Blue White Illustrated

June-July 2022

Penn State Sports Magazine

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Page 22 of 67

J U N E / J U L Y 2 0 2 2 2 3 W W W . B L U E W H I T E O N L I N E . C O M S P R I N G F O O T B A L L 2 0 2 2 offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich. That experience should not be under- estimated. If the Lions can give him more help than he got last year when they aver- aged a meager 107.8 yards per game on the ground and were drastically over- reliant on the passing game, Clifford could be in line for a strong season. 3. There's more depth behind Clifford than at any point in the 2021 season. A year ago, Penn State's scant depth at quarterback was ruthlessly exposed when Clifford got hurt at Iowa and Ta'Quan Roberson struggled in relief, completing just 7 of 21 passes for 34 yards in a 23-20 loss to the Hawkeyes. With Roberson having since trans- ferred to Connecticut, redshirt freshman Christian Veilleux is the backup. While his passing numbers in the Blue-White Game were skimpy — 5 of 14 for 75 yards — he shined last year when forced to relieve an ailing Clifford against Rutgers. What's more, there are two other schol- arship quarterbacks on campus — true freshmen Drew Allar and Beau Pribula — who could eventually end up pushing Veilleux. 4. The early enrollees have shown promise. There's a lot to be excited about when it comes to Penn State's recruiting class of 2022, and no one knows that better than Franklin. He told reporters after the Blue-White Game that the Nittany Lions "probably have more new guys showing up on cam- pus that have a chance to impact the ros- ter as freshmen than maybe we've ever had." Out of that group, two players, in par- ticular, consistently earned praise during spring ball: running back Nick Singleton and defensive tackle Zane Durant. It's not easy to start as a freshman along the defensive line, but Durant is pushing to be part of the rotation come Sept. 1. As for Singleton, he was running with the second team throughout most of spring practice. Expect to see both of these guys early and often.

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