterback at The College of the Sequoias in Visalia, Calif., quarterback Tyler Ferguson enters the spring semester with three years of eligibility at Penn State. Ferguson, who threw for 2,614 yards and 22 touchdowns in 10 games during 2012, is a 6-5, 210-pound signal-caller. He completed better than 55 percent of his passes and was the second-leading passer in the CCCAA's Central Valley Conference. The Bakersfield, Calif., product threw for 1,275 yards and touchdowns as a senior at Ridgeview High School. He fueled a 6-0 start during his senior season in 2011 before suffering a broken collarbone. Ferguson is an accurate passer with good pocket awareness and the ability to tuck the ball and run when he needs to.
DB | Randolph, N.J. | Valley Forge Military Academy | Ht: 6-1 | Wt: 185
Defensive back Anthony Smith will likely have an opportunity to make an early impact during spring drills in the Penn State secondary and on special teams. A 6-foot-1, 185-pound defensive back hailing from Randolph, N.J., Smith spent last season at Valley Forge Military Academy. In addition to playing in the defensive backfield, Smith spent time at quarterback and was the long snapper for Valley Forge in 2012. He earned second-team All-West Jersey honors during his final season at Pope John XXIII High School (Sussex County, N.J.) in 2011. Smith is an aggressive player with the size and speed to add depth in the Penn State secondary and special teams unit when spring drills begin in March.
DB | Washington, D.C. | H.D. Woodson High School | Ht: 5-11 | Wt: 185
Penn State has had a long line of talented players from suburban Washington, D.C., and 5-foot-11, 185-pound defensive back Jordan Smith will look to join that list for the Nittany Lions. Smith is an aggressive athlete with the skill set to play either in a number of different spots in the secondary. Like Anthony Smith, Jordan Smith will likely have an opportunity to add depth and make an early impact in the secondary and on special teams during spring drills. Smith tallied two-straight 60-plus tackle seasons at Archbishop Carroll High School before moving to H.D. Woodson High School in Washington, D.C. Smith's older brother, Stephen, played high school football with former Nittany Lion great Derrick Williams at Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Maryland.