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Only Gary Wooten/Mark Allen Until Penn State Football


Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The number eight will be donned by two players in very different stages of their careers.

Gary Wooten is entering his junior year of eligibility, but is on track to graduate this December which means he will have the option to leave the team a season early. Wooten has spent the last two seasons as the guy who you see jogging on the field and think "holy crap that guy is huge". He's also been one of the first guys to have their name called when a starting linebacker needs a break, and has performed admirably in that role. He's also been an extremely valuable member of the special teams unit during an era of Penn State history in which quality was hard to come by on special teams.

Wooten will once again be one of the first names out of Bob Shoop's mouth to step in for one of the starting linebackers, and you can count on the Miami native to give 110% effort for every second he's out there.

The other number eight on this year's roster is redshirt freshman Mark Allen. Unlike Wooten, Allen has yet to gain any in-game experience. The former three star running back from DeMatha Catholic was looked over by colleges and recruiting services alike thanks to his size (5'7", 181 lbs), but it appears that Bill O'Brien and his staff found a diamond in the rough. Allen has been making headlines all summer as the back who is impossible to tackle, or to even see. He's also turned plenty of heads in the return game, and could find himself returning kicks or punts this year.

Both of these number eights are ready to shine, no matter what role they find themselves in.