After seeing Garrett Sickels and Chris Godwin announce their intentions to enter the NFL Draft in the past couple of days, Penn State finally received some good news on Sunday, as safety Marcus Allen decided to return to Penn State for his senior campaign.
Allen has been a familiar face on the Nittany Lions’ defense since the middle of the 2014 season, when the true freshman started in place of an injured Ryan Keiser at free safety. Since then, Allen has started all but one game for Penn State, totaling 249 tackles and taking part in some rather significant moments in the program’s history.
Keeping Allen for another season is a big boost for the 2017 Nittany Lions and their title aspirations. While Allen may struggle at times in pass defense, there really isn’t another player on the roster with his size and ability to be able to come up into the box and essentially play as another linebacker. With Penn State already having to replace strong safety Malik Golden, it would have been quite the blow for Brent Pry’s group to have to work in two new starting safeties.
Allen’s impact as a leader should also be noted. He’s one of, if not the, most vocal players on Penn State’s roster, and would have been nearly impossible to replace from a leadership perspective. The Nittany Lions have had their fair share of great leaders throughout the years, but next year’s squad that features Allen, Jason Cabinda, Trace McSorley, Saquon Barkley, and Andrew Nelson — just to name a few — could be one of the best in sometime.