Penn State Football Still Benefiting From Wise 2016 Scheduling Move

NittanyCentral is home for the latest Penn State Football, Penn State Wrestling, Penn State Basketball news, updates, and analysis of the Penn State Nittany Lions

NittanyCentral is home for the latest Penn State Football, Penn State Wrestling, Penn State Basketball news, updates, and analysis of the Penn State Nittany Lions

NittanyCentral is home for the latest Penn State Football, Penn State Wrestling, Penn State Basketball news, updates, and analysis of the Penn State Nittany Lions

The latest news, insight, and analysis of Penn State Football, Penn State Wrestling, and Penn State Basketball, including schedules, game results, analysis of breaking news, rumors, speculation, and recruiting coverage of future Penn State Nittany Lions

NittanyCentral is home to the latest Penn State Nittany Lions news, updates, insight, and analysis, including in-depth coverage of Penn State Football, Penn State Wrestling, Penn State Basketball, and much more

Penn State Football Still Benefiting From a Wise 2016 Scheduling Move

In 2016 Penn State Football scheduled a home-and-home series with the Auburn Tigers. The Tigers would come to Happy Valley in 2021, and Penn State would travel to Auburn in 2022.

This was the first major home and home the Nittany Lions put on the schedule since the sanction years and would be a tough test with Auburn being one of the top programs in the SEC at the time.

Penn State Football
Head coach James Franklin of the Penn State Nittany Lions (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

 

Penn State won both matchups, winning 28-20 in 2021 and pounding Auburn on its home field 41-12 in 2022. As it turns out, Auburn wasn’t that good either season and Penn State failed to have a College Football Playoff argument anyway.

The lasting result may have come in recruiting though.

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Auburn Series Launched Penn State Football Dominant SEC Recruiting Stretch

Penn State Football, James Franklin
Penn State Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin leads his team to the field (Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire)

 

During its series with Auburn, the Penn State brand was brought up close and personal to many southern recruits who were not familiar with the Nittany Lions before.

In June of 2022, 4-star safety DaKaari Nelson committed to Penn State Football. The Alabama native also strongly considered Auburn in his recruitment. Did the 2021 contest play a role in his recruitment? Possibly.

The 2022 matchup certainly did, because Nelson was able to see his future team in person while staying at home as he visited Auburn for the game against Penn State. The Nittany Lions crushing the Tigers erased any doubt Nelson may have had.

Fast forward to this week and Penn State goes down to Alabama again and reels in 4-star running back Alvin Henderson, who strongly considered Auburn.

Did seeing Nick Singleton run wild all over Auburn back in 2022, cross Henderson’s mind? It’s possible.

The exposure the Nittany Lions received for not only playing this series, but winning both games, cannot be understated.

Penn State Football now has its foot in the door of a region many thought they never would.

MORE: 3 Things to Know About New Penn State RB Alvin Henderson

 

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