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Redshirt Report: Ricky Slade Bounces Back

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Penn State’s true freshmen continue to impress.

NCAA Football: Penn State at Illinois Mike Granse-USA TODAY Sports

Green (7)

Each of these first seven players have played in four games this season meaning that the next time they suit up, they will have officially burned their redshirt for the 2018 season.

  • K Rafael Checa: Checa has been pretty consistent through the first four games with 15 touchbacks on 34 kickoffs. He does however make the occasional mistake of kicking the ball out of bounds like he did last week against Illinois.
  • TE Pat Freiermuth: The “Moose” as we like to call him scored his first career touchdown against the Fighting Illini on Friday, and continues to take steps forward in his development. Each week he becomes a bigger part of the offense, and could very well be the starter by the end of the year.
  • LB Jesse Luketa: Still developing on the fly, Luketa has looked solid through the first four games even if the production isn’t there just yet. He’ll continue to carve out a nice role in the Nittany Lions defense.
  • DT PJ Mustipher: Similar to Luketa, Mustipher is still growing into and carving out his role within Brent Pry’s unit. He’s only getting better, and has a bright future ahead of him.
  • LB Micah Parsons: All in all, the coaching staff has to be pretty happy with Parsons’ transition to linebacker. While he still looks a bit tentative out there, he’s proven to be a solid rotational linebacker who has the potential for even greater things. We’ll see if things start to become more natural for double-stix.
  • K Jake Pinegar: Pinegar continues to look solid at kicking extra points, but the lack of true field goal attempts (and makes) is a little worrisome heading into the Ohio State game. Will the coaching staff trust the true frosh in the biggest game of the season?
  • RB Ricky Slade: Slade has shown quite the resilience through his first four games. The Virginia native has had his fair share of fumbling struggles, but has bounced back nicely, keeping the ball off the ground against Kent State and Illinois. With Mark Allen now done for the year, expect to see more of No. 4.

Yellow (3)

  • DE Nick Tarburton: After playing in the Nittany Lions’ first two games, Tarburton didn’t see time against Kent State or Illinois, as Jayson Oweh received his snaps. Penn State seems to be taking a “wait-and-see” approach with Tarburton.
  • DE Jayson Oweh: Oweh got into the game against Illinois later than the coaching staff would’ve liked, and is in the same boat Tarburton is.
  • WR Justin Shorter: After missing the first two games because of injury and then not getting a snap against Illinois, Shorter’s redshirt is in a weird spot. While we still think he’ll play in more than four games this year, that’s no longer the lock we thought it was going to be.

Red (5)

All these players have played in one game thus far, and while we’ll probably see them again (outside of maybe Walker who is now firmly in the doghouse), it would be surprising if they played beyond four games.

  • OT Rasheed Walker: As noted above, Walker going forward is in James Franklin’s doghouse but we did want to make note that this week a second game was added to his participation report. We’re not sure if that second game was against Pittsburgh or this past Friday against Illinois.
  • WR Jahan Dotson
  • TE Zach Kuntz
  • WR Daniel George
  • CB Trent Gordon

The Real Reds (7)

These remaining seven players have not seen playing time this season, and it appears doubtful that they’ll see the field at all in 2018.

  • QB Will Levis
  • OG Bryce Effner
  • OG Juice Scruggs
  • DT Aeneas Hawkins
  • DT Judge Culpepper
  • LB Charlie Katshir
  • S Isaiah Humphries