Penn State Football

Penn State Football: What’s the Plan in Landon Tengwall’s Absence?

After missing eight games last season due to injury, Penn State Football offensive lineman Landon Tengwall was expected to start at left guard as he did in 2022 before his injury. Now, with less than three weeks left in fall camp before West Virginia comes to town in week one, Tengwall is again sidelined with an injury.

According to Greg Pickel at On3 sports, Tengwall has not been recently seen at Penn State camp while media has been present.

“[Tengwall] has got some bumps and bruises he’s dealing with right now,” Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin told reporters Monday.

Pickel also notes Franklin doesn’t get into injuries.

Tengwall was included on Fox Sports’ RJ Young’s “Way-Too-Early 2023 All-American Offense” and his absence would be a large blow to an offensive that is expected to be Franklin’s best at Penn State.

Penn State guard Landon Tengwall was not seen at the Lions’ open practice on Saturday night. On Monday, head coach James Franklin was asked about the status of the redshirt sophomore.

Story: https://t.co/8LvetbJsEg

— Greg Pickel (@GregPickel) August 14, 2023

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So, what’s the plan for Penn State Football at left guard behind Landon Tengwall if his injuries hold him out of game action?

In 2022, while Tengwall was named the starter at left guard, Tengwall was splitting snaps with Hunter Nourzad.

After his Week 5 injury, Nourzad took over as Penn State’s starter at left guard. In 2023, with Nourzad moving inside to replace Juice Scruggs at center, Penn State will need a new face to step up behind Tengwall if he misses game action.

Bring on JB Nelson

After Tengwall returned to practice for Penn State in the spring, Tengwall was locked into a position battle with JB Nelson and Vega Ioane at left guard.

Tengwall has a slight experience advantage on the other two with an extra year in the program under offensive line coach Phil Trautwein and five games of starting experience.

However, with the injuries, Tengwall has missed significant practice time which has allowed the others to catch up.

JB Nelson is heading into his second season with the Penn State program after transferring from Lackawana Community College.

At the JUCO level, Nelson was the number three overall JUCO product and the number two offensive tackle according to 247sports JUCO rankings. While Nelson played tackle at Lackawana, Franklin has suggested that Nelson can play both guard positions and possibly some tackle as well for Penn State Football.

Nelson appeared in four games last season for Penn State, including seeing significant action at left guard against Indiana last November.

With Nelson’s size (six-foot five and 332 pounds) and versatility, Franklin and the staff seem to think very highly of the redshirt junior.

Vega Ioane committed to Penn State after a very late push after the early signing period in the 2022 class.

Ioane played in four games as a true freshman, preserving his redshirt while still getting developmental experience. Ioane was named Penn State staff’s developmental squad offensive player of the week against Purdue in his first game week with the program.

Ioane has another large body (six-foot four-inches, 350 pounds) for the staff to work with along the interior of the offensive line.

Nelson would be a good bet for starting at left guard if Tengwall misses time with the latest injury.

Ioane, after playing in four games last season, would probably slot in behind Nelson, although the staff are very high on the redshirt freshman from Washington as well.

 

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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.