I think this phrase has been written something like 10,000 times on this site, but as we all know, Penn State's offensive coaches want players along the line to take two years before they start playing. After they redshirt their freshman year, the staff wants them to sit out their sophomore year, so guys aren't supposed to actually play until they're juniors.
Brendan Mahon wasn't afforded that luxury, as he stepped in as a sophomore and got a lot of time along the line. He was part of a rotation at guard, which did mean that he wasn't relied on to play every snap, but he still played a lot more than anyone probably would have expected from a redshirt freshman who was learning a new system along the OL would play.
In all honesty, Mahon is the guy along the line I'm the most intrigued by heading into this season. He may be the most talented lineman Penn State has – according to Rivals, he was the No. 2 player in Penn State's 2013 recruiting class behind only Christian Hackenberg – and if he can take a big step forward this year, it should make life a lot easier for everyone along the offensive line.
Football starts in 70 days. Chad'll start doing these next, because he is a turd and demanded that he got whichever set of days had "69 days until," as we all should have expected.