Blue White Illustrated is reporting the last thing that James Franklin and his Nittany Lions needed to hear this spring - Miles Dieffenbach, a fifth-year senior that was a mainstay on last season's offensive line, has torn his ACL in practice this week. The exact extent of the injury is unknown at this time though it's a sure bet that Dieffenbach will miss the majority of the 2014 season. Having used his redshirt in 2010, Dieffenbach will need to apply for a medical redshirt with the NCAA to suit up in 2015 if the injury is indeed season-ending.
It leaves Penn State with just one returning starter on the O-line, LT Donovan Smith, and just 12 scholarship linemen (four of which are true freshmen). Franklin has voiced the need for improvement from his linemen early in spring ball, specifically calling out Dieffenbach and projected right tackle Andrew Nelson, but the uphill battle Penn State faces with regards to the lack of experience on the line becomes even steeper.