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Penn State to Begin Season with High Aspirations

Article Written by Mac Young

Originally Published on September 1st, 2023

The Penn State Nittany Lions are ready for their most anticipated season in recent memory. The No. 7 ranked Nittany Lions take on West Virginia inside Beaver Stadium Saturday night.

Led by a new quarterback surrounded by a loaded roster, the Nittany Lions are ranked inside the preseason top ten for the first time since 2020.

That 2020 team would finish the season unranked, but much of that had to do with the doom and gloom of the pandemic as well as now NFL star Micah Parsons opting out for the season.

The current Nittany Lions are riding high off a Rose Bowl victory.

Quarterback Sean Clifford departed for the NFL, but likely taking the reigns is one of the highest-touted recruits on Penn State’s roster.

Coach James Franklin refuses to name a starter prior to Saturday night’s opener against West Virginia, but all signs point towards Drew Allar getting the nod.

Allar was rated as a five-star prospect and the No. 1 quarterback in the 2022 class by 247 Sports. The 6-foot 5-inch signal caller from Medina, Ohio enters this season as a true sophomore after getting a couple of reps late in games last season.

Allar is surrounded by an incredible supporting class.

Leading the attack on the ground is the dynamic duo of Nicholas Singleton and Kaytron Allen. Last year the two running backs became the first pair of true freshman teammates to each record over 700 yards on the ground in Big Ten history.

Also on the roster are two potential first-round picks.

Olu Fashanu is rated as one of the best offensive tackles in college football and is expected to be selected in the top ten of next year’s NFL draft.

On the defensive side of the ball, cornerback Kalen King is considered the best defensive back in the Big Ten. He is expected to go somewhere in the middle of the first round.

Overall, the Nittany Lions have one of their most complete teams in years. If their quarterback play is as good as advertised it’s not too far-fetched to think Penn State could compete for their first-ever College Football Playoff berth this season.

Mac Young, The Locker Room with Billy Schweim's Penn State Football Columnist

Mac Young is a senior broadcast journalism major at Penn State.

To contact him email

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