NittanyCentral is home for the latest Penn State Football, Penn State Wrestling, Penn State Basketball news, updates, and analysis of the Penn State Nittany Lions

NittanyCentral is home for the latest Penn State Football, Penn State Wrestling, Penn State Basketball news, updates, and analysis of the Penn State Nittany Lions

NittanyCentral is home for the latest Penn State Football, Penn State Wrestling, Penn State Basketball news, updates, and analysis of the Penn State Nittany Lions

The latest news, insight, and analysis of Penn State Football, Penn State Wrestling, and Penn State Basketball, including schedules, game results, analysis of breaking news, rumors, speculation, and recruiting coverage of future Penn State Nittany Lions

NittanyCentral is home to the latest Penn State Nittany Lions news, updates, insight, and analysis, including in-depth coverage of Penn State Football, Penn State Wrestling, Penn State Basketball, and much more

Penn State Football: 3 Lessons Learned From Spring Practice

Penn State Football wrapped up spring practices last Saturday with its annual Blue-White Game in Beaver Stadium.

While the season is still over four months away, there are a few things that Penn State can take away from spring practice as the Nittany Lions head into the second transfer portal window of the offseason and fall camp ahead of a tough Week 1 matchup in Morgantown against West Virginia.

Penn State Football, Derw Allar
Penn State quarterback Drew Allar (Image via USA TODAY Sports)

3 Things We Learned About Penn State Football From 2024 Spring Practices

Defense will again be elite in 2024

Penn State’s defense in 2023 ranked near the top of college football in most defensive categories, including ranking first in rushing yards against, sacks, and tackles for a loss.

Although many of Penn State’s defensive starters are headed off to next week’s NFL Draft (Chop Robinson, Adisa Isaac, Curtis Jacobs, Kalen King, Johnny Dixon, and Daequan Hardy), Penn State’s 2024 defense seems to be in great hands from what was seen in spring practice.

Abdul Carter‘s move to defensive end has supplemented a very deep defensive end-room.

Transfer cornerback AJ Harris looks the part of a plug-and-play starter at cornerback.

Meanwhile, Penn State Football returns KJ Winston, one of the top returning safeties in the nation in 2024, as well as veteran Jaylen Reed, who has 34 games of experience for the Nittany Lions, making up what could be one of the best safeties rooms in the nation.

One hole on the defense could be linebacker, where Abdul Carter’s position change leaves the Nittany Lions very inexperienced with young, but talented, sophomore Tony Rojas stepping into a starting role. From what was seen at the annual Blue-White Game, Penn State’s defense will again be a top 10 unit in 2024 with the chance to keep Penn State in every game next season.

Penn State’s running back room is in good hands for years to come

Penn State Football, Cam Wallace, Penn State Nittany Lions
Penn State running back Cam Wallace (Image via USA TODAY Sports)

Penn State played its annual spring game without either entrenched starting running back Nick Singleton or Kaytron Allen.

Although Allen was dealing with bumps and bruises, both of Penn State’s 2023 starters will be ready to lead the Penn State running back room in Andy Kotelnicki‘s offense come August.

Behind both of Penn State’s starters who combined for over 3,500 yards over the past two seasons, Penn State has some talented young talent which was on display at the Blue-White Game.

True freshman Quinton Martin scored two touchdowns in the game while showing off burst for his size in his first semester on campus. Redshirt freshman Cam Wallace looked good both rushing and catching passes out of the backfield.

If Penn State’s top two backs decide to leave early after the season for the NFL draft, Penn State will have plenty of options to continue the high level of play out of Penn State’s running back room in 2025.


Penn State’s Passing Game Still Has Work to Do

Penn State Football, Drew Allar
Penn State Nittany Lions Quarterback Drew Allar (Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire)

I will preface this section with the understanding that it was very windy during Penn State’s Blue-White game Saturday.

However, even with the wind, Penn State’s passing game still looked as though it could use plenty of work ahead of the 2024 season.

On a positive note, starting quarterback Drew Allar looked much more comfortable in Andy Kotelnicki’s offense than he did last season, particularly in the quick passing game.

One issue with the offense continues to be consistently getting receivers open and catching passes on target.

Although fans saw off-target passes that could be explained by rough winds, even when passes were on target, Penn State’s receivers dropped a number of passes.

With KeAndre Lambert-Smith in the portal and not a lot of proven experience on the roster, Penn State will need young receivers to step up in a big way next season. Another good note for Penn State’s offense is that Allar mentioned after the game that the offense was rather vanilla in Saturday’s game, not using the pre-snap motion that Kotelnicki is known for to help receivers get open.

Come Week 1 this the offense should look a lot different than what we saw Saturday.

Penn State had a lot of work to do this spring with three new coordinators implementing their strategies for the 2024 season.

From what was seen throughout the spring, the Nittany Lions will be positioned once again to be fighting near the top of the Big Ten next season.

The Nittany Lions defense looks elite once again with a reloaded front and the running game looks ready to carry the offense.

If Penn State can get the passing game figured out ahead of the 2024 season, the Nittany Lions can be in store for a shot at their first college football playoff birth under head coach James Franklin.

MORE: Assessing the Nittany Lions Biggest Transfer Portal Needs

Penn State Football
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