Saturday afternoon at Beaver Stadium Nittany Nation gathered for the first time since watching Penn State defeat Nebraska 56-44 on November 18th. On Saturday, Nittany Lion fans watched as Blue defeated White by a score of 21-10 in the 2018 Blue White Spring Game.
Plenty of players had strong games for the Nittany Lions on Saturday, but some stood out above the rest. And those players receive the prestigious honor of being my players of the game from Penn State’s Blue White Game.
Offense - wide receiver Mac Hippenhammer
The Nittany Lions must replace DaeSean Hamilton, but wide receiver remains one of the deepest and most talented position groups on the roster. An example of Penn State’s wide receiver depth was redshirt freshman Mac Hippenhammer flashing on Saturday.
Hippenhammer caught a pair of touchdown passes for Blue on Saturday. He caught a 5-yard touchdown pass from Trace McSorley for the game’s first touchdown. Then, on a beautifully run fade route, he hauled in a 29-yard score from Sean Clifford for the final touchdown of the afternoon. On his second touchdown of the day, Hippenhammer looked a lot like a former No. 12 that now plays wide receiver for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
As I wrote about last week, it would not be a surprise to see the Nittany Lions run more four wide receiver sets in 2018. If Hippenhammer continues to emerge the way he has this spring and play the way he did on Saturday, assuming the Nittany Lions do use more four wide receiver sets, then Hippenhammer should see plenty of playing time this fall.
Honorable mention: QB Trace McSorley, QB Sean Clifford
Defense - linebacker Micah Parsons
This one was a tough call, but the nod goes to highly touted true freshman Micah Parsons.
It has been a long time since Penn State has had a freshman with as much hype around them as Parsons, and in his first time playing at Beaver Stadium he did not disappoint. In his first taste of playing linebacker, Parsons recorded a game-high 8 tackles to go along with a sack, and he was flying all around the field on defense.
On Saturday afternoon Parsons put his many talents on display. While it was obvious at times that Parsons is raw at linebacker, he is freakishly athletic which allows him to make up for some mistakes that come as a result of him still being new at the position. Once things start to click when it comes to reading and reacting as a linebacker, Parsons will be scary good.
Honorable mention: CB Zech McPhearson, LB Jesse Luketa