Penn State coach Joe Paterno said Monday that the futures of Abe Koroma and A.J. Wallace with the football team are uncertain, according to multiple news outlets in Chicago for Big Ten media days.
“Wallace has a question with cutting some classes,” Paterno told reporters after his traditional press conference at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, where the event is hosted. “Koroma’s got some personal problems. I’m not sure what’s going to happen. I doubt if Koroma will (return to the team) because he really has got some problems.”
Both Wallace, a senior cornerback, and Koroma, a junior defensive tackle, were tenants of an apartment that was raided for marijuana last September.
Koroma was charged with one misdemeanor count of possession and was suspended for three games by Paterno. Fellow defensive lineman Maurice Evans, now in the NFL, received the same punishments from the court and the team.
Wallace was not charged by police, nor was he suspended by Paterno after the incident.
Wallace is expected to start in a rebuilt Penn State secondary, while Koroma has been a part-time starter and a prominent member of the Nittany Lions’ defensive line rotation.
Although both players would be expected to see plenty of snaps in the fall, Wallace would be harder to replace, as the Lions will have four new starters in the secondary.
Along with fellow senior Knowledge Timmons, Wallace exited the spring as a projected starter at cornerback.
Little experience exists behind them on the depth chart. Sophomore D’Anton Lynn and little-used fifth-year senior Devin Fentress are potential second-stringers, followed by walk-ons Shelton McCullough and Jesse Alfreno, as well as a group of incoming freshmen led by Darrell Givens.
One of the country’s top-rated recruits for the class of 2006, Wallace has had trouble staying on the field. Based on his talent and athleticism, Wallace was penciled in by many to start at corner in 2007 and 2008 but both times was beaten out by the more consistent Lydell Sargeant.
Should Koroma not return, Jared Odrick and Ollie Ogbu figure to man the starting spots at defensive tackle once again. Unit coach Larry Johnson, however, likes to employ multiple players to keep the line fresh during games.
Without Koroma, sophomores Devon Still and Chima Okoli would battle to be the next ones in, along with redshirt freshman Brandon Ware and junior Tom McEowen.