Penn State Football

Penn State Football: 4 Players with Most to Gain During Fall Camp

Penn State football is set to enter fall camp with arguably the most talented roster in the James Franklin era.

While many starters are entrenched from last season, there are a few remaining battles that will play out for the Nittany Lions during fall camp.

Here are the 5 players with the most to gain during Penn State Football fall camp

1. Drew Shelton

If everything went right for Penn State in 2022, Drew Shelton would be entering his redshirt freshman year with relatively little playing time under his belt, fighting to get onto the field for non-conference play.

Instead, with injuries to Caedan Wallace and Olu Fashanu last season, Shelton burned his redshirt in 2022 and enters 2023 fighting at the very least to be Penn State’s 6th offensive lineman and possibly for the starting position at right tackle.

While it will be difficult to unseat Wallace, who has started 29 games for the Nittany Lions since 2020, Shelton has a massive upside and his play as a true freshman warrants at least a position battle in camp.

At the very least, with a good fall camp, Shelton can prove that he deserves meaningful snaps as the 6th offensive lineman for Penn State this fall. With a great fall camp, Shelton can force offensive line coach Phil Trautwein into a difficult position of benching a fifth year entrenched starter.

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2. Tony Rojas

Penn State Football enters 2023 retaining all three starters at linebacker from the end of last season in Abdul Carter, Curtis Jacobs, and Tyler Elsdon/Kobe King.

However, that hasn’t stopped a Penn State true freshman linebacker from being hyped to see major playing time in 2023.

One year removed from Abdul Carter taking the nation by storm during his true freshman year, breaking into the starting lineup and eventually earning freshman all-American honors, Tony Rojas looks to follow in Carter’s footsteps and earn early playing time.

After enrolling early in January, Rojas has turned heads in the weightroom and on the practice field for spring practice.

With a great fall camp, defensive coordinator Manny Diaz may not have an option to keep him off the field in the fall despite his true freshman status.

Penn State fans can hope as the combination of Rojas, Carter, and Jacobs on the field together would be an extremely scary sight for opposing offenses.

3. Dani Dennis Sutton

Penn State Football also returns multiple difference makers from 2022 at defensive end.

Adisa Isaac and Chop Robinson are both projected to be game wreckers in 2023, with Robinson being projected as a first-round pick in the 2024 NFL draft.

Dani Dennis-Sutton, however, is chomping at the bit to unseat either Isaac or Robinson for 2023, coming off of a true freshman season that earned him freshman All-American honors from ESPN.com.

The former five-start defensive end Sutton registered three sacks in 2022 while adjusting to the college game after enrolling in the summer.

In 2023, Sutton projects to be a game wrecker as well, with a knack for getting to the quarterback. A great fall camp can put Sutton firmly in the defensive line rotation to get plenty of opportunities to be in the opposing team’s backfield in the fall and challenge Isaac and Robinson for starts.

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4. Omari Evans

Penn State spent the offseason assessing where the team is at wide receiver for 2023.

With the dismissal of wide receivers coach Taylor Stubblefield and the hiring of Marcus Hagans, Penn State reset the room for 2023 and brought in two transfers in Malik McClain and Dante Cephas.

With Cephas not enrolling until the summer, however, the battle for the third starting wide receiver alongside KeAndre Lambert-Smith and Harrison Wallace III raged on without him. Sophomore Omari Evans made the most of the time without Cephas on the field, breaking out in the spring game for the game’s lone touchdown and accounting for 80 receiving yards.

Now, with Cephas officially added to the roster, Evans must have a great fall camp to keep the former Kent State star behind him on the depth chart as both fight for the third starting receiver spot.

With a strong fall camp, Evans can hear his named called along with the other starters when Penn State hits the field on September 2 against West Virginia.

With less than two weeks before Penn State returns to campus to prepare for the 2023 season and the season opener against West Virginia, players have a limited amount of time to show coaches that they have earned playing time or a starting spot.

With great camps, all four of these players will have an opportunity to show out for Penn State fans this fall and push Penn State closer to its ultimate goals of winning a Big Ten Championship and a National Championship

Drew Allar, Penn State Football
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Robert Casturo

Expertise: College Football, Penn State Football Education: Saint Vincent College, Penn State Law School Location: Washington, DC Experience: Robert Casturo has covered Penn State football for NittanyCentral since 2022. Casturo previously covered Penn State football through a social media presence (@PSU_FB_Thoughts on X) since 2019. Casturo earned his bachelor's degree from Saint Vincent College in 2015, where he was a punter for 1 season on the Saint Vincent College football team and worked in the athletic department for 2 years as a student manager. Casturo earned his JD from Penn State Law in 2018 where he was a senior editor of the Penn State Law Review.