There’s so much to think about with the school year quickly approaching. Though some may not look forward to going back to homework and classes, students can always look forward to one thing: football. When we talk about Penn State, we’ve got to talk about football, which is, unquestionably, the most popular, most widely attended sporting event on campus.
Year after year, you can always expect Penn State’s student section to be ranked one of the best, if not THE best in the country. While the student section never changes at Beaver Stadium, the theme of Penn State Football this year, however, is ‘change’. This is a big year for the Nittany Lions because we are losing two familiar faces on the field, as well many other valuable players. Quarterback, Christian Hackenberg and defensive lineman, Carl Nassib, are expected to be replaced by Trace McSorley and Garrett Sickels, respectively. McSorley, a current Junior, shows promise, as he debuted in 2015 after he redshirted his freshman season in 2014. He has had experience replacing Hackenberg, as he did in the Tax Slayer Bowl last year, where he was selected as Penn State’s MVP of the game. The defensive line, though always consistent, is said to be led by Garrett Sickels, returning starter on the defensive line. His experience should make him a strong leader for Torrence Brown, Evan Schwan, Garrett Taylor, Ryan Buccholz and Shareef Miller, most of whom are returning from a redshirted season.
Aside from the change in players, the team will also be seeing a change in coaching. Joe Moorhead, Fordham football coach, is taking over as Penn State’s offensive line coordinator. The offensive line has been a weakness of the football team for about two years, leaving Penn State ranked in the bottom three for 2015 offensive lines. A new coordinator might be what the program needs to turn things around. Receiver Chris Godwin and running back Saquon Barkley look to be leaders for the offensive line with the success that they had last season. Barkley, the breakout star of the freshman class last year, seems destined for another great year on the offensive line after collecting an incredible number of accolades in his first year. He will be joined by one of this years top recruits, running back, Miles Sanders, highly regarded as one of the top running backs in the nation. Other notable recruits to watch for include Connor McGovern, Michal Menet, Shane Simmons, Ellison Jordan, Daniel Joseph, Cameron Brown, and Zechariah McPhearson, among 12 others.
Hopefully, you were able to purchase your season tickets and if not, you’re going to want to attend at least one game this year. Season tickets get you into every home game, which include match-ups against Temple, Minnesota, Maryland, Ohio State, Iowa and Michigan State. Game day themes include a “stripe out” against Temple and “white out” against Ohio State. Valley looks forward to a great season, full of pleasant surprises from this year’s recruitment class and strong performances from our returning players.