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Only Nyeem Wartman Until Penn State Football

Mike P

Last year's linebackers were very good. Anyone who disputes this is a moron. And what does it say when a true freshman, fresh out of high school NePa, cracks the lineup that included Michael Mauti and Gerald Hodges?

In short, that kid's badass.

Such is the story of Nyeem Wartman. He committed to Penn State before IT, before his senior season, back in July 2011. As did others after the scandal, he opened up his recruitment again before reaffirming he would be playing football in Happy Valley, and arrived as a first-team all-PA player and Big 33 standout. He was part of Bill O'Brien's first official (though not full) recruiting class for Penn State.

And once he got on campus, he made his mark immediately. Despite enrolling in June, he saw significant time in the 2012 season opener, notching a solo tackle and blocking a punt that led to a Nittany Lion touchdown. He injured his knee in the first play of the next game, at UVA, and was sidelined for the remainder of the season. In one of its few acts of sanity, the NCAA granted Wartman a medical redshirt, and thus he will start the 2013 season a redshirt freshman.

Word out of preseason camp projects Wartman to be a monster this year, a perfect complement to Mike Hull and Glenn Carson on the outside at linebacker. He's projected to start, and will likely make his presence felt against opposing running backs--and receivers--all year long.

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