Penn State head coach Bill O'Brien's attempt to limit quarterback Steven Bench's play in 2012 with hopes of being able to retain a redshirt for his freshman quarterback did not work out. Bench, who will be competing this spring to make a case for a starting job under center in the fall, is listed as a sophomore on Penn State's first spring roster released on the school's official website.
The NCAA's redshirt rules prohibited Bench from being able to get a redshirt for the 2012 season because he did play, even in a limited capacity. Only medical redshirts may be granted by the NCAA under extenuating circumstances related to injuries. Bench was never injured, but one other player was.
Nyeem Wartman saw limited action at the start of the season, playing in two games before suffering an injury that held him back for the remainder of the season. That leaves him with eligibility through the 2016 season, which could allow him an opportunity to play in a bowl game once the NCAA's postseason ban is lifted following the 2015 season.
As was reported earlier in the off-season, tight end Garry Gilliam will move to the offensive line. The initial roster currently lists Gilliam as an offensive tackle, which appears to be the most logical selection as he moves to the offensive line. Gilliam is listed at 6' 6" and 290 pounds, which would mean Gilliam is now 28 pounds heavier than his listed weight for Penn State's regular season finale against Wisconsin (listed at 262 pounds).
Bob Flounders of The Patriot News made note of some of the uniform number changes fans may be interested to see. Tight end Adam Breneman will start off wearing the number 81 and junior transfer quarterback Tyler Ferguson will suit up wearing the number five.
Spring Practice Opens Monday
Penn State's first official practice of the spring will take place Monday. Prior to that first practice O'Brien will meet with the media. You can follow my updates and coverage on Twitter.