Penn State Football

Ex-Penn State Football Star: Nittany Lions Can Win National Championship ‘This Year … That’s the expectation’

The expectations are sky high for Penn State Football in 2023.

For the first time in the James Franklin era, Franklin seems to have a complete roster full of a great mix of experienced and talented players.

Led on offense by two star rising sophomore running backs Nick Singleton and Kaytron Allen and a first year starter in former five-star quarterback Drew Allar, the 2023 Penn State offense could be the best offense in the Franklin era.

On defense, Penn State is led by two linebackers rising sophomore all-American Abdul Carter and senior Curtis Jacobs and stud defensive end Chop Robinson.

Nittany Lions fans are anxious to see the most complete and talented roster that James Franklin has put together at Penn State run out of the tunnel in September.

However, not only are the expectations from fans and supporters high, former Penn State players are also hyping up the Nittany Lions expectations this season as well.

“I feel like the ceiling is high for them,” Former Penn State safety Jaquan Brisker said, during an appearance on Heavy Sports’ The Matt Lombardo Show. “I mean, that means National Champs. That means Big Ten champs. This year, for them.”

Brisker understands what it takes for the Penn State defense to play at an elite level to help Penn State reach that ceiling. In his final season at Penn State in 2021, Penn State finished the season ranked 7th in total scoring defense and 5th in passing touchdowns against per game. Brisker played a huge part in that 2021 defense, starting all 12 regular season games and tallying 5.5 tackles for a loss, two interceptions, including a redzone interception in the final minutes of the Wisconsin game, and a fumble recovery.

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Why Jaquan Brisker thinks Penn State Football will be dangerous in 2023

Looking ahead to 2023, Brisker believes this is a team built in Franklin’s image.

“I feel like Coach Franklin got the team that he finally wants. I feel like this is the team right here. They can run the ball with two really good running backs. He has the top quarterback, the receivers, the tight ends and what they do catching the ball and o-line is huge. So, I feel like it’s gonna be different this year.”

Penn State fans hope that Brisker is right and that this Penn State squad can get over the Ohio State and Michigan mountain that has sat on top of the Big Ten conference for the past 6 seasons.

If any roster in the Franklin era is capable of reaching the next level, it should be the 2023 squad.

“That Penn State team is a whole, they’re really balanced,” Brisker said. “They got an offensive line coming back, and got a whole new defensive line coming back, and they’re talented everywhere. Especially in the secondary, but at linebackers, they’re talented. They get practically the whole team coming back.”

The mix between experience and young talent should give Penn State the best chance to break through to a second Big Ten championship for James Franklin and a first playoff appearance for Penn State.

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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.