Blue White Illustrated

January 2022

Penn State Sports Magazine

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J A N U A R Y 2 0 2 2 31 W W W . B L U E W H I T E O N L I N E . C O M fer student attending the Bullis School in Potomac, Md.]. His season got can- celed because of COVID. So, he just keeps getting better, and I was proud of him. He was very poised today, made some plays with his legs, made some big-time throws, made some checks. Obviously, it's something to build on." At the time, it looked as though Veil- leux might be the leading candidate to start at quarterback for the Nittany Li- ons next fall. But when Clifford announced on Dec. 10 that he would be returning for a sixth season, it meant that Veilleux's oppor- tunity to compete for the starting spot was getting pushed back to 2023. By that time, incoming freshmen Drew Al- lar and Beau Pribula will have been on campus for a year themselves and will presumably be in position to challenge for the starting job, too. Regardless of what the future might hold, the coaching staff has been im- pressed with Veilleux's development. The 6-4, 202-pounder "did some really exciting things that we want to build on," Franklin said after the Rutgers game. "He's been getting the No. 2 reps in practice and was ready to play." TYLER WARREN | TE Of the players on this list, Warren was the only one who saw action throughout the regular season. The 6-6, 252-pound redshirt freshman played in all 12 games and headed into the Outback Bowl with four catches for 61 yards and a touch- down. Warren, who mostly played quarter- back at Atlee High in Mechanicsville, Va., was also used as a wildcat quarter- back at times by the Lions this fall, a gad- get play that produced short-yardage rushing touchdowns against Auburn and Villanova but saw diminishing success as the season went on. Warren was a three-star recruit com- ing out of Atlee, and because he hadn't seen much action at the position he was set to play in college, he was an under- the-radar prospect when he arrived on campus in 2020. But once he began practicing with the team, any concerns about his potential as a tight end quickly subsided. Classmate and fellow tight end Theo Johnson called him "probably the best-kept secret we have on our team." Added Franklin, "There's been ex- citement about Tyler since we got him. His basketball tape was as impressive as there is. … He's always been big, strong and athletic." As a group, Penn State's tight ends had an up-and-down year. Johnson, Warren and starter Brenton Strange combined to make 41 catches for 500 yards and five touchdowns. The reception and yardage totals were both less than PSU's tight ends produced last year, even though the Lions played three more regular-season games this season than they did in 2020. What's more, their blocking was cited as one of the reasons for the team's strug- gles in the running game. But Warren, the youngest and least experienced of Penn State's tight ends, showed that he has a high ceiling for a guy who didn't even play the position in high school. "I think he's got a really bright future," Franklin said. ■ Quarterback Christian Veilleux saw the first action of his career in Penn State's win over Rutgers. Filling in for the ailing Sean Clifford, he competed 15 of 24 passes for 235 yards and three touchdowns. PHOTO BY STEVE MANUEL

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