Penn State Football

Penn State Football’s Ja’Juan Seider’s high hopes for freshman RB Nicholas Singleton

Penn State Football’s 2021 campaign was a forgettable one for the Nittany Lions‘ ground attack, and one running backs coach Ja’Juan Seider can’t wait to turn the page from.

As Penn State’s season-opener at Purdue approaches, fortunately for Seider — and the Lions — he has a new star pupil, who arrives in Happy Valley with the highest of expectations.

Reigning Gatorade National Player of The Year, and former five-star recruit Nicholas Singleton has the opportunity to walk into a starring role in Penn State’s backfield this fall.

“You talk about a kid who can take it the distance on every carry,” Seider said of Singleton, in an extensive conversation with “His speed is, for his size and his youth, you don’t get a lot of guys who are like that.”

As the standout in Gov. Mifflin’s offense, Singleton averaged 12.4 yards per carry last fall. Seider and the rest of the Penn State Football staff hope the true freshman’s explosiveness helps resurrect a once proud backfield, that has fallen on hard times after not producing a 100-yard rusher in its past 17 outings.


“His strength,” Seider says. “I mean you don’t get too many kids who can walk into a program and squat over 600 pounds. His mindset — he wants to be great. And he has a relentless work ethic. He doesn’t get tired. When a kid wants to be great, he is willing to sacrifice and good things are going to happen.”

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Can Nicholas Singleton restore Penn State Football’s roar?

Last season, the Lions ranked 114th in the nation, as Penn State Football averaged just over 108 yards per game on the ground.

Singleton arrives, potentially as the top running back in Penn State’s room, along with returning junior Keyvone Lee, who showed glimpses of explosive promise last season and Senior Devyn Ford.

The mix of experience and Singleton’s immense potential leaves Seider confident that Penn State Football ‘s proud tradition of elite running games could be on the cusp of returning to form this fall.

“We did some stuff this offseason,” He says. “And even after the bye week that made us a better running team. I don’t want to dive into that, because people will see it next year when we kick off and I think it will make us better.”


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