WR Juwan Johnson #84
Since the start of spring camp, coaches and teammates have been raving non-stop about Johnson’s progress since last season. His business-like approach to his training seems to have produced major outcomes, as Johnson seems poised to be the next big thing in Penn State’s receiving corps, following in the footsteps of Allen Robinson and Chris Godwin. During his redshirt freshman season, Johnson had two receptions for 70 yards in limited reps. At 6-4 and 218 lbs., Johnson has the physical tools to become an elite receiver. He may now be prepared for his moment in the spotlight.
CB Lamont Wade #38
As a five-star recruit and early enrollee, Wade seems destined to contribute immediately as a true freshman. With John Reid’s knee injury likely costing him the entire 2017 season, could Wade vault all the way to a starting spot by September? Our very own Garrett Carr stated that Wade stuck out as the best player on the defense after watching a spring practice- not just the secondary, but the entire defense. We’ll get a glimpse at what the hype is about on Saturday, and see what to expect as Wade prepares to begin his career at Penn State.
DE Shane Simmons #34
Simmons entered Penn State as a five-star prospect, and after sitting out for a redshirt season he is about to be unleashed. Shareef Miller and Torrence Brown are slated to become the new starters at defensive end, but don’t be surprised if Simmons claims a starting gig by the fall. Either way, he will contribute as part of Sean Spencer’s deep rotation from week one.
OLB Koa Farmer #7
Farmer is an exceptional athlete who proved he can be a force coming off the edge when he saw time at outside linebacker in 2016. Now entering his redshirt junior season, can Farmer develop into a complete, every-down ‘backer and fill the vacancy left open by Brandon Bell? Linebacker seems to be the biggest question mark heading into the season for the Nittany Lions, so all eyes should be on Farmer to see how much progress he’s made since the Rose Bowl. Which leads us to...
OLB Cam Brown #31
Brown showed flashes of potential last season, but still has a long ways to go before playing at the level expected at Linebacker U.- especially while donning #31. Ideally, it would have been great to redshirt Brown last fall and allow him time to develop, but he ultimately was forced into early action as a true freshman thanks to a rash of injuries at the linebacker position. Brown is a four-star prospect with an incredibly impressive offer sheet and has the potential to become a star, so it will be interesting to see what kind of progress he has made heading into his second year with the program.
RB Miles Sanders #24
No, Miles Sanders isn’t under the radar by any means. All Penn State fans have been excited for his potential since he committed to Penn State, and he showed flashes of greatness as a true freshman. However, Sanders had a big offseason bulking up his frame and furthering his development of the collegiate game. Once he gets a better feel for the game and learns to be a more patient runner, look out. Sanders has the potential- now can he make the gigantic leap to become a worthy successor to Saquon Barkley?
S Nick Scott #4
Here’s what we know about Nick Scott- he loves contact (either with the ball in his hands or when punishing the ballcarrier), he has a tremendous work ethic and is a fantastic leader, as made evident by his selection as one of the team’s three captains for 2017. Scott is looking to expand his role beyond special teams ace and reserve to become the starter at strong safety. He is facing fierce competition against the likes of Troy Apke, Ayron Monroe and Garrett Taylor. While all four should see action this fall, Scott could be the one to come out on top now that he’s had a full year to learn the new position after starting his career at running back.
Which players will you be keeping a close eye on during the Blue-White Game?