Penn State Football

3 Penn State Football Position Battles to Watch During Fall Camp: Intense Showdowns await

This year, Penn State Football boasts a deep roster, making for some fierce position battles. Even if certain players lose a battle, many positions will have quality backups.

As is the case on every team, the Nittany Lions have some positions that are deeper than others. But, head coach James Franklin has built a fiercely competitive culture, and several position battles to decide starting lineups are about to unfold.

Here are 3 Position Battles Set to Unfold During Penn State Football Fall Camp

Wide Receiver

KeAndre Lambert-Smith is expected to lead the receiving core; he had 24 catches for 369 yards
and four touchdowns last season.

Also returning will be Harrison Wallace, who produced 19 catches for 273 yards and one touchdown.

But, transfers Dante Cephas and Malik McClain will have something to say about playing time.

Cephas has twice earned All-MAC honors; During his redshirt sophomore season, Cephas played in 14 games and had 82 receptions for 1240 yards and nine touchdowns.

Last season, Cephas missed three games with an injury, but in nine games last season, he caught 48 passes for 744 yards and three touchdowns. Cephas averaged 15.1 yards per reception in 2021, and 15.5 in 2022. Cephas has the ability to be an effective deep threat that could help the Penn State offense.

At 6’4, 202 pounds, McClain will add size to the Nittany Lions’ receiving core. McClain was a four-star recruit coming from Florida State.

Last year at Florida State, McClain caught 17 passes for 206 yards and three touchdowns.

McClain will give quarterback Drew Allar a big body to throw to, and he could be very effective in the red zone.

The Nittany Lions also have Kaden Saunders and Liam Clifford, who will all compete for playing time.

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Safety

Senior Safety Keaton Ellis will be one of the starting safeties, while Zeke Wheatley, Jaylen Reed, and Kevin Winston will battle it out for the other spot.

Wheatley was a rotational player last season, and intercepted two passes and forced a fumble for Penn State. He more than likely will have to upper hand starting next to Ellis.

Meanwhile, Winston had 16 tackles last year as a freshman, while Reed appeared in all 13 games, posted
31 tackles (23 solo), and three pass breakups. The safety battle will be a good one.

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Right tackle

Caedan Wallace appeared in eight games and started seven last year for Penn State at right tackle.

Drew Shelton replaced Wallace and played well. In his sophomore season, Shelton — a former four-star recruit, will look to build on his strong play in 2022 and push for the starting right tackle job this fall.

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