Blue White Illustrated

June-July 2022

Penn State Sports Magazine

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Page 20 of 67

J U N E / J U L Y 2 0 2 2 2 1 S P R I N G F O O T B A L L 2 0 2 2 As for the receivers, third- yea r so p h o m o re Pa rke r Wa s h i n g t o n i s b e i n g picked as the heir apparent to NFL-bound Jahan Dotson, but Western Kentucky trans- fer Mitchell Tinsley and return- ing third-year sophomore Malick Meiga also showed plenty of prom- ise throughout the 15 practices. They figure to lead the way for wide receivers coach Taylor Stubblefield's room come the fall. While the tight ends are all back and in good shape, the offensive line is not. From the sound of it, three linemen took the majority of reps this spring: redshirt junior tackle Caedan Wallace and third- year sophomore tackle Olu Fashanu plus senior center Juice Scruggs. Redshirt freshman Landon Tengwall should start at guard, and redshirt junior Sal Worm- ley will push for playing time, too, as will incoming interior lineman Hunter Nourzad. The line, though, presents a numbers mess for the Lions that won't be easily solved. Penn State returns two starters from last season. Scruggs has shifted from guard to center, while Wallace remains at right tackle. The Lions also bring back Tengwall, who can play both inside and out, and Fashanu, and both should start. But, Penn State still went through spring practice with roughly 10 healthy line- men. On defense, new coordinator Manny Diaz brought his trademark aggression to State College, and the Penn State players seem to love it. Redshirt junior defensive end Adisa Isaac returned to action after sitting out last year with a leg injury, while super senior tackle PJ Mustipher is inching closer to his return after suffering a season-ending knee injury at Iowa in October. As for Diaz's linebackers, super se- nior Jonathan Sutherland's bump up to that position group and specifically the Sam spot went well, but senior Charlie Katshir was hurt and out of the spring game. Numbers are an issue here, too. They are not an issue in the second- ary, however, where sophomore Kalen King looks primed to join redshirt ju- nior Joey Porter Jr., as a starter at cor- ner, while super senior Ji'Ayir Brown readies to take over for Jaquan Brisker at safety opposite either junior Keaton Ellis, sophomore Jaylen Reed or redshirt freshman Zakee Wheatley. A fascinating fall camp battle is shaping up there. Last but not least, new special teams coordinator Stacy Collins will need more time to make his final choices at everything from kicker to punter to the return game. Those jobs will be won in August. ■ Super senior quarterback Sean Clifford will team up with true freshman running back Nick Singleton in the Nittany Lions' backfield this coming fall. Clifford was going through his fourth spring at Penn State, while Singleton, an early enrollee, was taking part in the off- season drills for the first time. PHOTO BY STEVE MANUEL

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